Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Rollins ’
Two sources confirmed an ESPN.com report today that Jimmy Rollins agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract with a vesting option for a fourth season. One source said the $11 million option is easily attainable, which likely means it does not require many plate appearances or games played to kick in.
“I see you all know by now,” Rollins said on his Twitter account @JimmyRollins11. “Gotta deal with me for 3 (4) more years!”
Rollins entered the offseason proclaiming he wanted a five-year contract or a four-year deal with a player option for a fifth season. But the market never materialized as the Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez and the Cardinals signed Rafael Furcal. Other teams that needed a shortstop like the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves simply had no plans to offer Rollins the kind of money the Phillies offered.
In the end, the Phillies made the most sense: they offered Rollins the most money and years, and they provided him the best chance to win a World Series.
As the Phillies checked out of their rooms at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas on Thursday, the news Albert Pujols signed with the Angels indicated the Phillies could have more competition for Jimmy Rollins.
The Cardinals have holes at first base, second base and shortstop, and with Pujols on the Left Coast they could spend money on Rollins, complicating things for the Phillies.
But FOXSports.com reported today the Cardinals are progressing on a deal with shortstop Rafael Furcal. That follows news the Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez. If the Cardinals resign Furcal, Rollins’ two most likely suitors other than the Phillies would no longer need a shortstop.
It is believed the Phillies have offered Rollins a three-year contract. Rollins has been seeking a five-year deal. It is possible the Phillies could add a fourth year or a fourth-year option to keep Rollins. But unless there is a mystery team out there looking for a shortstop, it appears Rollins will not find a five-year contract. And with St. Louis potentially out of the picture, he might not find a team that is willing to offer more than the Phillies, either.
But Rollins’ agent is Dan Lozano, who got Pujols to leave St. Louis for Los Angeles. Anything is possible, certainly in an offseason that has seen Pujols leave St. Louis, Jose Reyes leave New York, Mark Buehrle leave Chicago and Prince Fielder expected to leave Milwaukee.
Rollins still could leave Philadelphia. The problem at the moment is finding a place where he would go.
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.
Nearly everybody at the Winter Meetings expects the Phillies to resign Jimmy Rollins.
It could happen soon, but a deal wasn’t expected Wednesday night.
Ruben Amaro Jr. and Dan Lozano, who is Rollins’ agent, did not meet today. Sources from both parties refuted a report in the evening they had agreed on a new contract. That is true for the moment, but one source said they are close. Lozano cancelled yesterday’s meeting with the Brewers, who were believed to be Rollins’ other top suitor, which is a strong indication the Phillies are moving closer to a resolution.
It is unclear if Amaro and Lozano plan to meet before the Winter Meetings conclude with tomorrow morning’s Rule 5 Draft. If not, a deal could happen within the week.
Rollins has said publicly he wants a five-year contract, but that seems unlikely without a group of teams pursuing him. The Phillies have been looking for a three-year deal and might get it, although they could add a fourth year or a fourth-year option. The average annual value of the deal could be $13 million per season.
Tom Haudricourt from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Brewers are hearing Jimmy Rollins is staying in Philadelphia.
There are no indications an agreement is imminent, but like I wrote previously, everybody believes Rollins is staying in Philly. I could see a three-year contract with a fourth-year option, although others are reporting they might jump to four years to make it happen. That wouldn’t surprise me. Rollins has a close relationship with Phillies president David Montgomery, so Montgomery might give the front office the go-ahead to add an extra year to make this happen sooner rather than later.
A few thoughts on the Rollins negotiations:
- Most everybody roaming the Hilton Anatole lobby believes Rollins will resign with the Phillies, even the lady that sold me the $12 turkey sandwich yesterday. It’s just a matter of when.
- Rollins has been searching for a five-year contract, but I don’t see any team giving that to him. The Brewers? Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said yesterday, “We have nothing that suits our desires at this point for the financial situation that we have.” I’ve been told they would love Rollins, but on nothing more than a three-year deal. Maybe less than that. The Cardinals? I’ve been told they’re not really interested, or they’d be interested if they lose Albert Pujols, but would not overpay for him. The Giants would like him, but apparently don’t have the money. The Mets are not looking to add salary. So, really, the Phillies appear to be the only team really pursuing Rollins. That would seem to favor the Phillies, right?
- Here’s a question: say the Brewers offer a slightly better deal than the Phillies. Is there any way Rollins goes to Milwaukee? Listen, I’m from Milwaukee. I love it there. But some people like to call Rollins a “red light” player. He loves the limelight. He’s going to play in relative anonymity in Milwaukee. Summer and fall weekends in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are different than New York and Florida (especially if the Marlins sign Pujols). Interleague series against Boston are different than interleague series with the Twins. I’d have to think Rollins would miss that.
- The Phillies remain one of the best — if not the best — team in baseball. Rollins has said the opportunity to win is going to be a factor in his decision. The Brewers have a good team now, but they don’t have the money to throw at problems like the Phillies.
- Rollins lives in South Jersey. His wife is from here. He has relationships here. If he leaves he’s just a baseball player coming to a new team. He’s not J-Roll in Milwaukee or St. Louis. He’s the guy trying to make up for the losses of Prince Fielder or Pujols. It’s quite a different situation.
