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Saturday, December 17, 2011


Mostly a pro. He's an aging, declining player. But he's our aging, declining player.

The other available options were not good. And the point from which he is declining is pretty high for a good fielding shortstop.

I would give this signing a solid 'B' although I hated to find out that Amaro basically caved on the 4th year. That is what the wait was for resigning him this entire time.

As long as he doesn't blow a gasket or have a never-end series of leg ailments that keep him off the field too much, Phils should do alright on this deal.

Basically the intrinsic question that the Phils have no way of knowing is does JRoll have the proper motivation and fire to keep up the diet/training regimen he will need to while entering his mid-30s.

Either way its time to slumber on the Phils until pitcher and catchers report sometime around Feb 18-20

Definitely a pro. The idea of Marco Scutoro (at expense of prospects), Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera or gasp, Wilson Valdez, going into the year as starting SS is scary. You don't invest in starting pitching as your top strength and then put an average or below average player at the most important defensive position. This team needs to win it all in the next year or two and J-roll is the best bet at SS to do that.

Big win. Do we save enough to make another move? Maybe an outfielder that slips through the cracks?

Ruben deserves an A this offseason. This deal already adds to his great work. He gets Jimmy down to a three year deal. By the time the fourth year comes around Jimmy will essentially be at the level Rafeal Furcal is now. Above average speed, good defense, low batting average but reliable veteran shortstop. Great work! Now lets re-sign Hamels!

Ruben is at 'C' by my standards. That Papelbon contract weighs down this positive and all the good bench moves.

Ben, the good news is they have a whole year to extend Hamels.

I'd love to see them get it done, but there's no rush.

repost: This is exactly the contract that the Beerleaguer zeitgeist was saying would be a fair sign. Can't complain.

If Rollins plays out all four years of this contract, including the vesting option, he'll have played 16 seasons for the Phillies, hold a ridiculous amount of franchise records (he's already in the top five for hits, games played, plate appearances, runs, total bases, doubles, triples and stolen bases), won at least 1 MVP, and played for at least one WFC squad.

All for a grand career total of almost exactly 100 million dollars.

Won't find a better bargain in today's game.

Great way of looking at it Lincoln Hawkes

A number of people here have mentioned Chase Headley a a possible trade candidate for 3B.

One of the reasons they cite is his extreme home/away splits, and that he should have better overall numbers if he gats out of Petco for half his games.

Home: _997 PA, .229/.319/.336
Away: 1007 PA, .303/.364/.441

That looks great on paper, but I decided to do a little digging.

Headley's Home/Away splits are heavily influenced by his Babip.

Home: .297
Away: .374

Does anyone think that Away Babip is sustainable? It is over a fairly large sample size, so can we say it's 'normalized' for him?

Oh, and as I posted on the last thread:

3/33 is a moderate overpay on an annual basis.

I was against a J-Roll long term deal but this is not as horrible as it could have been. I would like to see him train with Braun during the off season.

But....I am glad Jimmy is back.

He was the best option available at SS, even including Reyes when you consider the AAV.

This is a good move if not for the fact that this was our best option, right? We couldn't downgrade defensively at SS given our strength.

The only con is we need to "inject youth" at the position (well, the whole inflied). This move doesn't prohibit that.

I think its good that we got Jimmy for 3 guaranteed years instead of the 5 he wanted. Even if he gets to the 4th year option it is still a year less than what he wanted.

I know personal feelings can't come into these proceedings but it would've hurt to see Rollins doing well elsewhere while we we trotting out trash like Renteria, Punto, or even turning the keys over to Galvis in an impossible spot for the kid. This feels similar to the Jeter signing last year where the guy is so identified with the team that it has to happen- it's just a matter of the price.

"The only con is we need to "inject youth" at the position"

Cliff, ideally you do that every year. But the question is: "With who?"

TTI, Jeter is a good analogy in that he was worth far more to the Yankees than anyone else, and got far less than what he asked for. He got 3/51, but reportedly had asked 5/100. Steinbrenner essentially did the same thing RAJ did, and told him that if he was looking for that kind of contract that he ought to go test the market.

not bad Ruben! now we have stability in our infield. and we don't have to rush Galvis. we can let him play under no pressure at AAA, and see what he's capable of offensively.

