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Tag:Jimmy Rollins
Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:19 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Rollins didn't leave, but sure thought about it

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jimmy Rollins has never played for any team but the Phillies. With a new three-year contract that will take him through to when he's 36, and a vesting option that could take him to age 37, there's a real chance now that Rollins will never play for any team but the Phillies.

But he sure did think about it.

Rollins said Wednesday that he was intrigued enough by the idea of playing at home in California that he even considered signing a one-year contract that would have allowed him to become a free agent again next winter.

The idea would have been that the Giants, who could use Rollins but had no money to chase him this winter, could be in a better position next year, when they won't be paying Aaron Rowand and will be entering the final year of Barry Zito's contract.

The Giants still need to pay Tim Lincecum and need money to keep Matt Cain as well, so there's no guarantee they would have chased Rollins next winter, either. Rollins, who grew up in Oakland, said he only knows that the Giants "had some players asking around" about him earlier last season.

In the end, Rollins opted for security, and opted to stay with the Phillies. Truth be told, it would have been hard for him to leave the only organization he has known, even if the California option had been open to him.

"This is where I've been since I was 17 years old," Rollins said. "If you go somewhere else, for a while, you would feel like a traitor."

Rollins did have strong interest from the Brewers, but he didn't want to leave Philadelphia to go to Milwaukee. Had there been interest from the Giants or another team in California, the decision would no doubt have been tougher.




Category: MLB
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:47 am
 

Latest on Rangers, and other meetings notes

DALLAS -- More baseball talk from the second full day at the winter meetings:

-- The hometown Rangers have watched the Marlins dominate the first two days of the meetings, and they spent Tuesday night meeting with the representative for pitcher C.J. Wilson, who they very likely will not re-sign. But the Rangers have been active on many other fronts, according to sources. They're in on free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle, and potentially in on free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Also, despite already signing closer Joe Nathan, the Rangers have considered a run at A's closer Andrew Bailey, who is available in trade.

-- The Phillies have decided against pursuing free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and will instead keep Placido Polanco at third and fully concentrate their efforts on retaining shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Ramirez still has interest from the Brewers and Angels, and the Brewers could be the best fit (assuming they don't re-sign Fielder).

-- While much of the day Tuesday was dominated by the Albert Pujols chase, agent Scott Boras has decided to let the Fielder market develop more slowly. Interested teams include the Cubs, Rangers, Mariners, Orioles and possibly the Nationals, plus the Brewers.

-- The Reds have continued to pursue starting pitching. They've been probably the most aggressive team after Jair Jurrjens of the Braves, and have also continued a dialogue with the Rays that began last July.

-- While the Marlins pursued Pujols, they also continued to look at starting pitching. The Marlins have tried for both of the top two free-agent starters (Wilson and Buehrle), and have also made trade inquiries on Gio Gonzalez of the A's and Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros, among others.

-- The Cardinals have been so focused on trying to retain Pujols that they have yet to have a full-group meeting on what path they would pursue if he leaves. Some think they could pursue Rollins or Ryan Madson, and others believe that they could jump in on Buehrle.


Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:27 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 2:28 am
 

Phillies' preference is still to keep Rollins

DALLAS -- You may have heard that the Phillies talked to free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

It's true.

You may have heard that the Phillies' talks with Jimmy Rollins hit some obstacles.

Also true.

But here's another thing that remains as true as before: The Phillies' overwhelming desire is to have Rollins back as their shortstop.

And their show of interest in Ramirez could well be part of this.

By reaching out to Ramirez, several baseball officials suggested Monday, the Phils could be showing Rollins that they do have a suitable backup plan, and thus trying to prod him to accept a deal.

So far, Rollins has been asking the Phillies for five years, with the team preferring a three-year deal (with some sources suggesting that general manager Ruben Amaro would agree to go to four years).

It's unclear what the market for Rollins is outside Philadelphia. The Brewers have met with Dan Lozano, Rollins' agent, but people familiar with their plans say that even a three-year deal may be beyond what they would do. The Nationals are considered by some to be a possibility, but Rollins does not seem to be their primary (or even secondary) focus at this point. Perhaps the Cardinals could become involved if Albert Pujols signs elsewhere, but it's hard to count on that.

People who know Rollins aren't sure how the talented but also very proud shortstop will react to all this.

Some suggest that he could view the shorter offer from the Phillies as a sign of disrespect, and respond by telling Lozano he wants to go elsewhere. Others say it's hard to believe he would leave the Phillies spotlight to go to a team like the Brewers.

"Jimmy wants to get paid," said one official who knows him. "But Jimmy likes the big stage, too."

In the end, most in baseball seem to believe that Rollins will re-sign with the only team he has known.

