2/13/2013 9:32 A.M. ET
From Abreu to Zambrano, big names remain unsigned
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
Spring Training's arrival doesn't mean the end of free agency, and there's a stable of recognizable names out there beyond premium guys like Kyle Lohse. Some have health questions, some have age considerations, some have both.
At the least, all appear to have something to prove.
Longtime Major Leaguers like Bobby Abreu, Jason Isringhausen, Carlos Lee and Carl Pavano are still without contracts. So are Grady Sizemore and Jose Valverde, plus the likes of Francisco Rodriguez, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Wilson and Carlos Zambrano.
Abreu and Lee have 645 home runs between them. Dallas Braden has thrown a perfect game, and Freddy Sanchez won a batting title. None are gainfully employed.
A lot of players may just need the benefit of time: time for teams to see what their needs might be in camp, and time for the players to recover from injuries. Pavano is out for at least a month and a half because of a ruptured spleen. Sizemore may wait until midseason. Randy Wolf will miss the season because of Tommy John surgery. Braden is coming back from left shoulder surgery.
Joe Beimel, a left-handed reliever, is coming back from Tommy John surgery and is at 80 percent, according to his agent, Joe Sroba. He expects to sign somewhere before Spring Training ends, likely starting the season at Triple-A. Beimel, who turns 36 in April, was operated on last May.
Wang, who was with the Nationals the last two seasons, has the benefit of the World Baseball Classic as part of Taiwan's team for exposure.
Some players could end up retiring, while some may have already decided to, but not made that decision public. Scott Rolen sounds like he could be ready to move on, just as J.C. Romero did late in the season.
"Right now, I'm simply not ready to make a commitment," Rolen said in a statement Tuesday when he decided to pass on an invite to Reds camp. "I would like to leave my options open without closing any doors. I am looking forward to all of the challenges, both personally and professionally, I will face in the future."
Outfielder Johnny Damon, who has said before he'd be open to retirement, still wants to play and has been staying in shape by playing soccer and a lot of volleyball.
"All's good, nothing happening on my end," Damon told MLB.com via text message on Monday. "Just staying busy, working out."
Is this the end for Jamie Moyer, who turned 50 in November? What about Livan Hernandez, who's 37, or Jose Contreras, who's 41?
There's a particularly large crop of ex-closers: K-Rod, Francisco Cordero, Bobby Jenks, Wilson, Jose Valverde.
Here's a partial list of players who are still unsigned:
Jason Bartlett, Sean Burroughs, Miguel Cairo, Willie Harris, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Adam Kennedy, Casey Kotchman, Lee, Rolen, Ryan Theriot, Matt Treanor
Abreu, Damon, Scott Podsednik, Jason Repko, Sizemore
Brian Bruney, D.J. Carrasco, Roman Colon, Vinnie Chulk, Todd Coffey, Contreras, Cordero, Tim Dillard, Joey Devine, Isringhausen, Jenks, Lohse, Derek Lowe, Mike MacDougal, Dustin Moseley, Guillermo Mota, Roy Oswalt, Pavano, David Pauley, Rodriguez, Valverde, Kip Wells, Wang, Wolf, Wilson, Chris Young, Zambrano
Beimel, Braden, Moyer, Rafael Perez, Romero