Just took a look at the Matt Latos trade.

I'm curious: Would anyone here trade Hamels for a package of Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger?

awh: I honestly would really consider that offer. Teams around the league were really high on Alonso and Grandal. The issue with Alonso is that he seems pegged for first base so obviously he is blocked here. However, you could flip him around for something else.

Grandal would be a nice catcher to let get one more year in Triple A and then move from there.

It's a good haul the Padres got.

I dig it. Affordable, and no real alternative, whatever the wishcasters might intimate (while never really specifying, for obvious reasons).

fair deal. There aern't enough major league caliber shortstops to go around, but we got one of the better ones, even if he's not as good as he used to be.

Yawn. the usual J-Roll haters don't much like it, the people who ignore their emotions think it's pretty fair.

"the people who ignore their emotions think it's pretty fair."

So, sociopathology comes in handy.

Good deal by Amaro. Good deal for the team. Rollins is back and Galvis gets to develop his game in the minors and act as insurance in case of injury.

clout, I don't hate the deal, I just think it's a moderate overpay in relation to what some of the other FA SS got.

I'm glad Jimmy has been re-signed and have been advocating the same for awhile.

Looking at this as a FAN. It's not my job to negotiate anything pertaining to Phils players. I am overjoyed to see JRoll for at least another 3-4 years. I'll continue to spend for tickets to watch him play. I was not ready to see the Phils experiment for seasons to try to get as good a player as Jimmy Rollins. As much as i hate the phrase i'll use it myself, "he is what he is". It was quite a void between Larry Bowa and Jimmy and that would have decreased our chances of another WFC. Great job Mr Amaro. Jimmy is a great defensive and now you know what you have to build around. He is the engine that drives the Phils. He is a 21st century type of leadoff hitter that we have had success with and now the Phils can do it again.

Now you and Dontrell can win one together Jimmy. Good luck and i don't have to tell you 2 Have FUN!!!!

I love it. The fourth year at $11 million isn't going to seem quite as absurd by that time as salaries will rise across the board. It's a no-worry spot on the infield, a bat that we can live with at worst and can be a spark at best. Plus, there's the personality fit that we couldn't guarantee with any other options, not to mention that those other options were not on Jimmy's level even at this point in his career.

On a less rational, less objective level, I'm just thrilled he's still going to be here. Seeing Jimmy somewhere else would have hurt like seeing Brian Dawkins in a stupid Broncos jersey hurt.

I am reading this while a documentary on Joel Rifkin just came on MSNBC and I think you are correct, he would approve of this deal as long as Rube strangles a hooker after Jimmy completes his physical.

awh: "I'm curious: Would anyone here trade Hamels for a package of Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger?"

Probably no, but I'd be sorely tempted. The surest thing in that trade would be Hamels (just as Latos is surest thing in the actual trade.)

Volquez is a huge crapshoot, hasn't been the same since his surgery.
Alonso will be a very good MLB hitter BUT his only position is 1B and he's not very good there, nor does he have the power you'd expect from that position (although his ceiling is a bad-fielding version of John Olerud.)

Grandal is the best prospect in the bunch and the piece that would sorely tempt me to say, "Yes." Good fielder, good defense, good chance to be an All Star catcher some day.

Boxberger was a college pitcher who was supposed to be ready to step into a rotation within a year or two, but it wasn't working out so they switched him to the 'pen. BB/9 scares me a bit, but he has about as much potential as Aumont.

Hard to believe this infield was around in 2004. Good job Ed.

About some of those cons:

1) "Yet another spot where the Phils have failed to inject youth." And also a spot where no youth was available on the market, unless you would prefer they sign Yuniesky Betancourt, Ronny Cedeno, or Cesar Izturis. Those were the only free agent SS available younger than Rollins.

2) "Relatively large commitment for a marginal run producer on a fading offense."
Except your options for SS are much worse otherwise. Rollins is an average offensive player, everyone else on the market is sub par. It is no exaggeration to state that Wilson Valdez is just as good a hitter as the players who were left.

