NL East Notes: Rollins, Syndergaard, Braves, Carroll

A fair amount of ink has already been dedicated to the friction between Jimmy Rollins and new manager Ryne Sandberg this spring, and ESPN's Buster Olney now reports that there's a strong sentiment within the Phillies organization that the team would be better off trading its longtime shortstop as soon as possible (Twitter link). However, as Olney notes, Rollins has 10-and-5 rights (10 years of Major League service and five consecutive with the same team), meaning he has the right to void any trade. Rollins told CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury as recently as yesterday that he has no plans to waive his 10-and-5 rights anytime in the near future: "If we’re in absolutely last place with nowhere to go and change is obviously on the horizon, then at that point I’d think about it. But anything short of a complete disaster, I’m wearing red and white pinstripes." Rollins has already said as much this spring, indicating that he'd like to become the Phillies' all-time hits leader and set some other records with the club (he's currently 60 hits shy).

More Rollins- and NL-East-related items for your Tuesday morning…

  • Andy Martino of the New York Daily News spoke with team sources from the Mets and Yankees regarding potential interest in Rollins (both could use some infield help). He was told that the Yankees think it would be too awkward to bring in a name that big in Derek Jeter's final season, and the Mets source simply replied, "Don't see it."
  • Also from Martino's piece, Mets top prospect Noah Syndergaard was reassigned to the minor leagues today, and while he's likely to make his Major League debut in 2014, he probably won't pitch a full season until 2016. Martino reports that Syndergaard is capped around 150 innings this season, and because the team tries to limit starting pitcher increases to 30 innings per season, he'll likely be capped around 180 in 2015.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Bowman, that the team plans to revisit the rehab process of Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy in an attempt to figure out why each player appears headed for a second Tommy John surgery. Said Wren: "I think we're always evaluating and looking at how we do things and why we do them and do we need to make changes? … I don't think we'll ever stop researching and analyzing. But I can't tell you today that we feel there is a common link [between Medlen and Beachy] other than that they're wearing the same uniform."
  • Jamey Carroll's focus is currently on making the Nationals roster, but he tells Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com that he's intrigued with the possibility of becoming a manager somewhere down the line. Carroll has been suggested as a future manager by many of his former coaches and teammates. He calls the fact that young players have been seeking him out for advice in camp with the Nats "humbling," though he hints that when his playing career is done, he may first take some time with his family before getting back into the game.


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37 Comments on "NL East Notes: Rollins, Syndergaard, Braves, Carroll"


1 year 5 months ago

Phillies would be smart to deal with Rollins in a fashion that doesn’t create a PR nightmare. His easily attainable option is their fault not his. The fans are going to be lining up to side with Amaro on this one.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t see any situation where Rollins gets traded. Between his 10-5 rights, attitude problems, age, decline in performance and easily obtainable vesting option for 2015 he’s nearly untradeable.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 5 months ago

He only needs 434 PA this season to lock in $11 million for next year. Anyone trading for him needs to assume that they’re most likely getting him for 2 years at $11 million per.

1 year 5 months ago

They should just release him quickly if they don’t want him around. Benching him excessively during the season is just going to anger the fans especially when they’re not expected to contend. It’s a lot of money to eat, but it does escape the mess.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Releasing him will anger fans too plus if the Phillies release him, another team signs him for league minimum and he receives 434 PA I believe the Phillies would then have to pay him another 11 MM for 2015.

1 year 5 months ago

I had thought about the option, thanks for mentioning it. The whole vesting bit makes it hard to work around.

Even then, it might be a better plan then keeping him around disgruntled and sitting on the bench while Phillies sports writers about how unfairly he’s being treated and that option is fairly easily attainable. If they don’t want Rollins on the team, they should send him away right now when it won’t be a distraction during the season. There’s no real good way out of this one for them.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

Is that true, about having to pay the vesting option if they release him and he gets those PA for another team?

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

If a player is released he is not required to fulfill his obligations under the contract (he is released from the contract) however unless Rollins releases the Phillies from their part of the contract (retirement would be one way to do that) they still have to pay him if he receives 434 MLB PA in 2014 as their obligations under the contract remain in place.

Henry Stokes
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think that would be the case. Once he is released the contract is terminated (aside from the payments owed at that time). I think in most cases the club has complete control over terminating the contract and the player has no say.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

A clubs obligations under a terminated contract (IE released player) remains unchanged. Per the CBA: “If a Club terminates a multi-year Uniform Player’s Contract while it remains obligated to pay Salary under either this Agreement or a Special Covenant to the Contract, Salary shall be allocated to that Club for each Contract Year during which its obligation continues.”

Vesting options if triggered are part of “a multi-year Uniform Player’s Contract” and the club “remains obligated to pay Salary under this Agreement.”

Henry Stokes
1 year 5 months ago

Interesting. I’m not sure if that means the option needs to be triggered before the termination of the contract for this to apply. Regardless, releasing Rollins right now would be a mistake.

