For Josh Collmenter, retirement can wait.
The former Major League Baseball star and reigning Auckland Tuatara player of the year will return to the Australian Baseball League club for another season in the pitching rotation.
The 33-year-old had considered hanging up his glove for good following the team's inaugural campaign, but had a recent change of heart and reached out to the team this week about returning and a deal was immediately struck.
Collmenter's signing is a welcome addition, with two other marquee signings now in doubt. The Auckland club had linked up with former MLB catcher John Buck, with the hope that they would also be getting rising star Sam Huff from the Texas Rangers.
The Herald understands the Rangers would be sending Huff down to the Tuatara for some work over the US winter, and Buck would be signed largely to help mentor the young catcher and work as a designated hitter. However, Huff was selected by the United States and is no long available to the Auckland club – leaving them unsure of whether or not Buck will be signed. Pitcher Zach Duke remains available but the Herald understands his signing is yet to be completed as the team assesses their options.
"I loved my time with the Tuatara last season and I feel like I want to have one more crack at earning a Major League contract," Collmenter said.
"I'm in good shape and feel I still have a bit left to offer.
"The (Tuatara) learned a lot last year and I know we will be more competitive than we were in our first season."
Tuatara chief executive Regan Wood said he had no hesitation in offering Collmenter a contract.
"When a player of Josh's standing in the game says he'd like to be part of your organisation you don't wait for a second invitation," Wood said.
"He was terrific for us in so many areas last season and we know what we get with him – he is the consummate professional.
"Josh will be part of a formidable starting rotation for us this season and we look forward to seeing what he can do with a more competitive roster behind him than we had last season."
Collmenter will also be lending a hand to the commentary team, trading his glove for a microphone of some of his off days.