Casey Blake was released from the Colorado Rockies who decided to go with Chris Nelson as their regular 3B. Jack Cust was cut from the Houston Astros, who simply wanted to go with younger players as well. Will they choose to retire? I am sure both will try to latch on to another team, but if it fails, they may have to consider it. Reports are Cust is close to signing with a National League team.
Veteran infielder Omar Vizquel was informed by the Toronto Blue Jays that he has made the team. This will be his 24th season in the big leagues. 49 year old Jaime Moyer is still fighting for a spot on the Rockies, which if he makes the team it will be his 25th season. Will Moyer take an assignment to the minor leagues? I think it is a possibility if he does not make the club. He has pitched well enough this spring showing that he can still pitch at this level. In my opinion, I don't see Moyer contemplating retirement until he is without a team and there is no demand. While the window of opportunity is closing, there is still a realistic chance Moyer will pitch this season, even if he does not make the Rockies.
Yesterday I spoke about Bobby Abreu being traded from the Angels. If a trade cannot be made, there is a chance he could be released. But, he will clearly be picked up by another team for the league minimum if he is cut, putting retirement out of the question. Nick Johnson may not make the Baltimore Orioles, and with his history of injuries, Johnson may consider retirement. Brandon Inge will be down to the last cut with the Detroit Tigers. With such a huge dropoff last season, he could consider leaving the game rather than taking a minor league deal with another team. Aaron Rowand is looking to make the Miami Marlins, and if he doesn't, several teams should be interested including the Phillies and Mets. Mark Kotsay has been a very useful major leaguer and would probably retire if he doesn't make the Padres. The Padres will likely keep him due to his experience and leadership.
Other pitchers who are trying to gain spots are veterans Livan Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Takashi Saito and Guillermo Mota. Hernandez will likely try to catch on with another team, while Isringhausen will likely retire. Saito is up there in age and may retire, while Mota should stick around and try to pitch for another team during the season. All four are in danger of not making their respective clubs, though none have been told either way, at this point.
Of course, there are still free agents who have not signed yet. While Jermaine Dye is a prime example of a player who did not land a team as a free agent and was forced into retirement, some of the remaining free agents are likely to play in 2012. Roy Oswalt will wait until he finds a convenient place to pitch. OF Johnny Damon will likely continue his quest for 3000 hits for a team this season. Not much has been heard in regards to Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui, leaving retirement as a possibility for both. Magglio Ordonez is likely to announce he is retiring soon. There are always surprises when it comes to teams announcing their rosters, all will become official before next Thursday and Friday, when all but the Mariners and Athletics will open the 2012 season.