DETROIT -- Kenny Rogers knew all along where he wanted to be.
The 43-year-old left-hander ended his free agency Friday when he
agreed to an $8 million, one-year deal that will keep him with the
Detroit Tigers for a third season.
"There was really never any other choice but Detroit," said
Rogers, who represented himself in contract negotiations. "The
possibilities of playing somewhere else didn't appeal to me at
Rogers' deal includes performance bonuses.
"He brings us that veteran presence we wanted to have in our
rotation," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said.
Rogers asked the team to be patient with him as he represented
himself in negotiations. He decided not to allow agent Scott Boras
to shop his services to the highest bidder.
"It's been a process where Kenny and I have spoken probably a
dozen times over the last couple of weeks," Dombrowski said. "It
was great that we were able to meet at a point where it worked for
Rogers was 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA in an injury-shortened 2007
season for the Tigers after helping them reach the 2006 World
He was limited to 11 starts last season after surgery to remove
a blood clot from his left shoulder and repair arteries. He went
back on the disabled list later in the year with an elbow
For the first time since 2001, Rogers did not win at least 13
games. But he said his health shouldn't be a factor in 2008. Rogers
said doctors have told him everything should heal properly.
"Physically, last year was no doubt very frustrating in a lot
of ways," Rogers said. "After the season I had everything checked
out to see where I stood for my own physical well being. I wanted
to know what I was dealing with."
Some questioned Detroit's decision to give Rogers a $16 million,
two-year contract before the 2006 season, but he and the team were
validated. He put together a third straight season with an All-Star
appearance and a Gold Glove award, helping the Tigers reach the
World Series for the first time since 1984.
After going 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA during the regular season, Rogers held the New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and
St. Louis Cardinals without a run in October. He became the first pitcher to have three scoreless starts in one postseason since Christy Mathewson in 1905.
But just when talk subsided about him pushing two cameramen in
2005 -- a videotaped tirade that led to a suspension while he was
with Texas -- Rogers was at the center of another dispute.
Cameras showed a brown substance on his left hand in the first
inning of Game 2 of the World Series, and St. Louis manager Tony La
Russa brought it to the umpires' attention. Rogers' hand was clean
when he came out for the second inning, and he went on to pitch
shutout ball in Detroit's only victory of the Series.
Over 19 seasons, Rogers is 210-143 with a 4.19 ERA and is a
four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner.