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Reds open to a Scott Rolen return in reduced role

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Scott Rolen would be forced to accept a reduced role with the Reds if he returns. (US Presswire)

CINCINNATI -- The Reds are planning on Todd Frazier every day at third base in 2013 and just signed third baseman Jack Hannahan to a two-year deal. Despite that the team is still interested in bringing back 37-year-old Scott Rolen, Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty said.

“I think you have to at least consider it,” Jocketty said Thursday. “I talked to him before he left after the season, that if he did come back, it'd be in a different role. He's been so important to our success the last couple of years. He's been an instrumental part of our team and our clubhouse. If he wants to play, we have to see if we can work something out to his satisfaction as well as ours.”

Rolen was limited to 92 games in 2012 and 65 in 2011 with a shoulder injury. He hit .245/.318/.398 with eight home runs last season. He was an All-Star in 2010 and 2011 with the Reds, earning a Gold Glove in 2010, when the Reds won the NL Central. His injuries last season, coupled with Joey Votto's knee injury, helped open playing time for Frazier.

Following the Reds' loss in the National League Division Series, Rolen said he was undecided whether he would return in 2013, but hinted he may not. Recently, though, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported Rolen was considering a return.

“Scott is still trying to decide what he's going to do,” Jocketty said. “I think we'll know something in the next 10 days -- sometime before Christmas.”

The Reds' currently have a full 40-man roster and most of their 2012 team back, with the big addition of Shin-Soo Choo to play center field -- something Jocketty said he's confident can work. The Reds GM noted his team was most likely set, having addressed the leadoff and closer's spots, but if they do add another player, they could add a left-handed reliever. The Reds are moving left-hander Aroldis Chapman to the rotation, leaving Sean Marshall as the only lefty in the bullpen.

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