Ladies and gentlemen, the Philadelphia Phillies are coming up on the final year of longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins' contract. The former National League MVP's offensive productivity has dipped, yes, but his defensive skill is not in question.
Rollins, the three-time Gold Glove winner, has given significant contributions throughout his career, swiping at least 20 bases from 2001 from 2009, and being a major part of the 2008 world champs.
But, the question is, will J-Roll be the Phillies' SS in 2012? If not "Young James," as he is called by Ryan Howard, who will be at the shortstop position?
Ruben Amaro, Jr., could re-sign Rollins, who has been a member of the Phillies for many years. Rollins, the switch-hitter, has been helping the Phillies win for years, and the Phillies could simply re-sign him. But, he has been struggling offensively since last year, and while pitching and defense wins championships, you need to score to win.
Or, the Phillies could replace from within the organization. They could replace Rollins with Wilson Valdez (career .242 average) , mainly a defensive asset, or they could take the Brian Bocock-approach (career .134 average in 82 at-bats). Also, they could take a look at minor-league prospect Freddy Galvis.
Then, there is the third option, free agency.
The top-tier of free agent shortstop is the current New York Met, Jose Reyes. Reyes, a longtime New York Met, a career .290 hitter, will no doubt be the most sought out free-agent, and possibly, the rival Phillies could go after the upcoming free agent.
But, if the Phillies want another choice, they could pick from a boatload of potential free agents including Yuniesky Betancourt, Alex Gonzalez, Jack Wilson, Rafael Furcal, Omar Infante and/or many other choices and routes.
What do you think the Phillies should do? Do the fans really want to go another route and let Rollins go, or do they want him there at shortstop? Tell me what you think Phillies management should do this offseason.