If not, perhaps the Phillies will come hard after Ramirez, who they have so far shown just lukewarm interest in, sources say. Ramirez has also drawn interest from the Brewers and Angels, and one person who knows him say his strong desire is to find a team with the best chance to win.

If the Phillies signed Ramirez to replace Rollins, they would go with young Freddy Galvis at shortstop, and trade incumbent third baseman Placido Polanco (which would require eating some of the remaining $7.25 million on his contract).

Would the Phillies do that?

It's possible they would. It's certain that their first choice would be to simply re-sign Jimmy Rollins.



Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:28 am
 

Brewers hope to extend Greinke, Marcum


MILWAUKEE -- For now, the Brewers are focused on shortstops, and on a certain big-money first baseman.

But don't be surprised if the biggest money they hand out this winter goes to one or more pitchers already on the roster.

According to sources familiar with the team's plans, the Brewers intend to pursue contract extensions with starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, both of whom would be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. The Brewers also plan to pursue long-term deals with some younger core players, including closer John Axford.

Greinke and Marcum were Milwaukee's two big acquisitions last winter, and the two contributed greatly to a 96-win season that gave the Brewers the National League Central crown.

It's very unlikely at this point that the Brewers will make any similarly high-profile acquisitions this winter, and even more unlikely that they'll re-sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder.

While the Brewers continue to talk to Fielder, they seem to have accepted the idea that he won't be back. And while they have talked to the agents for shortstops Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins, Brewers people say that they don't expect to be a serious contender for either one.

It's very possible, in fact, that the Brewers could end up bringing back Yuniesky Betancourt, their 2011 shortstop. And while they have discussed signing someone to replace Fielder at first base (Carlos Pena, for example), general manager Doug Melvin has talked more about giving Mat Gamel a chance at the job.

Owner Mark Attanasio is highly competitive, and never shy about spending money.

But Attanasio said Wednesday that just because the Brewers have the money to make an offer to Fielder, it doesn't follow that they would spend that money elsewhere if (when?) Fielder leaves.

"How you manage your payroll has to be opportunity-driven," Attanasio said. "We're not going to just fill the payroll for the sake of filling the payroll."

Attanasio and Melvin both made the point that the Brewers expect to contend in 2012, even without Fielder. They point to a solid core that includes Ryan Braun (who signed a long-term deal early last season), and a rotation that will return intact.

"Doug and I never felt we were 'all-in' for last year," Attanasio said.

They'd rather not be all-in for 2012, either, but extending their window of opportunity past next year would be a lot easier if they can keep together the rotation led by Greinke, Marcum and Yovani Gallardo.

Signing Greinke and Marcum this winter would make perfect sense, if it's possible.

The Brewers intend to find out if it is.


Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Rollins active while Utley gets checked

Jimmy Rollins is coming back from a strained right groin. Chase Utley may have a concussion.

The Phillies don't think Rollins is ready to play, but they're not going to take any chances with a head injury. So while Utley remained back in Philadelphia to get checked out, the Phillies activated Rollins from the disabled list for Thursday night's game in Milwaukee.

Rollins is not expected to play (he said as much on Twitter), but the Phils wanted to make sure they had enough infielders in uniform, in case of emergency.

Utley, who was hit on the helmet by a 91 mph Eric O'Flaherty pitch in the sixth inning Wednesday night, will be examined in Philadelphia by Dr. Rob Franks, the concussion specialist at the Rothman Institute.

Utley showed little reaction after he was hit, and he stayed in the game for another inning. But when he complained of a headache, manager Charlie Manuel pulled him from the game, and the Phillies decided that he would not travel with the team to Milwaukee.

Rollins, who hasn't played since Aug. 21, has been participating in pregame drills. The goal has been to make sure he is fully healthy before the playoffs, and the Phillies' expectation had been that Rollins wouldn't play in a game until sometime next week.

Michael Martinez has been starting at shortstop in place of Rollins, and the Phillies have Wilson Valdez and Pete Orr available to play in the middle of the infield. But with an expanded roster in September, there was no reason to risk being caught short, and Rollins could play in an emergency.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 11, 2011 8:22 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 8:35 pm
 

Tigers on Granderson: It's not a surprise

CLEVELAND -- The Tigers watched on their clubhouse television as Curtis Granderson hit yet another home run for the Yankees.

"He's the best player they have right now," Magglio Ordonez said.

He might well be right.

According to research through baseball-reference.com, Granderson is the first Yankee ever with 30-plus home runs, nine or more triples, 20-plus stolen bases and 100-plus runs scored in the same season. He leads the major leagues with 93 RBI, and his 32 home runs are just one behind major-league leader Jose Bautista.

