CAP CANA, Dominican Republic — Tim Wakefield indicated today that the coming season would be his last as a player.
“There are still some numbers I want to achieve. But I’m not going to put that much pressure on myself knowing that this probably will be my last year,” the 44-year-old knuckleball artist said. “I’m not going to come out and say I’m going to retire at the end of the 2011 season. But getting closer to the end, I’d really like to enjoy it more than I did last year.”
Wakefield was 4-10 with a 5.34 earned run average last season. But is proud of the fact that he threw 140 innings.
“I proved to them I could throw more than 100 innings,” Wakefield said. “That was supposedly estimated what I was going to throw. I gave them 140 and proved I could stay healthy for the whole season. Hopefully I can do that again.”
Wakefield acknowledged that he chafed at the role he was in last season, that of a spot starter, long reliever and mop-up man. But he seems to have come to the realization that the Red Sox will not give him a chance to earn a spot in the rotation.
“Regardless of what my role is going to be (next season), I think I’m going into it with more with my eyes open compared to last year,” he said. “It was thrown in my lap that this is the situation and I was a little reluctant to accept it based on what I had done in ’09 and the loyalty I had shown the club. That’s water under the bridge, last year. I’m looking forward to coming in and contributing in whatever manner I can.”
With 48-year-old Jamie Moyer unable to play next season because of an elbow surgery, Wakefield will be the oldest player in baseball. But Moyer has said he wants to come back in 2012.
“Good for him,” Wakefield said. “I don’t why, but good for him. … More power to him if he wants to try to accomplish that. I don’t know if I want to pitch that long. I’m leaving the door open. I’m playing it year by year and see what happens and see where it takes me.”