3)"Option year is reportedly easily attainable, essentially making this a four-year commitment (through 2016)." So if he's healthy and produces his career stat line, he gets a guaranteed 4th year. What's the problem? The only way that's an issue is if you believe he doesn't deserve money he's guaranteed already.

4) "The Phils have experienced short-term life without J-Roll through injury and it wasn't a total drag." But it wasn't a lot of fun either. Valdez hits about 100 OPS points lower than Rollins. That's a difference of 11 runs over the course of last year (according to's Rbat stat Rollins was worth 0 over the average hitter and Valdez was -11) and Rollins WAR was 3.7 to Valdez' -0.2. Is it correct to state that with Valdez in the lineup at SS, we'd have won 98-99 games instead of 102 last year?

Good job Ed? He tried to dump Utley and Howard for Garbage---had nothing to do with Rollins being here and gave away Polanco in his prime for half a year of the Venezualean assassin.

This is certainly a pro. When you factor in everything (who is currently available, etc. etc.), they got the best player at this point.

Rube has done his work little by little. He has more to do. Hopefully he'll get it all done.

Fan favorite? Never seemed that way to me. I'm thrilled that Jimmy is back, but for his sake, I almost wish he could have gone to a city that actually appreciated him.

I'm not unhappy about this. Rollins, however, might be, which could perhaps mean some half-hearted play. In which case I would be unhappy about this.

Rollins, however, might be, which could perhaps mean some half-hearted play.

Nice observation, Bake. There have been issues with "effort" in the past. BTW, I think Charlie singles Jimmy out on this issue.

Regardless, I really hope Jimmy plays his proverbial arse off in pursuit of that 4th year.

I haven't seen anybody hate this signing yet. Some may think it's too much money or a year too long, but that's nitpicking on a deal at this price.

So, Clout, who "hates" the deal? Have I missed the post?

The extra year might hurt us but this was the low end of what we were hoping for on a deal so it will work out.

4 more years of Jimmy leading off.

When Wainwright, Greinke, or Ian Kennedy is pitching a three-hit shutout against in the fifth game of the 2012 NLDS, ask yourselves my question again--is our man Jimmy really such an elite defender that you'd prefer keeping him to going with Galvis, Furcal, Valdez, or Barmes and adding a hitter like Ramirez?

Seriously, I'm glad that Rube didn't get cleaned out this time; the vesting option doesn't worry me, since I assume it's based on plate appearances (which will hopefully give Rollins a reason to quit with the yoga and begin a workout regimen that keeps him off the DL).

However, I'd STILL like to see a Spillborghs or someone similar added to the team, to make me feel better about losing out on Cuddy and A-Ram (or a Brown for Chase Headly trade, and Polanco to someone for a decent middle infield prospect...)

The Rollins signing also brings to mind another question--what if Rube had taken the same route with Madson that he did with J-Roll, instead of immediately signing Pap? He could have waited for the closer market to slack off the way the SS market did, and then brought Madson back for a three-year, 11 or 10 million AAV. We'd still have some wiggle room to add a few more good pieces if he had done so.

In re: Headley's babip

Both sample sizes are pretty large. So clearly the numbers are already "sustainable."

How about this explanation? It's hard for someone who hits the ball in the air to have a good babip in the middle of a sea level desert.

For all the people who have spent the last week or two pining for Cuddyer, Willingham, Spillbourghs, or other outfield types, here's a question for you: where exactly would you envision this extra outfielder fitting in on a 25-man roster in which we have already given guaranteed contracts to 4 bench players (Schneider, Wigginton, Thome, Nix), and have already tendered a contract to Valdez? The only way we could fit another OF bat onto the roster would be to: go with a 6-man bullpen; waive Valdez and go without a utility infielder; or eat the contract on 1 of the 4 bench players we just signed, before he has even had a chance to play. As there is 0 percent chance that the Phillies would do any of the above, the idea of signing another OF bat isn't even worth discussing.

Play Jimmy at SS in '12 then move him to 3B in '13. Give SS to Freddy if he does well in AAA. There's your youth.

6 man bullpen works...but then I wasnt pining for an extra OF.

