The Rangers will not offer free agent pitcher Kenny Rogers a contract for the 2006 season and it is likely he will never pitch in a Rangers uniform again. Rogers, 40, leaves the organization as the winningest left-handed pitcher in franchise history. The three-time All-Star went 14-8 with a 3.46 ERA in 2005.
"The Texas Rangers organization would like to thank Kenny Rogers for his efforts over the last two seasons and during his entire Rangers career," Rangers general manager John Hart said. "As we look at 2006 and beyond, we feel it is in the club's best interests to move forward without him."
According to the Rangers, the decision came after the first day of season evaluation meetings with Rangers owner Tom Hicks, Hart, assistant general manager Jon Daniels, and director of player personnel Dom Chiti. Rangers manager Buck Showalter, pitching coach Orel Hershiser and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo also participated in the meeting.
Among the factors that could have played into the decision was Rogers' rocky relationship with the front office and his run-in with a cameraman -- and subsequent suspension. Rogers, who is represented by Scott Boras, has reportedly said he was not going to offer the club "a hometown discount" and was seeking a salary comparable to other front-line starters.
The Rangers and Rogers attempted to negotiate a deal during the season, but those talks did not lead to an agreement.
Rogers leaves an eventful legacy. Drafted in 1982 by the Rangers because of his arm strength, Rogers learned how to become a pitcher in the Minor Leagues and made his Major League debut in 1989 as a reliever. He steadily worked his way into the rotation and became a part of franchise history when he threw a perfect game against the Angels in 1994. A veteran of five teams, Rogers had three stints with the Rangers, the last starting in 2004.
Additionally, the three-time Gold Glove winner is the Rangers' all-time leader in appearances with 428, and ranks among the club's all-time leaders in wins -- second at 133 -- winning percentage, innings and strikeouts. He was named the club's pitcher of the year in 1994, 1995 and 2002. He has won 10 or more games 12 times in his career, including nine times with the Rangers. He led the club in wins in six seasons, including the 2005 campaign.
The veteran gained national attention for his actions off the field this season. He was booed at the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit and at every visiting park he pitched in. Rangers fans cheered him, however, in his first start since serving the suspension for the cameraman incident.
Following Saturday's game, Rogers packed up his belongings, including removing his nameplate from his locker. He showed up for the season finale Sunday and left after the game, but not before a few hugs and handshakes from his teammates.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.