If one has followed Major League Baseball, you have seen the Phillies go from World Series champs into pennant winners to NLDS division winners to a .500 to a lousy team, which is where the Phillies sit presently. During the Phillies “Fall From Grace,” Ruben Amaro, Jr., has been the ship’s captain. Amaro is still making decisions. It’s okay to snicker at the Phillies’ plight.
The latest reason to chuckle at Amaro and the Phillies is the rumor from Jayson Stark that the Yankees asked about Jimmy Rollins, but the high asking price made them run away screaming. The Phillies, who are going to be horrible and have little need for a 36-year-old shortstop during this transitional period, is stupid for asking for so much.
This is a similar story to that of Cole Hamels. There are enough differences between the two players to makethe circumstances different. If the Phillies are a few years away from winning, Hamels probably will still be around to help the next good Phillies team. Rollins, though, is a longest of longshots to still be around for the next Phillies team. He’s much more likely to help in a casino-greeter capacity than as a good player on a good Phillies team.
This past season, Rollins outplayed a shortstop who just signed an $88 million contract, another shortstop who won the Gold Glove, and many players in the American League. He’ll be 36, young for a Yankees shortstop, but he’s coming off his best year since the Phillies won the World Series. Rollins should not be given up for nothing.
That written, exactly what would the Yankees want to trade for him? He’s a pending free agent making $11 million, and while that’s nifty company he’s keeping up there, he’s 36, and he’s coming off a suspiciously productive season. It was Rollins’s best season out of his last six — a total red flag when combined with his age. Assuming he’s more of a two-win shortstop puts him closer to guys like Jordy Mercer, Zack Cozart, and Chris Owings. Fine players, all, and perhaps players the Yankees would pay $11 million for a season if they had the chance. But no one you’d want for a year and $11 million and at the cost of a top prospect.
Ah, so the Phillies are asking for too much. Except, what should they be asking for? Should they be asking for salary relief and nothing else? Not really. Rollins is still good, and he’s still a fan favorite in Philadelphia, where he’s played for 15 seasons.
The Phillies will trade Howard, and while it’s not an impossible task, it’ll be an expensive one.
Jimmy Rollins can fetch more for the Phillies than a guy playing in the minors and not succeeding (a lower level prospect. There are players and potential deals that call for a token prospect, usually because the veteran player has absolutely zero value to the rebuilding team. Rollins, certainly has some value, both on and off the field, for the Phillies.
A decent prospect? Yes, there’s no reason for the Phillies to settle, not yet. It’s never a bad idea to look for the next Scott Hairston; it’s usually a bad idea to trade in one of your last remaining chips on a prospect who might be that guy. The Phillies will still have July 31 to use as a trade chip. There’s still leverage, assuming Rollins doesn’t completely disintegrate in the first half.
The Phillies could attain a really good prospect and the Phils needs some of those. Just what do the Yankees want to give up for Rollins? They don’t want to give up a top prospect, even if the Phillies pay some of the salary. Do the Yankees have any of those? The trade does seem do-able , not unless the Phillies are willing to accept a B- prospect, just to make sure they get something for their veteran shortstop.
There’s more value in a commercial to fans coming to watch Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies attempt to pass over the the Braves” and Rollins uniform Jersey sales, than there is in the chance that Random Prospect X turns into a regular. That is not to say popular, veterans should never be dealt, but they shouldn’t be handed over either.
You can chuckle at the time Amaro said that the Phillies needed to “get younger,” so he signed Michael and Delmon But asking for a good return for a good player isn’t one of them.