White enters free agency pool

White enters free agency pool

MINNEAPOLIS -- Although outfielder Rondell White said he was 99 percent sure he had played his last game when the 2007 season ended, he left open a sliver of a chance he could return to baseball.

White kept that door open Tuesday when he filed for free agency. He is the third Twins player to declare free agency as Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva both filed on Monday.

The move likely is a procedural matter, as the Players Association encourages all pending free agents to do so as a formality. It's still expected that White will indeed retire sometime this winter.

White has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, including being limited to just 38 games in 2007 due to a myriad of injuries in his right leg. It was the frustration of struggling to stay on the field that had White admitting that his career might be finished.

"Sometimes you have to know when to say when," White said on Sept. 29. "Sometimes your body and the pain take away some of the passion you have for the game. I still love the game, but it takes away from it when you feel like you can't do what you used to do."

Even if White does decide to play another season, it likely won't be in Minnesota. Twins general manager Bill Smith said this week that he hadn't talked to White since the season ended, but that the team is planning on heading in another direction.

"We'll probably look elsewhere to fill that spot," Smith said.

A career .284 hitter, White hit just .229 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs in two seasons with the Twins.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.