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Jimmy Rollins wants to re-sign with the Phillies … as long as they give him a five-year contract

Oct 11, 2011, 1:53 PM EDT

Gary Cederstrom, Jimmy Rollins

Last week impending free agent Jimmy Rollins explained that he won’t be giving a “hometown discount” to the Phillies and today the former MVP told reporters that he’ll be looking for a five-year contract on the open market.

During a press conference this morning Rollins made it clear that he wants to re-sign with the Phillies and spend his entire career in Philadelphia, but “I’m looking to get five years … if it’s going to be shorter, there’d have to be a fifth-year option, my option.”

Four years with a fifth-year player option is basically just five years anyway.

Of course, the fact that Rollins wants a five-year contract as he approaches free agency has little bearing on whether any team will actually give him a five-year contract. He remains one of the better all-around shortstops in baseball, but he’ll be 33 years old next month and has hit .255 with a .316 on-base percentage and .403 slugging percentage during the past three seasons while missing 100 games with injuries.

Committing to Rollins at big money through his age-37 season would be incredibly foolish for any team, as he’s no longer an elite player and very few shortstops avoid a significant decline in their mid-30s.

Rollins noted that he’s open to re-signing quickly if the Phillies offer him an acceptable five-year deal, calling it “a no-brainer.” More likely is that he’ll hit the open market in search of a five-year deal that just isn’t there and then perhaps come back to the Phillies for, say, a three-year pact. On the other hand, it only takes one crazy general manager to make a five-year contract a reality.

  1. bilaterallegweakness - Oct 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Nice try, but you may need a lesson from Calcaterra on how to troll the Philly Phans.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    I watched the press conference and have nothing else to add besides what Aaron wrote.

    • halladaysbicep - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Basically I just wanted to see myself on the internet. Kind of like how I call home and leave messages, so I can feel joy for a second that someone actually tried to contact me, once that buzz wears off, I get to hear my voice.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        I’m all for trollin bicepts but you should have at least put -ss- at the end of your name. It’s too obvious without the s there. Or try to be like that dweeb pronatorteres and pick a different muscle.

        Regardless, puns on his names are old. Just go after him directly. Watch.

        Bicepts: (insert name calling here).

    • kopy - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Aaron is good at that.

    • cur68 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Hey HB: your own eponymous troll. Nice. Now you know you’ve arrived in these parts. When they care enough to do their very best…

      *makes secret HBT salute*

      • bigxrob - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        I miss Curr68, he was quite the troll.

      • cur68 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        Yeah, me too. Gave something to look forward to in the mornings besides the think-tank nerd fest. I mean, I like that stuff too, but every once in a while its kind of nice to get the old condescension on for someone who really deserves it. My little buddy was good for allowing me to really refine my venom, snark and add some bite to the old witticisms. Hope he’s still out there, bless his corroded little soul.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Why comment then? I’m asking strictly out of intellectual curiosity. Isn’t the easiest way to let everyone know that you have nothing to add to…well…not add anything at all? I didn’t feel the urge to go to the Scientific American site when a bunch of scienceticians thought they discovered particles that traveled faster than the speed of light and say “I have nothing to add to this story”.

      I just find this comment strange.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM


      You make yourself look stupid. You don’t need my help.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        *Sob, sniff, sob* Why are you so mean? *sniff sniff* We all can’t have your charm, people skills, intelligence, correct political affiliations and baseball smarts. *sniff*

    • halladaysbicep - Oct 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      ugh, I’ve had Velveeta shits all day..

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    He needs to be open to not leading off and switching to third base.

    • kopy - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:13 PM

      I don’t think he hits well enough to be a 3rd baseman, unless he’s going to put up elite defense, which isn’t a likelihood at his age.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        On the surface I agree, however, third base in the NL was crap this year. I haven’t done the research, but it seems to me that his offensive numbers of this year would have been acceptable. He is losing some range at SS and the Phillies have a GG caliber SS in the minors… 21 year old Freddy Galvis. He needs a full season at AAA but should be ready in 2013. The Phillies cannot block him for another 3 or 4 years, it makes no sense. Hence, my suggestion to play Rollins at third. It is a moot point because I doubt Rollins would go for it.

