Jimmy Rollins Rumors

NL East Notes: Santana, Marlins, Rollins, Phils

It was on this day in 1961 that Braves legend Warren Spahn threw a no-hitter at age 40, holding the Giants to just two walks in the 1-0 result.  It was the second no-hitter of Spahn’s long career, yet his first came just eight months earlier when he no-hit the Phillies on September 16, 1960.

Here’s some news of note from around the NL East…

  • Ervin Santana‘s newly-developed changeup has been a big new weapon in his pitching arsenal, Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan writes.  It’s still early in the season and the changeup’s effectiveness could drop as scouting reports get around the league, Sullivan warns, yet the results have thus far been very impressive for Santana and the Braves.
  • The Marlins could’ve added more veteran depth to their young rotation over the offseason, yet manager Mike Redmond, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and the front office all decided that the young arms were the way to go, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes.  “As we entered the offseason and started our planning, there were tough decisions and frank discussions. If there was not a belief from the dugout to the front office that these weren’t the right guys, then we would have gone out to try to find whatever we needed,” Miami president of baseball ops Michael Hill said.
  • Jimmy Rollins has been “an ideal citizen” within the Phillies clubhouse and has taken on a leadership role with young players, a source tells FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.  This could be Rollins’ way of moving past the tension that existed between he and manager Ryne Sandberg during Spring Training, Rosenthal notes, or Rollins could be attempting to ensure that he receives the 434 PA he needs for his 2015 option to vest.
  • Also from Rosenthal’s column, the Phillies‘ bullpen “remains alarmingly thin” and “an outside addition would be helpful.”  Phillies relievers have posted a 5.14 ERA this season, the third-worst bullpen ERA in the majors.  Right-handed relief is a particular need given that Justin De Fratus, Brad Lincoln and B.J. Rosenberg have all been hit hard and none are even currently on the Major League roster.

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.

NL East Notes: Rollins, Phils, Stanton, Harvey, Lagares

Jimmy Rollins spoke with MLB.com's Todd Zolecki regarding the team's struggles last season and noted that 2013 was just one year, and he is looking forward to a new chapter. Rollins spoke about trade rumors that surrounded his name last summer, noting that he had no plans to waive his 10-and-5 rights if asked. Rollins, who is just 60 hits shy of becoming the franchise leader, said he doesn't plan on ever playing for another club: "I don't plan on putting on a different uniform," he said. More links pertaining to the Phillies and the NL East…

  • Until the Phillies share their side of the Ben Wetzler controversy, the team will simply look vindictive, opines David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He adds that the Phillies clearly thought they'd be able to sign Wetzler, who instead returned to Oregon State for his senior season and is now unable to play after the Phillies notified the NCAA that they feel he violated the "no agent" rule. Murphy goes into detail on how the vast majority of draft prospects circumvent this rule.
  • The only rationale that Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan can see for the Phillies' decisions regarding Wetzler and Jason Monda (who also declined to sign but has already been cleared by the NCAA) was to send a message to future draftees: "Sign or face, at the very least, an extended, attention-grabbing inconvenience." Like Murphy (and many baseball fans), Sullivan hopes to hear the Phillies' side of the story and their explanation behind making what he calls an "unambiguously bad decision" that seemingly benefited no one.
  • Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post writes that Giancarlo Stanton is ok with the fact that the Marlins don't want to have extension talks until after the season. Stanton said that Freddie Freeman's recent eight-year, $135MM extension with the Braves won't be on his mind this season, though he did tip his hand a little in stating, "The contract would be similar, I guess."
  • Mets ace Matt Harvey tells Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he's been cleared to begin tossing a baseball in the next couple of days. Rubin writes that Harvey is not yet resigned to missing the entire 2014 season, but the Mets have stated in the past that Harvey will not pitch in 2014. "I'd always love to pitch and get back out there, but I don't make those decisions," said Harvey.
  • Newsday's Marc Carig writes that despite his elite defense in center field, Juan Lagares isn't a lock to be an everyday player for the Mets in 2014. Carig talked with an official from another club whose background is in analytics, with that official noting that a key factor in defensive metrics is a need to factor in regression due to the volatile year-to-year nature of defensive numbers.