Zack Autry
1 year 5 months ago

Its not complete coincidence that the Braves are at the top of the heap of teams with the most TJ surgeries. Its mind boggling to think of reasons why that’s the case.

Gnotorious
1 year 5 months ago

Rollins would be a good fit with Detroit.

Curt Green
1 year 5 months ago

Rollins, what a team leader.

WolandJR
1 year 5 months ago

The Braves should look at the Nats model for rehabbing pitchers from TJ as one series of data points. No major setbacks with any of their pitchers recovering from TJ… and there have been a lot of them.

EmDash
1 year 5 months ago

As a Nats fan…none *yet.* I hope that remains the case, but it’s probably best not to get ahead of ourselves on this.

Danny Phillips
1 year 5 months ago

The Nats may have 3/5 of their rotation this year (Strasburg, Zimmermann Jordan) who have had TJ as well as their top prospect (Giolito). I am holding my breath that they all avoid a second TJ in the future. The Nationals seem to have developed a proper program in dealing with it, but it only takes one pitch unfortunately to happen again….

Bryan Knight
1 year 5 months ago

Stras will be ok as long as he doesn’t have to face the Braves too much. He might throw his arm out trying harder to hit batters to get thrown out of games hes getting rocked in..lol. im sorry I had to. Should be a good battle with yall Nats this year.

Gothapotamus
1 year 5 months ago

Nats win the division handily. The Braves have next to no pitching now. Gavin Floyd isn’t a realistic option to replace Medlen or Beachy’s assumed production, despite Braves fans proclaiming Floyd is a worthy replacement.

Bryan Knight
1 year 5 months ago

It will be close. Nats offense, which pretty much has to be better than last year, will not be as good as the Braves and also the Braves still have probably the top 3 if not the best bullpen. Meds is really the only loss as I didn’t figure beachy to contribute too much this year. One more injury could change things but right now I say its pretty even. Braves will get better production out of BJ and 2nd base this year along with a full season of Heyward to make up for the loss of McCann.

BG921
1 year 5 months ago

I think the Braves rotation isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Teheran is still young and getting better, Minor is as good as any lefty in the league, Wood will surprise people with how good he can be, Santana gives them innings and should build off joining an NL team with a great defense. David Hale is a lot like Beachy in terms of ability and flying under the radar. From there, Floyd and Garcia can fill in when needed or when ready. Their offense, defense, and bullpen are still the best in the division. Beachy didn’t impact the race last season and the Braves had Hudson (97 ERA+) and Maholm (87 ERA+) in the rotation most of the season. It’s foolish to sleep on this team.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 5 months ago

as recently as yesterday that he has no plans to waive his 10-and-5 rights anytime in the near future
If the Phillies really want to send a message, they could just simply release him.

Danny Phillips
1 year 5 months ago

Unless Espinosa gets traded, doubtful Mr. Carroll makes the team.

KJ4realz
1 year 5 months ago

Should’ve never re-signed Rollins

Phillyfan425
1 year 5 months ago

FA options after 2011 season: Clint Barmes, Wilson Betemit, Ronny Cedeno, Alex Cora, Rafael Furcal, Cesar Izturis, John McDonald, Jose Reyes, Ramon Santiago, and Jack Wilson.

In house options (above A+ ball) after 2011 season: Kevin Frandsen, Pete Orr, Niuman Romero, Troy Hanzawa, Freddy Galvis, Brian Bocock, Ozzie Chavez, and Robbie Hudson.

Nobody (outside of Jose Reyes) screams “sign me” or “start me” on an MLB roster, for a team coming off it’s best season in franchise history. Jimmy was the right choice then, the same way, that even in his declined state, he is the right choice now.

KJ4realz
1 year 5 months ago

The team was starting the decline as was Rollins. That’s when they should have started going cheaper and younger. Sign one year deals for players. It just prolonged the inevitable

Phillyfan425
1 year 5 months ago

I never understood why people wanted the Phillies to do that over the last 2 years (go with young, cheap – and most important, worse – talent). Rollins wasn’t holding anyone in the organization back. They haven’t exactly been cash strapped (they’ve been up against the luxury tax the last couple of seasons – but who has that really hindered them from signing? BJ Upton? Josh Hamilton? Ryan Ludwick? Michael Bourn?). What’s the point of “saving” $10 M one season, if they don’t get the benefit of spending it the next (I could see if resigning Jimmy put them over the luxury tax, but it didn’t). They saw Quinn as the SS of the future (until they drafted Crawford). Galvis wasn’t considered because he’s not good enough to be an everyday starter in the NL. You might be able to get away with him as a starter in the AL – but not the NL. He’s not an “elite” defender (he’s very good – but not near enough to make up for his poor bat). If I’m paying money to go to the park, I’d much rather see Jimmy on the field than Galvis (or any of the cheap options from the FA list) even if he cost the billionaires an extra $10 M.

