Jimmy Rollins is a part of the aging infield core that Ruben Amaro Jr. still believes can win it all. Not a day of his 14-year career has been spent with another team. But neither Amaro's fever dreams nor his longevity as a Phillie will keep him off the table entirely, reports Buster Olney.
The Phillies, in what has become the standard for any offseason or trade deadline, are "very willing" to talk with teams about moving their veteran shortstop. This is also the team that is "extremely motivated" to trade Jonathan Papelbon, something that is not super likely, so being open to the idea and actually finding a deal that works are two very different things.
Rollins is a three-time All-Star, having received NL MVP votes five times, and the winner of one Silver Slugger and three Gold Gloves, the last one as recently as 2012, when he was 34. His batting average has sunk out of the .275-.300 range that helped win the 2007 MVP award, and now lives somewhere in the .250 range. His OPS, once thriving in the .800s, is now fortunate to see the light of .700.
He has not missed a lot of time due to injury, playing in 458 games from 2011-13, and remains one of the better defensive shortstops in the league.
Tasked with leading off for many of the past few seasons until the recent addition of Ben Revere, Rollins has struggled in the role. He hit .243 as a leadoff hitter in 2013, with a .647 OPS. The year before, as the permanent leadoff hitter, he hit .255 with a .777 OPS.
Stephen Drew remains the only shortstop on the free agent market at this point, and he has been in talks to return to the Red Sox for some time.
Any team on the hunt for shortstop help would at least take a flyer on Rollins, who is signed through 2014 for $11 million with a vesting $11 million option for 2015. He also, as Olney notes, has a no-trade clause in his contract.