NEPP: 6-man pen might be ok for a week or two, but you really can't get by with it for a whole season. Heck, even a 7-man bullpen isn't always enough. The Phillies played an awful lot of extra inning games last year in which they totally burned through the entire pen, & there were a couple occasions when they even had to summon someone from AAA before the game, just to have an extra fresh arm in the pen.

"Fan favorite? Never seemed that way to me. I'm thrilled that Jimmy is back, but for his sake, I almost wish he could have gone to a city that actually appreciated him."

At the ballpark he gets one of the biggest ovations, probably only second to Chase among the position players. When the Phillies open the season or a playoff series and announce the lineup backwards ending with Jimmy, the place goes off. There are just a few loudmouths who despise him for a variety of reasons. Thankfully those people spend more time commenting on than going to games.

"There have been issues with "effort" in the past. BTW, I think Charlie singles Jimmy out on this issue."

This is the brilliance of Jimmy and Charlie. Charlie knows who he can get on. If had gotten on Werth or Victorino or even Howard about not running out a ball they probably wouldn't have taken it as well as Jimmy. There is zero chance of Jimmy turning the clubhouse against Charlie after a benching. He takes it well and understands that he is being made an example of.

A manager was "managing" one of his players?!?

My God!

I personally wouldn't go with a 6 man pen...but I could see the argument.

Not much RAJ had to work with here as far as finding another SS. J-Roll although declining was the best of the "doable" bunch. I think J-Roll felt underpaid previously and was waiting out a lucrative deal. When he found out there where no suitors his best option was come back home. Sort of like when you leave your ugly wife to find a prettier one but cant find that prettier one and come back home. I wanted to see some fresh faces at offensively wise but not much we can do other than reaching for a new 3B. I wonder if RAJ has any other moves up his sleeve.

About this con, "Last three seasons best described as 'blah.'"

You have to look at any hitter in the context of hitting that's been declining across baseball for several years now.

Compared to the league, here is his OPS+ since 2001 (i.e. his OPS normalized for the league; 100 = league average):

92, 85, 90, 102, 97, 101, 119, 103, 87, 85, 101

The 119 is obviously 2007. After that there is a second tier of seasons that includes 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008, as well as 2011.

Apparently Darvish's posting fee exceeded that of thanks.

Hope the Jays enjoy him.

You know the Moronocracy is out in full force when BAP is talking sense to them and aksmith is pretending they don't exist.

Interesting that the J-Roll contract is identical to the 3-year deal given to Ibanez at age 37 (with the exception of the potential 4th year if vesting goals are met.)

The KC Royals have a lot of youth every year.

The Phillies should definitely follow that model instead of keeping all these old guys.

gobaystars is right about J-Roll. His reception at the games is far more supportive than the posts of the Moronocracy.

How has that been working out for the Royals?

Would you rather be young, or good?

Sorry clout -- realized too late that must have been sarcasm.

I give this deal a "thumbs up."

Luckily Jimmy is 4-5 years younger than Raul was and plays a premium position.

Makes this deal quite a bit more reasonable.

I dont see how anyone could really not like this deal. Even the 4th year option is bearable. Its probably the most reasonable deal Rube has ever given out.

Andy: I like Headley too. He's a good defender, switch-hitter, just 28.

But I get the sense from your posts that you think he'd be a superstar if only he could get away from Petco.

I wish we had him, but I think he'd be very expensive to acquire and I don't think he'll ever hit more than 20 HRs regardless of where he plays.

Just how big a star do you think he'd be? Would you swap Hamels for him straight up?

NEPP: Exactly right. Which means the posters who've been complaining about the deal are either biased against J-Roll or would have to think the Ibanez deal is the worst contract in MLB history.

Per MLBTR two days ago:

Third baseman Chase Headley is the player most in demand and most likely to be traded. The Tigers have interest in him, but the Padres are said to be asking for "the moon."

The question this: Is he worth "the moon," Or better yet do the Phils have "the moon" to give up.

No and No.