- Here’s my best guess when Rollins makes a decision: Monday or Tuesday. Why? Because the last two offseasons the Phillies have finalized deals with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee the week following the winter meetings.
Sources confirmed tonight that talks between the Phillies and Ryan Madson have ratcheted up, although it is unknown if the sides are any closer to a deal. ESPN.com first reported the Phillies making a “strong push” to keep Madson. FOXSports.com cited a source saying the parties are “possibly nearing an agreement.”
Ruben Amaro Jr. does not discuss contract negotiations, but he said Saturday he cannot afford to be patient and let the free agency process drag deep into the winter. If that happens and Rollins and Madson ultimately sign elsewhere, they could find themselves without suitable replacements.
“If Jimmy and Ryan are not on our club, then we have to make sure we have the most potential choices,” he said. “We don’t want to let all of our options slip by, so we’re going to be aggressively patient, I guess.”
The Phillies also have some interest in free agent closers Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell and Joe Nathan should they get the feeling they can’t resign Madson at a price they’re comfortable with. Papelbon and Bell are represented by Seth and Sam Levinson, who have a good relationship with the Phillies. The Levinsons had four clients on the 2011 Phillies roster: Raul Ibanez, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Ross Gload.
This isn’t big news, but 148 players became free agents this morning. Free agents are eligible to sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
The Phillies have seven free agents:
- Ross Gload
- Raul Ibanez
- Brad Lidge
- Ryan Madson
- Roy Oswalt
- Jimmy Rollins
- Brian Schneider
It’s tough to blame them. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, but have played like the Houston Astros since clinching the National League East on Saturday. They have looked deader than dead, losing six consecutive games and getting swept in their first three- or four-game series since Aug. 2010.
The Phillies have six games to play before Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 1.
“That’s definitely enough time, but we do have to pick it up,” Charlie Manuel said. “It’s time for us to kick it and get ready for the playoffs.”
If you watched tonight’s ugly loss you know Roy Oswalt pitched much better than his line indicated. He looks ready for the postseason. But the offense looks like it’s in the early stages of spring training. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were a combined 0-for-36 with five walks in the series against the Nationals.
“I’ll give a bat to anybody that boos and if they want to go up to the plate and think it’s that easy I’ll be glad to give them my bat,” Victorino said. “We hear the frustration from the crowd. They’re deserving and (they have the right to) feel frustration, but as a player you can’t sit there and mope about it.”
It hasn’t helped the Phillies have been without Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence. Howard will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in New York. He will not play Saturday, but Manuel said he will turn Howard loose Sunday. Pence should be back Saturday.
Maybe that gets them going. Maybe the Phillies can just flip the switch.
Oswalt doesn’t sound like he’s a big believer in “flipping the switch.”
“I’ve seen teams with the best record get beat in the first round,” Oswalt said. “It’s really the hottest team going in. Hopefully the next six games we’ll turn it around and start playing a little bit better, but teams that are hot when the playoffs start are tough to beat.”
It doesn’t take a genius to know Charlie Manuel is worried about the offense.
The Phillies could have clinched the NL East last night, but failed to take advantage in a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals in 11 innings. Asked how frustrated he was about that, he said, “We didn’t do enough hitting tonight to get there.” That’s what we call reading between the lines. Manuel was asked how frustrated he was to have to wait another night, and he answered a question about the offense.
The Phillies have averaged 2.0 runs per game in their last eight games (Sept. 10-16), which ranks last in the National League. They’re hitting .205 (last) with a .261 on-base percentage (last) and a .324 slugging percentage (14th). This is not the best time to get into a team-wide slump, considering a lack of offense cost them in last year’s NLCS. But the Phillies have not had their projected everyday lineup together since Aug. 6 in San Francisco. And lately, they have been without Jimmy Rollins, who has missed time with a strained groin; Chase Utley, who missed time with a concussion; and Ryan Howard, who has not started four of the last 10 games because of bursitis in his left Achilles.
Maybe that has something to do with it. I’m sure Manuel hopes that’s the case.
The offense has been a tale of two halves:
- April – June: 4.01 runs per game (eighth in the league), .244 average (10th), .318 OBP (seventh) and .374 slugging (11th).
- July – Sept. 9: 5.41 runs per game (first), .269 average (second), .337 OBP (second) and .439 slugging (first).
Are they turning back the clock at the wrong time?
Keep an eye on Justin De Fratus and Joe Savery, who were called up last night. The Phillies’ bullpen has been a little rocky lately, so maybe they could pitch themselves onto the postseason roster. Savery is especially interesting because of Antonio Bastardo‘s recent struggles. Bastardo is the only left-hander in the bullpen, so if he is scuffling the Phillies might have to consider Savery as a second option.
Sad news: KYW’s Jack O’Rourke died last night after covering the Phillies game. A very, very nice man. He covered every spring training since I’ve been on the beat, which is how I will remember him — getting interviews from players in Clearwater and returning to one of the radio booths in the press box to send sound back to Philadephia. He always had a smile on his face and always greeted me the same way:
“What’s up, Jack?”
He was the only person to call me that. Thoughts and prayers with his family. He will be missed.