Jimmy Rollins Traded to Dodgers
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com is reporting that Rollins to the Dodgers is a "done deal."
"I think he will be invigorated," ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian says. "By moving to a team that has a chance to go to the World Series which he hasn't had that chance in the last few years."
While no names have been swapped at this time, per Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer some of the prospects the Dodgers acquired from the Marlins in the Dee Gordon trade could be involved in the Rollins deal.
"I think this is a terrific deal first for the Phillies," Kurkjian proclaimed. "The Phillies really need to start to move their older players on, get younger, get more athletic, get less expensive. This is certainly a start, as much as they will miss Jimmy Rollins in a lot of ways, they had to do this and they have to do this with more players now."
On December 17, 2011, Rollins signed a three-year, $33 million deal with a vesting option for a fourth year, worth another $11 million which is due in 2015, the final year of his contract. The shortstop hit .243 with 17 home runs and 55 RBI in 138 games in 2014 - his final season with the Phillies.
"Despite his age and position that he plays," Kurkjian explains. "He is still a very good baseball player and very athletic shortstop."
Rollins, 36, was drafted in the second round of the 1996 draft and spent his entire 15-year career wearing Phillies red pinstripes. After making his major league debut in 2000, Rollins took over the role of starting shortstop by July of 2001. From late in 2005 to early 2006, Rollins provided Phillies fans a run of 38 straight games with a hit, longest in team history.
Rollins was known to be able to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.
Before the 2007 season, Rollins proclaimed the Phillies were the "team to beat". That year he helped lead the Phillies to their first NL East crown since 1993, while winning the National League MVP award hitting .296 with an amazing 30 home runs, 95 RBI, 41 stolen bases, 38 doubles, 20 triples and 139 runs scored.
In 2008, Rollins was a key piece to the Phillies, who captured the teams second World Series title. His double in the NLCS game against Jonathan Broxton was the catalyst to ignite the Phillies to that series win.
In 2014, Rollins became the Phillies’ all-time franchise leader in hits (2,306) surpassing Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt and only Schmidt played more games in a Phillie uniform. He is also the franchise leader in doubles.
Rollins is a three-time all star, a four-time gold glove award winner, and led the NL in triples on three separate occasions.
In my opinion he was the most important player and leader of the Phillies teams what won six straight NL East titles from 2007-2012. I was in the Phillies locker room for every home playoff game during that time, including the 2008 and 2009 World Series games. When the game was over, the media stood and waited around the middle of the Phillies clubhouse - and they waited for Rollins.
While the Phillies other big name players like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard stood in front of their lockers, waiting for the final question to be uttered. Rollins sat in the middle of the room and answered every question - win or lose. His smile was contagious in the locker room, you knew when Jimmy was smiling you knew things were going good for the Phils.
But make no mistake, Rollins tenure was a love/hate relationship with the fans. Many didn't like his approach at the plate, he was the Phillies long-time leadoff man, but was not known for taking a walk. Former Phillies manage Charlie Manuel famously had two rules - be on time and hustle.
Manuel had to bench Rollins for lack of hustle - in a town like Philadelphia that's a no-no.
Early this spring, there were rumors of friction between Rollins and new manager Ryne Sandberg. Rollins was benched for three straight grapefruit league games and when asked to explain why Rollins wasn't in the lineup, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg offered a "no comment."
The thought was that Sandberg was trying to send an early message to Rollins, who has been criticized in the past for a perceived lack of hustle.
Back in Dec. of 2013, Buster Olney of ESPN wrote that the Phillies were "very willing" to trade Rollins. In March of last year, during spring training, Olney wrote that there was a "strong sentiment" within the Phillies organization that the team would be better off trading Rollins as soon as possible - finally on Dec. 10, 2014 the Phillies traded Rollins.
Rollins will be missed, and I certainly wish him well. He was a class act and helped make the Phillies run one of the best times of my sports life.