Jimmy Rollins has been a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization since the second round of the 1996 amateur draft. If some members of the team's front office have their way, a nearly 18-year tenure could be coming to an awkward close.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Phillies believe it might be time to part with the 2007 National League MVP.
This news comes less than a week after Rollins sat on the bench for three straight Grapefruit League contests. Manager Ryne Sandberg offered "no comment" when initially asked for his reasoning, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
If the Phillies truly want to move on from Rollins, it won't be easy.
With $11 million due to the 35-year-old shortstop in 2014, it will take a team willing to add significant payroll late in spring training or Philadelphia's ownership eating a large chunk of the money still owed. Furthermore, a one-year, $11 million option for 2015 will automatically be in play if Rollins makes 434 plate appearances this season.
As a 10-and-5 rights player (10 MLB seasons, last five with the same team), Rollins can invoke a no-trade clause to veto any deal. With just 60 hits separating the veteran shortstop from the top spot in Phillies franchise history, it's unlikely to happen now.
When broached about a possible deal by CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury, Rollins didn't seem keen on the idea.
“I don’t know,” Rollins said. “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.”
These situations, however, have a funny way of working themselves out.
If the Phillies can find a trade partner and Rollins agrees to leave the only team he's ever known, a move could commence.
In return, the Phillies could look for outfield depth, a veteran bullpen arm or a young starting pitcher.
Here are Jimmy Rollins trade scenarios that would make the most sense for the Phillies.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted. All contract figures courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Roster projections courtesy of MLB Depth Charts.