Phillies Notes: Rollins, Montgomery, Draft Picks

Here's the latest from the City Of Brotherly Love…

  • Jimmy Rollins left little room that he would waive his 10-5 rights and allow a trade, the veteran shortstop tells CSNPhilly.com's Marshall Harris (passed on by CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury).  “I’m not planning on waiving my no-trade clause.  My plan is to bring a championship back here, to be honest.  So until something else happens and the situation presents itself where it may help the team — then I’ll think about it. But until then there’s nothing to think about.”
  • Phillies president and CEO David Montgomery discussed the A.J. Burnett signing, the club's offseason moves, the new TV contract, and other topics in an interview with MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
  • Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler was indefinitely suspended by the NCAA for inappropriate contact with a financial advisor after he was drafted in the fifth round by the Phillies last June, and Baseball America's Aaron Fitt reports (all Twitter links) that it was the Phils themselves who turned Wetzler in to the NCAA.  The club also tried to report sixth-round pick Jason Monda, but Monda was cleared by the NCAA to continue playing for Washington State.  Wetzler and Monda, both college juniors, turned to school rather than sign with the Phillies, and Fitt notes that it is "a significant departure from [the] industry norm" for teams to report on their unsigned players. 
  • In reaction to Fitt's report, Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel says the Phillies "destroyed all trust" between teams and agents in the draft process and Baseball America's Jim Callis feels this "should be" cause for non-senior college players and agents to be careful about dealing with Philadelphia (both links to Twitter).

Phillies “Very Willing” To Move Jimmy Rollins

Reports have already surfaced that the Phillies are aggressively shopping closer Jonathan Papelbon, and ESPN's Buster Olney now reports (via Twitter) that the club is "very willing" to move shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Olney notes that Rollins has a no-trade clause, however.

Rollins, 35, struggled at the plate in 2013, batting .252/.318/.348 with a career-low six home runs despite playing in 160 games. He did swipe 22 bases in 28 attempts, but his defense also slipped, based on his -2.7 UZR/150 and -15 Defensive Runs Saved (per The Fielding Bible).

Rollins is owed $11MM in 2014 — the final guaranteed season of a three-year, $33MM contract. That deal contains an easily attainable vesting option for a fourth year at $11MM, however, which will trigger if Rollins reaches 1100 plate appearances between 2013-14 and is not on the disabled list to close the 2014 season. Rollins tallied 666 PAs in 2013, meaning he will only need 434 trips to the plate in 2014 to secure an $11MM salary in 2015. Should the option not vest, the Phillies will then hold an $8MM club option on Rollins. In the event that the Phillies decline that option, Rollins would then have a $5MM player option.

Reports this summer indicated that Rollins was not willing to waive his full no-trade clause, so the fact that the Phillies are open to moving him at this time might be a non-issue. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked in late August if he thought Rollins would benefit from a change of scenery, to which he replied, "You'd have to ask Jimmy," before going on to state: "Jimmy is our shortstop. We signed him for a reason."


Quick Hits: Commissioner, Rollins, Diamondbacks

Now that Bud Selig has announced he will retire following the 2014 season, speculation has already begun about who will be Major League Baseball's next commissioner.  ESPN's Jayson Stark thinks it would be "a monumental upset" if MLB doesn't go with an internal candidate, and the favorites are league executive vice-presidents Rob Manfred and Tim Brosnan, and MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman.  Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan hears that Manfred is the safest and most well-rounded pick, though some sources consider Brosnan to be the better candidate.  Stark and Passan list such names as Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, Mets GM Sandy Alderson, Indians president Mark Shapiro and Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall as other possible choices.

