Pujols to LA Adds Wrinkle for Phillies
The Phillies and Rollins made progress this week on a new contract, so much so that nearly everybody at the Winter Meetings said they expect Rollins to remain in Philadelphia. Rollins’ agent Dan Lozano even cancelled a meeting earlier this week with the Milwaukee Brewers, who were believed to be Rollins’ other top suitor. That seemed like a pretty good sign Lozano had narrowed his focus to Philadelphia.
But things changed this morning. Pujols is leaving the St. Louis Cardinals for the Angels, which means the Cardinals suddenly have some money to spend. They need a first baseman, second baseman and shortstop, and if they don’t jump in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes (there are rumblings at the Hilton Anatole they will not) they could take a run at Rollins to fill one of their other needs. And while their history suggests otherwise, maybe the Cardinals would be willing to give Rollins what he wants.
Rollins tweeted to teammate Shane Victorino today: “something will get done, where is the question……..”
This is not saying Rollins is headed to St. Louis, but it certainly would be in Lozano’s best interest to explore every opportunity for his client, especially if talks with St. Louis can get the Phillies to increase their offer. One source indicated yesterday the Phillies had been talking about a three-year deal worth about $13 million per season. Perhaps talks with St. Louis get the Phillies to add a fourth year or an option for a fourth year.
At the very least it seems likely to drag out the process. Thoughts the Phillies and Rollins would strike an agreement before next week seem less likely after Pujols’ departure from the National League.