Mike1L
1 year 5 months ago

Rollins runs the risk that he sits more than he plays, and doesn’t vest. He won’t be happy with that, but you are taking about someone who has an OPS+ of under 100 five of the last six years and had a OPS of .667 last year, with .2 WAR. That’s not a guy who earns 700 plate appearances. And not a guy who would bring a lot in return in a trade, particularly not at his salary.

BusterMaloney
1 year 5 months ago

Yes he had below average OPS in 5 of the last 6 years… but that stat actually doesn’t really tell us very much. The reason he got resigned and for the amount that he was signed for is because his numbers for a Shortstop were above average. Look back over the course of those years, he was a Top 10 SS bat every year. Some years even Top 5. Then look at some of the names in front of him and you find a few of them were real butchers defensively whereas Rollins was a strong defender.

It is not how his bat relates to all other bats in baseball, the real issue is how his bat relates to the bats of other Shortstops. Now he very clear had a poor year last year. The question remains whether that was because he is old and declining or if it was just a really poor year and he will bounce back to an extent this year.

Heres the best way for the Phillies to approach this. Play him as their everyday SS. By the time June/July rolls around he will have set the record. At that point one of two things will have happened. Either he will have shown last season was no aberration and this is who he is now. Or the Phils will have played their way out of contention and be sitting below .500. In both scenarios the Phils can then approach him and say it is time they start examining the future and that they are going to need to give playing time to younger players such as Galvis to see what they have.

They can then ask him if he would be willing to waive his 10 and 5 rights. If they do it this way, he may be willing to waive them because they treated him with respect and didn’t take shots at him in the media or jerk him around after everything he has done for the franchise.

Pei Kang
1 year 5 months ago

A potential Rollins deal to the Mets? And I’m the Jolly Green Giant….

Kevin Michael Farrell
1 year 5 months ago

I dont know about my fellow Mets Fans, But I would rather have an 8 man field than have Rollins in a Mets Jersey! I never want to see that punk in a Mets Jersey! EVER! I’d rather go another 28 years before the next championship!

BG921
1 year 5 months ago

It’s interesting that someone says the Nationals way of handling pitchers after Tommy John is successful. Strasburg is always dealing with nagging ailments, Zimmerman has had two fine seasons, but is always a pitch away from disaster, Fister is already dealing with elbow issues, and they have numerous pitching prospects dealing with Tommy John rehab/injuries. I don’t think they have the best model for developing prospects and it’s not as if the Braves have a bad system in place. With Medlen, he just may be prone to elbow issues. I still think the way Bobby Cox used him as a set-up man and later forced him into the rotation is the reason for some of his problems. With Beachy, his mechanics are just bad. He makes a very blatant inverted “W” which usually leads to trouble. Going back further, Jair Jurrjens suffered a hamstring injury and struggled with putting pressure on his driving leg and caused arm injuries. I think Tommy Hanson struggled with conditioning and psychological issues and was traded in a “change of scenery” deal. The Braves have suffered a lot of *freak* injuries to guys like Heyward and Hudson over the past few years as well, but I think the Tommy John injuries are just happening because of the players themselves and not because of an organizational issue.

Luke DeSando
1 year 5 months ago

Tommy John surgeries are common. Second Tommy John surgeries are less so, and three within a year in one organization is bad news.

Chris_RG
1 year 5 months ago

The fact that they are considered “common” or inevitable among pitchers now is problematic in and of itself.

The Nationals develop guys with risky mechanics and the results reflect it. I would not be surprised to see Strasburg/Zimmeman/etc. going down yet again.

Quipex
1 year 5 months ago

The Rollins contract was bad when it was signed and it is much worse now. And it is not going to get better over the next year. It would make a statement to the rest of the team and to the fans if the organization would stick up for its manager and release Rollins ASAP. The $11 million for this year is a sunk cost; the Phils will be on the hook for it whether he’s in town or not.

Phillyfan425
1 year 5 months ago

As my time as a Phillies fan – I’ve never understood the hatred that follows Jimmy around.

He’s honest. That’s what people don’t like about him. And he’ll say things that are true – even if it’s not popular (calling Phillies fans frontrunners is the one he always gets slammed with, despite it being true for majority of the “phans” at the park). I’d rather have a guy tell me what he’s here to do (by the way, Rollins did say in his interview last week that he still wants to help bring a championship to Philly again – but that gets left out most everywhere because it doesn’t fit the “Jim-ME” narrative).

Collateral96
1 year 5 months ago

I’d rather the Yankees not bother with Jimmy Rollins.Guy is going to be 37 this coming season and they’ve already got Beltran whose nearly that age already don’t need anyone else whose mid to upper 30’s.Better off waiting next year for either JJ Hardy or Hanley Ramirez if he’s still out there.