The return is not known yet, but the Dodgers on Wednesday acquired Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia was the first to report the deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post said the Phillies are getting two young pitchers in return.
Before I get into this, the Dodgers could be trading Dee Gordon to the Marlins for Andrew Heaney (something you absolutely want), with Dan Haren maybe being involved. There’s not a ton of information on this, but it could be something to either get Cole Hamels or to facilitate a Matt Kemp-to-San Diego trade. It remains to be seen. Stay tuned.
Rollins had been a Dodgers’ target for quite some time, possibly even dating back to the July 31 trade deadline. But once Hanley Ramirez left for Boston, it was all but assured the Dodgers would find a shortstop outside the organization.
Rollins, 36, represents an upgrade defensively from Ramirez and a clear downgrade offensively. But, Rollins still profiles much better with the bat than Erisbel Arruebarrena, Miguel Rojas and Darwin Barney.
We’ve written quite a bit about Rollins this winter, as Mike highlighted in the last post. Rollins is a 10/5 (10 years in the league, five consecutive with the same team), so he has an automatic no-trade clause, but it’s been reported that he’d waive it to come to Los Angeles. There’s no word on whether he’s getting any compensation for waiving it.
The Dodgers’ 40-man roster is full, so if a trade is made without anyone coming off the 40-man (oh please dear God let it be Chris Reed), a corresponding move would need to be made. I’m guessing Kyle Jensen, Ryan Lavarnway (only because of no options) or Mike Bolsinger would be first on the chopping block.
This is a cool stat:
Jimmy Rollins has 10 career seasons with 20+ 2B, 10+ HR, & 30+ SB, the most in baseball history.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) December 10, 2014
Now, I’m not really expecting Rollins to hit many of those marks this season (maybe 20 doubles and 10 homers), but he’s going to slot in at leadoff, even if Gordon is still around, and that’s a good thing. He increased his walk rate to 10.5 percent last season and has some pop — neither of which Gordon has.
What this does is prevent the Dodgers from rushing Corey Seager (something they weren’t doing anyway), as he needs at least one more season in the minor leagues. After that, he should be ready to go. It also means the Dodgers would commit to Seager as their shortstop of the future — at least for a few years.
Some have speculated that Hamels could be a Dodger trade target and very well might be in some kind of package. It doesn’t appear to be the case at press time, but that doesn’t mean the Dodgers couldn’t make a play for Hamels at a later date. The two players going to Philly in this deal probably wouldn’t break any potential Hamels-to-LA trade discussions.
This deal is just about done. The Dodgers have their shortstop for the 2015. Without knowing the return, I’m cautiously optimistic in this deal. The front office has filled one big hole. Next up, a starting pitcher and catcher.