      • CJ - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Good Doc,

        I’ve felt all season this was Jimmy’s last year. He won’t go to 3rd and I don’t think they should block Galvis for even 3 years, let alone 5.

        I’d be shocked if they made a run at Reyes for the same reasons. Because of the timing, I think they may bring Galvis up a year too soon and if he can’t cut it, get an SS near the deadline (think: Brown-Francisco-Mayberry-whoever / Pence in right this season). They’ll spend their money on perhaps a guy like Cuddyer who can play all the corners (1st, 3rd, left), which is where they’ll be weakest next season, and hope Polanco holds up at least until Howard gets back, Mayberry continues his development, and Brown can contribute at least a little. Cuddyer shouldn’t be incredibly expensive (assuming he’s an FA, I think he is but am too lazy to confirm), and would fit their biggest need.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        wOBA – .329
        wRC – 106

        That would put him 4th out of qualified 3B in the NL in wOBA, and fourth in wRC (one behind #3 Ryan Roberts)

      • Joe - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        I’m not sure I get the “he won’t go to third” bit. That to me is like every year with Michael Young, he ends up playing where the manager puts him.

        What would Rollins do if he was pencilled in at third base? Go stand atright in front of Galvis and say, “I’m the shortstop. I play short.”?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        He might bitch and whine about it. He seems to quietly complain/sulk when he is moved out of the lead off spot. Hence, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he would not fully embrace a position change, particularly one where he has one Gold Gloves. Maybe he wouldn’t be all that accepting that the kid would be a defensive upgrade there.

      • CJ - Oct 11, 2011 at 4:10 PM


        You make a valid point. I guess it comes down to how up front the Phils’ FO is about it. If they tell him know that if he resigns, he’ll move to third once Polanco’s deal is up, I think he’ll prefer to go somewhere he can be an SS for the life of the deal.

        If they play dumb, sign him, and then move him to 3rd after next season, then yeah I agree, I don’t think he’ll like it necessarily but he’d do it anyway.

    • b7p19 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      That would be one weak hitting third baseman. There is just no way the Phillies can commit to him for five years unless they decide they’re OK with wasting money on the backend in hopes of winning another WS.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

        Third base was terrible in the NL this year…hence Polanco being an All-Star. I agree, third base is traditionally a power position but not really this year.

  4. gogigantos - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    “old grizzled vet wants to go out a winner, looking to sign with a team likely to contend now,, not a team saddled with huge contracts and a geriatric offense” said Rollins, himself nearly geriatric himself, and not a proven winner.

    • gogigantos - Oct 11, 2011 at 11:17 PM

      my nightmare is Sabes signing him for Zito Worth Crawford money and 6 years,,,,,,,,

  5. browngoat25 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    My guess is that someone else will offer more years than the Phillies will. A lineup with Victorino, Utley, Pence and Howard would be top heavy, but who would play shortstop until Galvis is ready? Maybe Clint Barmes might be worth a look if Rollins signs elsewhere.

    • CJ - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      don’t be shocked if they give Galvis the shot a little too soon, and pick someone up near the deadline if he isn’t ready. Even with some big salaries coming off the books and whatever they get from insurance from Howard, they can’t afford nearly 8 digit salaries at almost every position.

