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Rockies rumors: Todd Helton unlikely to return in 2014

Todd Helton isn't expected to continue his playing career beyond 2013.

Andrew Carpenean-US PRESSWIRE

Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton will turn 40 this August, but he's continuing his career and currently preparing for his 17th season in the majors. While he'll be with the club for the 2013 campaign, Troy Renck of The Denver Post doesn't expect the veteran to return next season.

Renck would be "really surprised" if Helton played next season. The slugger is entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $5 million in 2013.

The only way Renck sees Helton extending his playing career beyond 2013 is if he takes on a Jason Giambi-type role with the Rockies. Giambi appeared in 60 games and made 113 plate appearances for Colorado last season while earning $1 million.

Considering the legacy Helton has built in Colorado, it would seem unlikely that he would sign elsewhere as a 40-year-old for the sake of increasing his role. More likely, Helton will elect to end his career with the Rockies.

Last season, Helton hit .238/.343/.400 with 16 doubles and seven home runs over 283 plate appearances. He hasn't registered more than 500 plate appearances since 2009, and he's hit a combined .270/.366/.414 over the past three seasons.

Over 16 years with the Rockies, Helton's hit .320/.419/.545 with 354 home runs and 570 doubles.