As we learned earlier, the Phillies placed Michael Young on waivers and he cleared. Now CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that another Phillie has cleared waivers: Jimmy Rollins. After clearing waivers, a player may be traded to another team. Some fans are freaking out over a potential Jimmy Rollins trade (for a trade or against a trade). This does not mean that the Phillies are trying to trade Rollins.
In August most teams put pretty much their entire roster on waivers, in some cases to distract teams from other players they hope to get through. Rollins could be the smoke screen that slips a lesser player through that they hope to trade. I am not sure who that would be on this current roster. Maybe if a Delmon Young-type player clears, the Phillies can ask something for him. If a team claims Young, perhaps the Phillies let the team have him.
Most of the Phillies players are high-priced and candidates to slip through; a team may put a claim on a player they hope to acquire like last year when the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed Cliff Lee. Teams may pull a player of waivers once after being claimed, though they cannot place the player on waivers again. I do not see a team claiming Jonathan Papelbon, or anyone else that has value. Carlos Ruiz may be someone who gets claimed because not a major amount of money is left on his deal. But any player who is not claimed is eligible to be traded to any team.
So is there any chance the Phillies trade Rollins? Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports:
The Cardinals showed some interest in Rollins before the deadline, and a rival GM said Rollins' name came up in talks even after he publicly said he wouldn't accept a trade out of Philadelphia. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro didn't respond to a message.
Rollins told friends he wanted to stay with the Phillies because he'd like to move up the team's all-time career lists, and that's what he said publicly, too. "There are still a couple things I would like to be No. 1 on the lists in this organization,'' Rollins told Phillies writers, "so until those things are done, I'm not going anywhere."
The Phillies made an additional commitment to Chase Utley and in the press conference Amaro placed Rollins in the conversation about those players who could be a "Phillie for life".
Jimmy Rollins' $11 million a year is not necessarily an expensive contract, all things considered. The St. Louis Cardinals are paying Rafael Furcal $7 million this season and are getting nothing out of him after Tommy John surgery, which is why the Cardinals showed interest. Rollins has always been a favorite of former Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa.
However, consider a trade unlikely. Rollins seems happy to stay, and his contract allows him to say yes or no. Rollins appears he will say no. That could be why no team bothered claiming him. I would expect Rollins stays around through his current contract.
Rollins is due $11 million in 2014 and an $11 million option could vest if Rollins makes a combined 1100 plate appearances in 2013 and 2014 or 600 plate appearances in 2014. Rollins is on pace for about 650 this season, meaning he would only need 450 next season to vest, a very managable goal, provided Rollins remains healthy.