"It's not a surprise," Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon said, pointing out that from 2007-09, Granderson tied David Ortiz for the most extra-base hits in the American League.

Tigers people speak about Granderson without surprise, and without regret, even though the three-team trade that sent him to the Yankees and sent Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer and others to the Tigers doesn't look nearly as favorable for Detroit as it did a year ago.

"He's having a monster year, an MVP year," manager Jim Leyland said. "It couldn't happen to a better guy."

While Granderson has already exceeded his career high in home runs, Tigers people rightly point out that the change in home ballparks is a big factor. Twenty of Granderson's 30 home runs in 2009 were hit on the road, and he had just 10 at Comerica Park. This year, 18 of his 32 home runs have been hit at Yankee Stadium.

"That place is made for him," Leyland said. "He's got lightning in that bat."

*****

While no Yankee before Granderson has had 30-plus home runs, nine or more triples, 20-plus steals and 100-plus runs, that combination isn't unheard of in baseball. Carlos Gonzalez had it for the Rockies last year, and Troy Tulowitzki did it for Colorado a year before that.

Both Gonzalez and Tulowitzki finished with exactly nine triples. But even if you go to double-digit triples, assuming that Granderson will get at least one more, you only need to go back to Jimmy Rollins' 2007 season with the Phillies.

Granderson and Rollins are already two of only four players in baseball history to have 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs and 20 steals in the same season. Both did it in 2007. The other two to do it were Willie Mays, in 1957, and Frank Schulte, in 1911.

*****

Here's a question I don't have the answer to:

Granderson batted eighth for the Yankees on opening day. What's the most home runs ever for a guy who batted eighth on opening day?
Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Phils move Rollins back to leadoff spot

The Phillies tried to make Jimmy Rollins into a third-place hitter.

It didn't work, and now he's the leadoff man again.

After the Phillies scored just three runs in their Saturday and Sunday games against the Mets, manager Charlie Manuel changed the top of his lineup for the first time this year, putting Rollins atop the order and shifting Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco down a spot, to second and third.

Polanco isn't a traditional third-place hitter -- he has just 48 home runs in the last six-plus seasons -- but he has always hit well in the clutch. Polanco is hitting .448 with runners in scoring position this year, which is why he has 19 RBI, which is 14 more than Rollins has out of the third spot.

With regular third-place hitter Chase Utley beginning the season on the disabled list, Manuel tried various combinations in spring training, including the one with Rollins leading off and Polanco hitting third. Not that he asked me, but the Rollins-Victorino-Polanco lineup is the one I liked best.

We still don't know if Rollins can be the dynamic leadoff man he once was. Rollins won the National League MVP award in 2007, and helped lead the Phllies to the World Series in 2008 and 2009. As I wrote in the Phillies camp report this spring, the Phillies are at their best when Jimmy is rolling atop the lineup.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 1:36 pm
 

Is this the year the Phils trade for a hitter?

For five straight years, the Phillies have traded for a starting pitcher at midseason.

Is this the July they deal for a hitter?

That depends.

If the last eight games represent what the Phillies really are offensively -- just 23 runs and a .540 team OPS, with only 10 extra-base hits -- then maybe they do. Even before the Phillies lost the first two games of this week's series with the Brewers, manager Charlie Manuel was bemoaning his team's lack of power.

As Manuel pointed out, Ryan Howard is the only true home run threat in the lineup right now. As one scout following the Phillies said, "The left fielder [Raul Ibanez] isn't the same guy, and right now the shortstop [Jimmy Rollins] isn't the same guy."

So they need help? Again, that depends.

It depends on whether Chase Utley can come back -- it seems now that he will, although Phillies people say Utley's condition seems to vary by the day -- and more than that it depends on whether Utley can hit as he did pre-injury.

"Utley's hit 33 home runs before," Manuel said. "He hits 25-30 home runs [in a regular year]."

That would be huge, because as Manuel said, "We've got some guys who hit 10-15 home runs. I don't know if we have anyone [besides Howard] who hits 25-30."

There are other ways to win, and despite their lack of power, the Phillies went into Wednesday's afternoon game against the Brewers with the second-best record in the National League, at 10-6.

The rotation of aces has pitched pretty much as expected, and will almost certainly keep the Phillies in contention -- at the very least -- until they figure out their offense.

"I think the Dodgers [of the 1960s] used to prove you can win with pitching and defense," Manuel said. "But Maury Wills stole 85 bases a year."

Jimmy Rollins used to steal 40-plus bases for the Phillies. But there are questions about whether Rollins can be that player anymore and, in any case, Manuel now has Rollins batting third, where he has fewer base-stealing opportunities.

Does he need help? Do the Phillies need help?

We'll see.


 
 
 
 
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