Bah humbug! It is getting very close to Christmas, and Jimmy Rollins still has not been re-signed by the Phillies. After weeks of speculation that a deal is near, Philadelphia is left to wonder if this is ever going to happen.
This week, a “mystery team” was leaked that supposedly has interest in Rollins. Who could this mystery team be? Is it Detroit? Is it the Red Sox? Is it the Rockford Peaches? My guess is it’s just a smokescreen sent out by JRoll’s agent in one last-ditch effort to have an upper hand in negotiations with the Phillies. It is pretty clear that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has called Rollins’ bluff and is not going to offer near the five-year deal that Jimmy is said to be looking for.
As the offseason draws closer and closer to being over, Rollins has sat back and watched as lesser players have taken over at shortstop in the markets that he was hoping to get interest from. Milwaukee bailed out fairly early, inking Alex Gonzalez to a contract. They went the safe/cheaper route. St. Louis signed Rafael Furcal to a two-year, $14 million deal (pennies compared to the five-year deal that Rollins is looking for) and the Red Sox just signed reliable Nick Punto to a two-year deal gives him a chance to be the possible starter for 2012.
I do not have a negative image of Jimmy, as many fans do. I see him now for what he is. Rollins is a onetime MVP who is still a huge contributor to a team that needs exactly what he brings to the table. He is an above-average defensive shortstop who bats at the top of the Phillies lineup, is a vocal leader in the locker room and has a knack for performing in clutch situations. I am sure Rollins sees himself much like I do, however, there is the fact he is 33 years old and has declined in most statistical categories in recent years. There is no way Amaro will give him a five-year deal, probably not even a four-year deal.
Now, it’s time for Rollins to bite the bullet and come back home to where he has spent his entire career. The grass may look greener on the other side, but both Rollins and Ruben know their best chance to win more titles is with Rollins in Philly. Besides, it’s the place Rollins will be happiest. I understand money can take precedence over happiness, in some cases, but this is not one of them. With that being said, let’s stop messing around and ink this deal before a big void is left in Philadelphia and for Rollins. He needs us and we need him. Pay the man a nice three-year deal, and let’s all have a happy holiday!