The New Guy

I came away from yesterday’s news conference thinking Jonathan Papelbon is going to be an entertaining man to cover over the next four seasons.

Assuming he pitches like he pitched in Boston, of course.

Read my story on Papelbon’s introduction.

So, what’s next?

Well, Ruben Amaro Jr. said they still want to bring back Jimmy Rollins. Rollins declined to address his free agency at his charity event last night, but Phillies president David Montgomery said a couple things following Papelbon’s press conference at Citizens Bank Park:

– “So far the discussions with Jimmy have been inconclusive.”

– “The toughest thing is to almost imagine our club without Jimmy Rollins.”

Montgomery and Rollins have a strong relationship, which could help Rollins in the end. There’s also this question: If not Rollins, who? Freddy Galvis? If the Phillies can’t reach an agreement with Rollins they will have to find somebody to help boost the offense.

The Phillies have $120 million committed to 11 players next season, not including any of their salary arbitration players: Cole Hamels ($9.5 million last season), Hunter Pence ($6.9 million), Kyle Kendrick ($2.45 million), Ben Francisco ($1.175 million) and Wilson Valdez ($560,000). You know Hamels and Pence are going to get sizable raises. The Phillies seem to need Kendrick, considering Joe Blanton‘s elbow could be a problem at any moment and they have little depth behind him. That boosts their payroll to roughly $140 million or so, so they have some flexibility as Amaro said.

But how much? Can they get both Cuddyer and Rollins? Cuddyer wants a three-year deal, and certainly will be looking for more than $10 million per season. If the Phillies are looking to get younger, signing both Rollins and Cuddyer seems to go against that philosophy a bit, doesn’t it?

How many years would you be willing to give Rollins, who has said he wants a five-year deal?


I would never give J-Roll anything more than 3 years, and even then I can’t see him contributing much in the last year of that. Even if Galvis isn’t ready, a stop gap for a year (eg. Valdez or Carroll) could do. The team needs youth though, and bringing young Freddy up too early would still be better than having Rollins around till 2016.

The guy’s been underpaid for five years, but that’s in the past.They should offer Jimmy a decent three year take-it-or-leave-it contract with an option for a fourth. The fourth year should have a decent buyout that would make it essentially a three year deal for substantial dollars, say 30 million over thee years with a three million dollar buyout if they don’t do the option. Basically, 33 for 3 of 40 for 4. I would be willing to give him the money, but not more years.
And just sign Cuddyer. He’s the type of player they need right now.

Do not offer Rollins anything more than 2 years with no options. That is all he is worth at this point. The guy’s been on a steady decline since 2007. He keeps missing large chunks of the season due to injuries… and that will only get worse. He is not a good leadoff hitter… doesn’t know how to draw a deep count… and that lack of patience sets the tone for the team. And he won’t change his approach at this point in his career. His speed will decline with age and injuries… and speed is his primary asset with his defense and base running. Plus, he seems more preoccupied with ripping on fans on Twitter than he does on winning a playoff game. Take a chance on Galvis or some stop-gap like Furcal if Rollins turns this down. Phils need to get younger. These long-term contracts (Ryan Howard’s being the most egregious) are killing this team’s flexibility. Sure, there are some things about Rollins I will miss (defense and leadership) but he just isn’t worth it at this point.

I feel for Jimmy. He expects a payday after the Phillies got the best of him at a less than stellar paycheck. He is not going to get want he wants from the Phillies. They only way he may sign is if they offered him 3 years guaranteed for the average of the 5 year deal he was looking for. Meaning If J-Roll wanted say $60 Million for 5 years, offer him $36 million for 3 years GUARANTEED and a fourth year option with a buyout.

Rollins would be worth every penny of a 3yr./$30 million deal and agree the Phillies should just make the offer and get it over. Cuddyer is another matter. From what I can gather, he made $10.5 million with the Twins in 2011. What makes anyone think he will sign with the Phillies for anything less? And, what about the length? Does anyone believe he would sign for less than 3 years? Even a modest increase to $12 million a year for a modest 3yrs would be more than $36 million or more than the Phillies should pay Jimmy. And, Cuddyer and Jimmy are the same age. If Jimmy is getting old, why isn’t Cuddyer getting old as well? And, if Galvis should be ready within 3 years, what exactly does Cuddyer bring to the table that Jimmy doesn’t?

What exactly does Cuddyer bring to the table that Jimmy doesn’t?
Cuddyer’s versatility is very appealing. He plays at least five positions, something this team needs with their question marks at 3B and 1B. He could play LF, RF and 2B as well, which would allow them to rest players regularly while not hindering the lineup offensively. He brings a lot to the table.

Rollins brings clubhouse leadership and has been the face of the Phils for most of his tenure here. I think a 3yr with 4yr option would be a reasonable contract. Would love to be able to also sign Cuddyer for his versatility and brings a decent bat.

2 years max. Any more than that us senseless. He simply isn’t worth a big contract. Plus he shouldn’t be a lead off hitter with those pathetic OBP numbers but he’s too selfish to know that.

Agree with Matt and tw. 2 years max. And if he doesn’t take it bye bye Jimmy. We need some new blood in the lineup and plate discipline.

The Phils SS of the future is going to be one of the guys from the 2011 draft. Galvis would likely be a stop gap if used or a bench player.

From the 2011 draft? You can’t be serious. Galvis will probably be in his second or third arby year before anybody from that draft is close to MLB ready. Their hopes rest on Galvis for quite a while.

Right now the only SS better than Jimmy on the market is Reyes, but he’s going to be looking for $20 million/year for a bunch of years. I think there are other teams that are interested in Jimmy and they will drive the price and years up. Personally, I like phan52’s idea for 3 years with a nice buyout. But something tells me he’ll get a better deal elsewhere.

I have been following the Phillies for fifty years – the standards for what a lead off hitter should be are lost on JR – he is nice enough and very gregarious but unfortunately very predictable – he does not understand the tone the leadoff batter sets for the rest of the team – he doesn’t know how to work the count, swings at bad pitches, and on average takes less than three pitches per ab as a leadoff hitter – I have grown tired of his approach and would humbly suggest he needs to move on (if the Phillies are going to imporve) – if the focus of the Phillies is going to be their pitching, then like the great teams of the past who have been strong on pitching but mediocre on offense, they need a new leadoff hitter – adios, Jimmy, it’s been fun

PS Schneider ranks among the worst Phillies batters I have watched in fifty years

Forget Rollins and Cuddyer and use the money to sign Reyes. We get younger and better instantly. They can get someone like Sizemore for cheaper than Cuddyer anyway.

Reyes has missed far more games than Rollins in recent years. And the stunt he pulled at the end of the year to win the batting crown tells me all I need to know about his class and character. With all that in mind, there’s no way I would pay a guy like that Crawford/Werth money.

Wouldn’t want Reyes on my team if HE paid me. Let him go to FLorida where he and that other prima donna can enjoy each other’s company

Reyes? Just what the Phils clubhouse needs….. a poison pill….

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