MLB Rumors: 10 Contracts Jimmy Rollins Will Target During Extension Talks
Jimmy Rollins hasn't been the same player since his 2007 NL MVP year. He's struggled to stay on the field. Before 2008, Rollins played in 154-plus games in each of his first seven seasons. He's missed the 154-game plateau in two of the last three years. He played in 137 games in 2008, 155 in 2009, and 88 last season.
The great thing for the Phillies is that this is Rollins' contract year; money is motivation. Rollins is 32, so this could be his final opportunity to get a multi-year offer.
If he can stay on the field for 154-plus games, he will get paid.
Let's take a look at 10 contracts that Jimmy Rollins may be targeting.....
Contract: Five-year, $120 million extension after 2012 season
Let's forget about the money aspect with Howard.
After the 2012 season, Howard will be 33. Rollins is currently 32.
Yes, they play two opposite positions, and are two completely different players. It's the principle. If the goal of the Phillies is to keep the "core" of the club in tact, Rollins will stay.
Howard had a down year for his standards. The Big Bear didn't hit as many over the fence, just 31 last season, but the way he approached hitting seemed to improve. He hit .276 last season, and has been over the .275 clip in each of the last two seasons. In fact, he's hit .275 in three of the last five years. That may surprise some.
Contract: Seven-year, $85 million extension after 2006 season
Utley signed the extension after just his third year in the league. In the 2006 season, Utley had a 35-game hitting streak, the longest by a second baseman. Just two games into that year, Rollins' hitting streak stopped at 38. His streak of 36 carried over from the 2005 season.
If Rollins signs two-year extension, it would solidify the "Big Three" of the infield for another two years.
Contract: Three years, $51 million
At 36, Jeter's skills are not what they once were, but he's an icon in the Bronx.
At 32, Rollins isn't quite the figure Jeter is in New York, but when you think Phillies, you think Jimmy Rollins.
Both, at least to their standards, had down years last season. Rollins hit just .243. Jeter, for the first time in five seasons, hit below .300. He finished at .270.
Is Jeter worth $51 million from a baseball perspective—absolutely not. It's his presence; he's the captain.
Rollins currently is the longest-tenured Phillie. He's the leader in the clubhouse. He may not get $51 million, but he wants those three years that Jeter got.
2009 Extension: Three years, $42 million
This is similar to the Jeter situation: a long-tenured and respected player with one team.
It appears that Jones signed that extension at the right point of his career, as Jones has dipped dramatically over the last two years.
He batted for a .364 average in 2008 at age 36. The 2000 NL MVP's average dropped 100 points in each of the last two years; .264 in 2009 and .265 last year.
Once again we're looking at that amount of years, three, in the contract.
Contract: Last year of four-year, $23.25 million deal
It's been the debate in the NL East for five years now. Who's a better shortstop, Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins.
Like Rollins, Reyes is also in a contract year. If Reyes signs an extension with the rival Mets befores Rollins does in Philly, J-Roll will certainly take a peek.
It's as if Rollins is asking Amaro, hypothetically, whether or not the organization thinks Rollins is a better player than Reyes.
They do have a five-year age difference, so Rollins may target the financial details per season, rather than the years of the contract.
2004 Contract: Six years, $72 million
In 2002, Tejada won the AL MVP award with Oakland hitting .308 with 34 home runs and 131 RBI.
Two years after his MVP win, Tejada at age 29 signed a six-year deal with Baltimore, averaging $12 million per season.
Four years after his MVP win, Rollins is looking for a $10 million-plus average per season.
2009 Contract: Three years, $30 million
When you ponder which shortstop has the best throwing arm, Furcal and Rollins are immediately at the top of the list. Both guys can also flash the leather. With the combination of the arm and glovework, Rollins and Furcal make the plays "in the hole" look routine.
The 2009 extension of Furcal came after a three-year free-agent signing of $39 million after the 2005 season.
Contract: 10 years, $157.75 million
Tulowitzki is arguably the best shortstop in the game today, and he'll be averaging approximately $15.7 million per season.
If Rollins can put the past two years behind him and put up a phenomenal season like 2007, then Rollins can possibly get that $15 million-plus a season.
Rollins never cashed in on a huge contract the way Tulowitzki did. Rollins' current five-year, $40 million deal is the most he's gotten.
Tulo's contract is the current bar for MLB shortstops.
Contract: Six years, $96 million
They play different positions, but they're the same age and Rollins is trying to duplicate what Beltre did last season.
Beltre headed into last season with two consecutive subpar seasons, like Rollins.
With Boston, Beltre exploded with a .321 average with 28 home runs and 102 RBI. He was an MVP candidate. Now he's in Texas with reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton.
If Rollins explodes, he'll be this season's Adrian Beltre, and maybe he'll get paid like him after the conclusion of the year.
2009 Contract: Two years, $18 million
Scutaro is one of those players who's gotten better with age and experience. At 35, he enters his second season with Boston after another consistent season.
He's a guy who's going to hit about .270, hit 10-plus home runs, bring home 50-plus runs and score 80-plus runs. He's a "baseball" player; he posseses all the proper tools to play the position. He's solid.
No offense to Marco, but Rollins has to be thinking that he's worth more than what Scutaro got.