Here are some notes as Yankee Stadium says goodbye to Mariano Rivera

  • Jimmy Rollins is confident that the Phillies already have the pieces they need to succeed thanks to their emerging youth, CSNPhilly.com's Corey Seidman writes.  “That old window's closed," Rollins admitted. "This is a brand new thing. You've still got the pieces, but this is a brand new thing going forward. Obviously we would love to have that right-handed bat, but Darin Ruf has come up and done that so far. We're going to get Ryan [Howard] back, hopefully a healthy Ryan back on his legs and strong."
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers will recommend to ownership that manager Kirk Gibson be retained for next season, Towers told reporters (including MLB.com's Steve Gilbert).  Gibson has a 289-277 record since taking over as Arizona's manager halfway through the 2010 season and he led the team to an NL West title in 2011.  Both Gibson and Towers are only under contract through the end of the 2014 season.
  • While Brad Ziegler has enjoyed being the Diamondbacks' closer, he tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that it doesn't matter if he's closing or in his usual set-up role next season.  Ziegler has a 2.28 ERA and 12 saves over 71 IP and a league-best 76 games this season.  He's going into his third and final year of arbitration eligibility though there has been talk that Arizona will try to work out a contract extension.
  • Jack Zduriencik's mistakes as the Mariners' general manager are recapped by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times in a piece that chronicles the team's strategies and major transactions over the last several years.  While Baker holds Zduriencik accountable for his own mistakes, he also points the finger at the club's upper management for the larger issues surrounding the Mariners' lack of recent success.
  • John Danks is "embarrassed" by his performance since signing a five-year, $65MM extension with the White Sox before the 2012 season, the southpaw tells MLB.com's Scott Merkin.  "The goal is always to throw 200-plus innings, take the ball every day and give us a chance to win. I've got three years to make everyone believe it was worth it," Danks said.  "That's part of my motivating factor. I want to be the productive player I'm expected to be."
  • "The Cubs are the last-place team poised to contend the soonest. The Astros are the one with the brightest future," Jim Callis writes for MLB.com in his analysis of both teams' young talent.

MLBTR's Zach Links contributed to this post


Phillies Notes: Howard, Amaro, Papelbon, Rollins

It's been a rough season for the Phillies, with injuries to many of their top players weighing down the team's record prior to the firing of longtime manager Charlie Manuel. We know they'll be looking for both bullpen help and catching help this offseason to try to right the ship, but here's the latest on the Phils in the meantime…

  • Interim manager Ryne Sandberg says that it would be "counterproductive" for Ryan Howard to return this season, writes Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sandberg told reporters that he doesn't feel playing 10-15 games when he's not at full health would do Howard much good, and instead he needs to focus on being as fit and healthy as he possibly can in 2014. Sandberg still believes that Howard can be a legitimate middle-of-the-order threat if he returns to full health.
  • Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly conducted a Q&A with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., in which Amaro said that while the bullseye may be on him after Manuel's dismissal, he's not currently feeling any heat from ownership: "David Montgomery has been very supportive. David and the ownership group — I know they’re disappointed, but they’re supportive."
  • Amaro also said that Jonathan Papelbon's presence at the back of his bullpen is "crucial" to winning games, and he thinks Papelbon will be part of a Phillies contender in 2014. Amaro added that he's heard good feedback about Papelbon's work with the team's young relievers, though he did stop short of firmly calling Papelbon a positive clubhouse force when asked by Salisbury.
  • "You'd have to ask Jimmy," Amaro replied when Salisbury asked if shortstop Jimmy Rollins would benefit from a change of scenery. Rollins has a no-trade clause that he's not interested in waiving anyhow, but he's been questioned for lapses in hustle recently. Amaro didn't sound interested in the thought of trying to move Rollins, stating: "Jimmy is our shortstop. We signed him for a reason."
  • Amaro also told Salisbury that in addition to signing solid relievers, the team needs to do a better job of adding good depth pieces to the bullpen. As Amaro notes, Mike Adams and Antonio Bastardo had strong track records, but injuries to Adams and a suspension for Bastardo have exposed a lack of depth.

Players Who Have Cleared Waivers

MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season's final two months. Remember though, players must be acquired by Aug. 31 to be eligible for their new team's postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. Also bear in mind that a player's no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.