      Barmes wouldn’t be a bad idea though

  6. PhillieBirds - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    This is frustrating because it is clearly his right to test free agency and hope he hits it big, but I’ve been of the opinion that he’s thought waaaaay to highly of himself for a number of years now. He’s not the sole reason the Phils are a great team now, and often times it comes off that he feels that way. His stubborn plate approach and declining numbers should prevent a 5 year deal, but who knows if one team is crazy enough to throw it out there.
    I appreciate all of his proclamations, defensive stops, and big hits over the years, but I don’t see the Phils offering any more than 3 yrs, maybe with an option for a 4th. The guy said during his presser today that his offensive skills haven’t declined since his MVP year. It’s one thing to say that to the press, but if he believes that and is negotiating with that frame of mind, I think he may be a goner.

  7. xmatt0926x - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Who says Galvis won’t be here next season? Apparently he’s been a major league level defensive player since he was about 17. Yeah, he’s probably going to bat .235, but if you can use the money savings for an upgrade somewhere else tghen why not? Is Rollins serious with his 5 year demand? He has never struck me as being one of these unrealistic and warped athletes that have no clue how the rest of the world see’s him. He has to understand that nobody is giving him 5 years. I think 3 years is a stretch for the Phillies. And then he’s going to want $10-12 million per on top of that? No way. It’s time to cut him loose and realize that the dreams of this core winning another couple rings is over with. The pitching is still there for another run or two but they need a few new pieces. They need to get real lucky with a Lance Berkman type who has a little gas left and only requires a year by year contract.

    • paperlions - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      Maybe the Phils can swing a deal for Ryan Theriot….I hear the Cards were in 1st place while he was playing SS this year…he’s that good. :-)

    • phillyphreak - Oct 11, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      I agree 5 years is way too many. But then again no one thought Werth would get the deal he did. Someone could make that offer to Rollins.

      I think 3 years would be a fair contract offer. Galvis may be glove ready but the last thing this lineup needs is another low OBP guy (even lower than Rollins). Unless you want them to take a run at Furcal for a 1 year deal and sign another player like Cuddyer.

      Should be an interesting off season…..

  8. 12strikes - Oct 11, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Dear Jroll
    I hear your looking for a GM that loves to over pay players and give out long term contacts.

    I know a guy. I’ll give him your name.

    See you in the spring.

    J. Werth

  9. Jonny 5 - Oct 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Jimmy, I love you man, you were one of the Phillies best players in the playoffs this season. But 5 years? NO Man, I gotta say No. You’ve been hurt, and less than elite. Please come to your senses before you flip your life upside down and move out of town. I know “But Ryan got”… I know. Life isn’t fair and I don’t think Amaro is going to eff up twice in two years in a row. That is all.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

      Is it too late to trade him for Michael Bourne? That way we get another original Phillie back and solve the lead-off hitter issue and the left field issue in one stroke (Either Victorino or Bourne could play LF).

  10. schmedley69 - Oct 11, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Jimmy. Your lack of hustle and jabs at the fans were aggravating when you were an elite player, but now that you are an old and injured player clearly in decline, those traits are unacceptable. It will be nice to have a leadoff man who actually runs hard to first base for a change. Enjoy your 5-year deal with the Nats (or similar bad, desperate team).

  11. skyeye67 - Oct 11, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    What’s really most telling about this is when he decided to make the announcement about his intention to seek 5 years…right at the beginning of the playoffs after having said very little all season. To me, his mindset is all screwed up.

  12. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 12, 2011 at 6:29 AM

    I’d give him five years (but I’d only pay him for three.)

  13. dasher521 - Oct 12, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Asking for 4 years with a 1 year player option is just a negotiation, not a deal breaker. Moving from shortstop is a deal breaker for Jimmy. If the Jimmy and the Phillies come to terms, it will be as a shortstop. I don’t think the front office feels Galvis is ready. When Aaron Rowan was with the Phillies, I loved him. As a free agent asking for 5 years at $12 million, I didn’t love him. So, same with Jimmy, three years, yes. Four, I don’t know that I love him. The question is, if he goes, who plays short? There’s only been one great career (spent entirely with) Phillie, Mike Shcmidt. Jimmy isn’t in the Schmidt category, a notch below. But I hope it works out that Jimmy becomes number two.

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