He had previously stated that at the end of this contract, it would be the Pirates or retirement. However, he's now reconsidered that and has rejected $8.5 million from the team, leading many fans to think the FO low-balled their best pitcher.
Better late than never. They will be available during Spring Training this year on a voluntary basis. Brandon McCarthy, who took a hit in September 2012, has stated that he won't wear it. The article states that 12 MLB pitchers over the last six years have taken line drives in the head, with Alex Cobb being the most recent one back in June.
13 of 14 seasons with the Texas Rangers; .300/.346/.441 with 2,375 hits; five straight seasons of 200+ hits.
Much of his 15 seasons spent with the Astros; .293/.406/.537; 366 HR. He only played 73 games in 2013 due to persistent knee problems.
What did you honestly expect him to say? Although I think Kershaw and Co. might have something to say about that.