Jimmy Rollins is officially headed to Hollywood.
After more than a week of waiting, and silence from nearly all parties involved, the Phillies sent their long-time leadoff hitter and shortstop, a former National League MVP who helped lead the franchise into the best era in its history, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-player trade.
After Rollins waived his no-trade clause, and after Matt Kemp and the San Diego Padres hold the Phils-Dodgers swap hostage for 8 crazy nights, the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia pro sports was traded to Los Angeles for two pitching prospects: righthander Zach Eflin and lefthander Tom Windle.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Phillies also sent the Dodgers $1 million in the trade.
"Jimmy is both an iconic player and person whom I have had the great joy of watching grow up in this game and this city," said Amaro. "His contributions to the franchise and to Philadelphia are unparalleled and I wish him the best in Los Angeles. This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies."
"The Dodgers are very lucky to acquire a player like Jimmy," said Rollins' long-time double-play partner, Chase Utley. "I've said it time and time again that Jimmy makes everyone around him better. The team will miss his leadership on the field and his infectious smile, but most of all, I will miss our pre-game handshake."
Rollins, who turned 36 last month, has one year remaining on a 4-year, $44 million contract. After spending his 15-year career in Philadelphia, playing for a team that drafted him as a 17-year-old kid out of Alameda, Calif., Rollins will take over at shortstop for the new-look Dodgers, a franchise that hasn't played in a World Series in more than a quarter century, since Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and company brought a championship to Chavez Ravine in 1988.
The Rollins' trade took so long to get finalized because the aforementioned new-look Dodgers have been making a flurry of moves in the last 11 days.
In the same 24-hour span when they agreed to a deal to obtain Rollins, the Dodgers also traded away two All-Stars from their lineup (Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon) and signed a starting pitcher (Brandon McCarthy) to solidify their rotation.
But like the Rollins' trade, the Kemp deal did not become official until late Thursday night - a full week after it was first reported. The two trades were connected since Eflin comes to Philly from San Diego, after making a very brief pit stop in L.A.
The Dodgers couldn't send Eflin to Philadelphia until Kemp arrived safe and sound 120 miles down Interstate 5 in San Diego.
After much deliberation - the Padres took 3 full days to peruse Kemp's medical records - the trade between the two Southern California teams was completed shortly after 11 p.m. EST Thursday. Strangely, the Phillies-Dodgers trade wasn't completed for 12 more hours even though the swap was first agreed upon on Dec. 10.
Regardless, the wait is over.
The Phillies say goodbye to Rollins, the franchise's all-time hit leader.
Rollins will return to South Philly with his new Dodgers team in early August. He'll also have a spot reserved for a plaque along Ashburn Alley, home of the Phillies Wall of Fame. Maybe his No.11 will be retired on day along the outfield wall at Citizens Bank Park, too.
Rollins' stay in L.A. may be for just one season: Dodgers top infield prospect Corey Seager is expected to be major league ready by 2016.
In exchange for Rollins, the Phillies receive two minor league pitchers.
The 20-year-old Eflin was rated the 10th best prospect in the Padres system by MLB.com. The 33rd overall pick (1st round) in 2012 out of Hagerty High in Oviedo, Fla., Eflin has gone 17-14 with a 3.41 ERA in 50 games (49 starts) in the minor leagues.
Eflin was 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts at Class A Elsinore in 2014, striking out 93 while walking 31 in 128 innings.
Windle, who turns 23 in March, was the Dodgers second round pick in 2013. He went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) at Class A Rancho Cucamonga in 2014, he struck out 111 while walking 44 in 139 1/3 innings.
"We are very happy to add two top-tier starting pitching prospects who we believe will impact our major league club in the near future," Amaro said. "This deal is clearly geared to continue the process of building for perennial future success."
Eflin and Windle should help bolster a farm system bereft in starting pitching depth, particularly at the upper levels of the minor leagues. The newcomers could join former first round picks Aaron Nola and Jesse Bidde at Double-A Reading to start the 2015 season.
Perhaps one day, that quartet - Nola, Eflin, Windle and Biddle - will be a part of the same starting rotation at Citizens Bank Park. That day isn't like to come this season, when the Phillies will play without an appearance by Jimmy Rollins for the first time since 1999.