Last Updated: 8-15-2013

  • Elvis Andrus, Rangers — Andrus is under contract for an additional nine years and $124.475MM, making it no surprise that teams passed on claiming him. He was hitting .255/.317/.306 at the time he cleared waivers — a notable decline in production for the 24-year-old. The Rangers reportedly have no intention to trade him.
  • Erik Bedard, Astros — Bedard owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013 for Houston.  The southpaw, who cleared waivers on Aug. 14, would be a really cheap pickup as he is owed just $300K for the rest of the season.  
  • Dan Haren, Nationals — Haren was placed on waivers on Aug. 8 without any clubs biting on him and his remaining $3.7MM in salary.  The right-hander owns a 4.99 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 so far in 2013 and he could be of interest to teams if the Nationals fall further back in the Wild Card chase. 
  • Brendan Ryan, Mariners — Word came down of Ryan clearing waivers on Aug. 14.  The M's were said to have him available before July 31st but couldn't find any takers.  
  • Matt Lindstrom, White Sox — Everyone needs relief help, but the White Sox were selling at the non-waiver deadline and couldn't find a suitable deal for Lindstrom.  The reliever, who has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9, cleared waivers on Aug. 14.
  • Justin Morneau, Twins — Morneau cleared waivers on Aug. 14, when he had roughly $3.5MM remaining on his $14MM salary. A free agent at season's end, Morneau was dreadful in July, batting .175/.266/.330. He homered six times in his first 10 games of August though, which could make teams reconsider their stance.
  • Barry Zito, Giants — Zito cleared waivers on Aug. 14, but at that point still had $5.14MM remaining on his $20MM salary. With an ERA north of 5.00 and that kind of money remaining on his deal, it seems likely that Zito will play out the rest of his widely panned contract in San Francisco.
  • Josh Johnson, Blue Jays — With more than $4MM left on his salary at the time he was placed on waivers, no team was apparently willing to take a risk that the big righty's poor results will begin to reflect his more promising peripherals. Unless Johnson hits an August hot streak, it seems likely that the Jays will hold onto him and consider whether to make him a qualifying offer when he reaches free agency at the end of the year.
  • Adam Dunn, White Sox — That Dunn cleared waivers isn't a huge surprise, given his $15MM salary in 2013 and in 2014. He's been red-hot since June 1, however, which could lead contending AL teams such as the Orioles and Rangers to show interest if the White Sox are willing to include some cash in the deal.
  • Jimmy Rollins, Phillies — Rollins has taken a big step back in production this year (especially on the power side of the ledger) and is owed $11MM for 2014 (and possibly the same for 2015 if his option vests). The 34-year-old shortstop seems discinclined to waive his full no-trade rights, making him unlikely to change hands.
  • Michael Young, Phillies — The third baseman could be an August trade candidate given his expiring contract, experience, and serviceable (if unspectacular) 2013 campaign. He is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade protection to go to a contender.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Jimmy Rollins Clears Waivers

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has cleared waivers, making him eligible to be traded to any team, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Indications are that Rollins would not waive his no-trade rights, however, Heyman further notes. (Rollins has ten and five rights.)

At 34 years of age, Rollins has taken a step back from his excellent 2012 season. His batting average and on-base percentage are right in line with last year, but his slugging percentage has fallen from .427 to .348. While he hit 23 home runs last year to go with 30 stolen bases, moreover, he has logged just 5 long balls and 15 swipes through 113 games and 474 plate appearances in 2013. According to Fangraphs, Rollins's defense and baserunning have both taken a downturn, leaving him with just 1.0 fWAR to date this year. 

Looking at the contract, the Phillies are obligated to pay Rollins $11MM next season. If Rollins stays healthy and in the lineup next year, moreover, it is likely that his 2015 option will vest, guaranteeing him an additional $11MM for that season. If that option fails to vest, the Phils will hold a $8MM team option and Rollins will hold a $5MM player option for that year. 


Stark On Phillies, Kemp, Rzepczynski

The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • Phillies third baseman Michael Young is open to a deal to just about any contender.  Stark sees the Yankees as the best fit, with the Orioles still interested.  Talking to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki about waiving his no-trade clause, Young said, "I don't know. The first thing I want to do is talk to the Phillies about that."
  • The Phillies have shown very little inclination to move catcher Carlos Ruiz, surprisingly.  And while they'd like to trade closer Jonathan Papelbon, their unwillingness to assume some of his contract is likely to prevent a deal.  Papelbon is owed at least $30MM through 2015.
  • The Phils have quietly been asking potentially interested teams about shortstop Jimmy Rollins, which would be a long shot even if Rollins wasn't likely to block a deal.
  • It's just speculation, but Stark says some people have wondered if the Dodgers should be open to trading center fielder Matt Kemp.
  • Cardinals lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski is a candidate to be traded.
  • Stark suggests the Indians' Carlos Carrasco could be a name to file away for the Rockies, with the Tribe interested in Colorado reliever Josh Outman.