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4 Teams Who Should Try to Convince Jimmy Rollins to Waive No-Trade

Jason MartinezContributor IAugust 9, 2013

4 Teams Who Should Try to Convince Jimmy Rollins to Waive No-Trade

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    This may or may not be big news but Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has cleared waivers. It doesn't mean a thing if he's not willing to waive his no-trade clause, which Rollins told the Phillies he had no intention of doing, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    But since it's not uncommon for a player to change his mind, especially when he knows his current team is actively trying to trade him to a top contender. The current state of the Phillies could also be a concern for Rollins, who is under contract for $11 million next season with an $11 million vesting option for 2015. 

    The team has not committed to a youth movement, but barring a strong offseason by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies could once again struggle in 2014.

    The 34-year-old could possibly use his no-trade clause as leverage to get his vesting option guaranteed. It should be noted, though, that he's not having a very good season (.660 OPS, 5 HR, 15 SB) and any team acquiring him would be hoping a change of scenery and a jump in the standings can get him going again. 

    At the least, a team would be acquiring a clubhouse leader with plenty of postseason experience to help down the stretch. Here are four contending teams, three from the same division, that are most in need of an upgrade at shortstop. 

     

Cincinnati Reds

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    Career-worst numbers or not in 2013, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker loves his proven veteran players and Rollins would qualify with his 14 big league seasons, three All-Star selections, four Gold Glove awards and NL MVP award.

    The Reds are getting similar production this season from second-year shortstop Zack Cozart (.652 OPS, 9 HR), but Rollins would give them a base-stealing threat to slot into one of the top two spots in the order, allowing the Reds to keep Todd Frazier in a run-producing spot lower in the order.

    As long as Amaro's asking price is realistic—a top 10-15 prospect if the acquiring team picks up the entire contract or a top 5-9 prospect if the Phillies eat around $4 million of the guaranteed remaining portion (estimated $14 million)—the Reds have a chance to come to terms on a deal so Baker can try and convince Rollins to come aboard.

    Here's what the Reds lineup could look like with Rollins:

    1 Shin-Soo Choo, CF
    2 Jimmy Rollins, SS
    3 Joey Votto, 1B
    4 Brandon Phillips, 2B
    5 Jay Bruce, RF
    6 Ryan Ludwick, LF
    7 Todd Frazier, 3B
    8 Ryan Hanigan, C

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    It's not certain how open Hanley Ramirez (pictured) would be to finishing the season at the hot corner, but if it puts Jimmy Rollins at the top of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup as opposed to having Juan Uribe (4-for-26, 0 BB, 6K in August) anywhere in the order, maybe Ramirez would accommodate such a move. 

    With Ramirez nursing a shoulder injury after having missed several games earlier in the season due to separate hamstring injuries, Rollins could also serve as insurance. A healthy Ramirez, however, would have to play third base with Rollins on board. 

    Here's what the Dodgers' lineup could look like with Rollins:

    1 Carl Crawford, LF
    2 Jimmy Rollins, SS
    3 Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
    4 Hanley Ramirez, 3B
    5 Matt Kemp/Andre Ethier, CF (Kemp is expected back from DL in September)
    6 Yasiel Puig, RF
    7 A.J. Ellis, C
    8 Mark Ellis, 2B

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Jordy Mercer gave the team a shot in the arm after taking over for struggling veteran Clint Barmes earlier in the season. It was enough to make up for the defensive drop-off between the two.

    But that's no longer the case as the 26-year-old Mercer has a .624 OPS over his last 33 games with no homers or stolen bases. That's simply not enough production from a player with limited experience at shortstop. The Bucs could be better off going with Barmes.

    Or, better yet, Rollins.

    While finding a right field upgrade over Jose Tabata is also a possibility, a Rollins acquisition could be of even great help to a team that appears headed to the postseason for the first time since 1992. Catcher Russell Martin is the lone Pittsburgh lineup regular who has playoff experience.

    Convincing Rollins to play on this team might not be that difficult—if he's been paying attention. The Pirates might be the best team in baseball and appear destined for greatness.   

    Here's what the Pirates' lineup could look like with Rollins:

    1 Starling Marte, LF
    2 Jimmy Rollins, SS
    3 Andrew McCutchen, CF
    4 Pedro Alvarez, 3B
    5 Russell Martin, C
    6 Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez, 1B
    7 Neil Walker, 2B
    8 Jose Tabata, RF

St. Louis Cardinals

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    The St. Louis Cardinals showed interest in Rollins before the deadline, according to Heyman, but nothing transpired and they're sticking with a shortstop platoon of Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma.

    While Descalso has given them some offense at the position (.807 OPS in 22 games), he's not a shortstop and he's been a mediocre hitter in his first two full seasons in 2011-2012. Kozma is a shortstop but, after he became an uncharacteristically good hitter at the end of 2012, he's back to being a guy who produces very little offensively (.573 OPS in 107 games). 

    Solidifying the position by adding Rollins, who won his fourth Gold Glove award in 2012, could be a great move for St. Louis. And convincing Rollins to waive his no-trade clause to play in, arguably, the greatest baseball town in the world shouldn't be that much of a challenge, right?  

    Here's what the Cardinals' lineup could look like with Rollins:

    1 Matt Carpenter, 2B
    2 Jimmy Rollins, SS
    3 Matt Holliday, LF
    4 Carlos Beltran, RF
    5 Allen Craig, 1B
    6 Yadier Molina, C (due back from DL in mid-August)
    7 David Freese, 3B
    8 Jon Jay, CF

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