Will Phillies Turn their Attention to Rollins?
"Obviously short stop is a position we'd like to shore up. I've been pretty open and public about what we're trying to do to move forward as far as Jimmy is concerned."
Those were the words of Ruben Amaro Jr., at the tail end of Jonathan Papelbon's press conference on Monday. The ink on Papelbon's contract hadn't even dried yet and the questions were already turning to the other holes on the roster. The most glaring, of course, is shortstop.
The Papelbon signing came quick and seemingly out of nowhere, but regardless of what you think of the deal, the Phillies have one of the best ninth-inning options in the game. There is also a need to solidify the bench and figure out what to do with the rest of the relief staff. A super-utility man in the mold of a Michael Cuddyer is a want for the team, but is it a need at what he's looking for contractually?
On Monday, Jon Heyman of SI.com said that the Giants, long believed to be a main suitor for Rollins, would not be pursuing him. Other teams like the Reds, A's, Mets, Nationals, and a few other teams will have a need at shortstop as well, however, none of them have a payroll as high as the Phillies. Not many teams are also in a position to be able to offer Rollins a three-or-four-year contract and upward of $10 million perseason; the Phillies clearly can.
Now, we wait. We hang on to see what teams will offer Jimmy a contract close enough to what he wants. He says that he also wants to win, but there aren't many teams out there that have a great shot at a title and have a need for a shortstop at his asking price. The Phillies fit that mold, but we'll see if the two sides can figure out how to get this thing over with.