The revelation is good news for Phillies fans hoping to see their team make significant change this winter.
Aside from Cole Hamels, who would easily bring the biggest return, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley are still very attractive to contending teams. Both have been regularly disregarded as potential trade candidates within the last year because they have full no-trade clauses; both Rollins and Utley have repeatedly expressed their desire to stay with the Phillies, the only team either has played for in their respective careers.
But, if the Phillies could somehow convince either to consider waiving their no-trade clauses, it would surely help the front office in its quest to rebuild this winter.
As I wrote earlier this week, neither Rollins or Utley are playing at their peak - both will be 36 before Christmas - but they still bring value to positions on the field where offense is scarce. In 2014, both were in the top third of big-leaguers at their respective positions: Rollins' .717 OPS ranked sixth among major league shortstops in 2014, Utley's .746 OPS ranked sixth among second baseman.
The Phillies could surely get a useful prospect (or two) in a deal involving either player.
Rollins is more likely than Utley to move this winter simply because of his contract. He is due to become a free agent after the 2015 season, while Utley has three vesting options remaining on his own deal.
If you're Rollins, and you see the rebuilding Phillies front office is gung-ho on parting with multiple veterans in an attempt to infuse the farm with prospects, do you see yourself in Philadelphia beyond 2015? Does spending 2014 in Philadelphia sound appealing?
With J.P. Crawford waiting in the wings, do the Phillies have any need to have Rollins on the roster beyond 2015?
Rollins could spend his walk year playing for a team with World Series aspirations in the Dodgers. The one-year marriage would seem to make sense for L.A., too: Rollins is dependable defender who would replace Hanley Ramirez and fill the gap until shortstop prospect Corey Seager is ready in 2016.
If the two teams strike a deal, it would still come down to Rollins approving the move. On Monday, Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked if he's had recent conversations with Rollins or Utley.
"I'm not at liberty to say," Amaro said. "I've had dialogue with them earlier this offseason. They kind of know what direction we're trying to go."
But it sure sounds like there's been more recent dialogue with Rollins.
With less than 24 hours left in the Winter Meetings, the likelihood that the Phillies will make a deal seems to be increasing. There has also been considerable chatter around Antonio Bastardo and Marlon Byrd.