What the Jimmy Rollins Signing Means for the Phillies in 2012

Bryan SheehanContributor IIIDecember 18, 2011

What the Jimmy Rollins Signing Means for the Phillies in 2012

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    According to Jim Salisbury of CSN, shortstop Jimmy Rollins has signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Phillies.

    While it's a relief to hear that J-Roll is coming back, one must also consider what his signing means to other aspects of the team.

    Jimmy Rollins may only be the shortstop, but his impact is far-reaching throughout the organization.

Michael Martinez Will Be Sent Back to Lehigh Valley

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    Yes, Mini-Marts spent all of the 2011 season with the Phillies at the MLB level, but don't expect him to suit up for more than a dozen games in 2012.

    After Ty Wigginton was acquired last month, there looked to be no space for Martinez on the Phillies' roster outside of being a backup shortstop, and with Rollins back for 2012, Wilson Valdez will be the backup.

    Also, since Martinez was a Rule V pick, he is no longer required to be on the MLB roster like he was in 2011. He'll be playing in Class AAA Lehigh Valley, and he may even end up being the backup to Freddy Galvis.

Freddy Galvis Is No Longer a Relevant Prospect

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    Since Rollins will be with the team until at least 2015 (he has an option for 2016), Galvis is no longer looked to be an immediate replacement at shortstop.

    This is a relief for everyone, as Galvis, 22, doesn't  seem close to ready. He hit .276 in 2011, playing in both Reading and Lehigh Valley.

    Now, with the pressure off, Galvis will fade into the background as a prospect. If his game really does need drastic improvement to compete at the MLB level, the next three years will help turn him into a great player.

    If he's as good as we've heard when he was the supposed replacement for Rollins, he'll most likely be traded in the next three years.

Placido Polanco and John Mayberry Jr. Are Both Everyday Players

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    Placido Polanco may be old, and his playoff performance in 2011 left a lot to be desired, but with Rollins returning, Polly will have to be the everyday starter at third base.

    The reason? The Phillies are out of money.

    When he's healthy, Polanco is actually pretty solid: he hit .298 in 2010, and still managed to hit .277 despite injuries in 2011. Don't forget that he's a Gold Glove winner, too.

    The idea that the Phillies were going to go out and get a left fielder to take some weight off of Mayberry's shoulders is also shot because of Rollins' $11 million annual salary.

    Barring some crazy Ruben Amaro magic, John Mayberry Jr. will be the starting left fielder in 2012.

Dontrelle Willis Will Make the MLB Roster

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    Dontrelle hasn't had an ERA below 5.00 since 2006, when he had a 3.87 ERA as a starter for the Florida Marlins. In the past five seasons, though, he has just been atrocious, and even got sent down to the minors in each year since 2008.

    Despite all this, he was signed by the Phillies (pretty cheaply, at about $850,000 for 2012) to be a lefty-situational guy, also known as a LOOGY (lefty-one-out-guy)

    His lacking performance would not have guaranteed him a roster spot in 2012 (he might have made it given a good Spring Training), but his friendship with Jimmy Rollins did.

    Both hailing from Oakland and going to the same High School, it seems like their signings were a package deal: you can't have one on the roster without the other.