"Option year is reportedly easily attainable, essentially making this a four-year commitment (through 2016)."
2015 actually -- 12, 13, 14, 15

clout - I don't think Headley's a superstar. I do think he's better than any thirdbaseman we've had since Rolen, though. I was just incensed by gobaystars despising him in a blanket way that dismisses key evidence about his ability.
It would be nice to have someone that is youngish, with above average speed, hitting ability and fielding ability.

Frankly, if I were dreaming about a young third baseman, I cast defense to the wind and stick Tank Viciedo's stake in the ground at the hot corner. My very unprofessional appraisal is that he's gonna mash someday.

Oh, and I wouldn't swap Hamels for either of those guys straight up. Hamels is worth more than that. But he becomes more tradeable during this season if certain things (negotiations with him and the Phils season) turn unexpectedly sour.

I do wonder if "the moon" would be Brown and Worley, maybe with Polanco and salary relief. I doubt it, though, since they'll get a better offer from somebody before the season starts.

I would give them Brown and Worley for Headley. That's a top prospect and a solid back end starter cheaply for the next 4-5 years. I might also throw in a lesser prospect to make the deal.

Pretty happy with this deal, all things considered. I'm also looking forward to the inevitable early season narratives about Dontrelle and Jimmy and the emergent Oakland Style.

It is definitely gonna be Oak-town in the house when J-Roll tweaks his knee and doesn't tell anybody about it for two weeks and D-train comes out with big applause and proceeds to walk two batters.

By the way, what makes Petco a pitchers park? I never cared to look before but the numbers (dimensions) don't look all that drastically different from CBP. Just wondering. Wouldn't a pitchers park mean more balls which don't go flying out, in essence, making a poorly reacting OF like Brown even more exposed?

When Jimmy officially signs on the dotted line it looks like the Phillies will have to make a corresponding move to the 40 man. Have fun in Japan Mr. Bowker

The roster is at 38, pb. So, the aforementioned Bowker lives another day.

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Glad to see this happen on a business basis and as a fan. I can't make a good analogy, but gut feel, $100M for a career for someone with Jimmy's creds seems incredibly reasonable for the team in today's world. clout's cite if ibanez is the one that really strikes me the most.

I think there is value to the club as well, having that type of continuity with certain key players. Jimmy's number will likely be flying above CBP in several years. Not a bad legacy for everyone.

I think he's been so good so long, some people tend to take him a bit for granted. A friend of mine is a die hard Orioles fan. I can imagine how he or a fan of a chronically struggling team would feel like hearing their team had locked up Jimmy Rollins for the next three years.

Also, for me, in one of those one critical post season, game deciding ABs, there is no one I'd rather see coming up, pop ups and all. Will never forget his double against LA or Broxton's ashen face on the post game interviews.

raul's grandpa -
You don't know how much I enjoy answering this question.

Start with the weight of air. Air is, mostly, nitrogen, a diotomic gas (N2)with a molar mass of 28. Oxygen, which is about a quarter of air, is also a diatomic gas (O2) and has a mass of 32. Water (H2O) has a molar mass of 18. San Diego has two things going for it.

1. It is closer to sea level, so the heavier parts of air (O2, for instance) tend to settle there. Plus there's more of it - more air between Petco and the upper atmosphere than in a high altitude place like, say, Denver. (If you don't think that matters, try taking a deep breath on Mount Everest.)

2. It is very, very dry in San Diego in the Summer. Meaning lower humidity - meaning less H2O to go with the increased O2. Not only is there more air and more of the heavier air, there's less of the lighter air.

Andy's Quick Rule of Thumb: The best pitcher's park would be located in Death Valley. The best hitter's park would be located in Machu Picchu.

As I finished up, grandpa, I realized forgot one other factor - heat. When molecules of anything (especially gases) are warmer they move around more and take up more space - so they weigh less. Hot air, as we see in a ballon, weighs less than a comparable volume of cold air.

As counter-intuitive as this sounds, it is warmer in the Summer in Philadelphia than in San Diego. Here are the average monthly high temperatures:

SD: A-68, M-68, J-71, J-75, A-77, S-76
Ph: A-64, M-74, J-83, J-87, A-85, S-78

I think that's it. Except that the Phillies starting pitching can make any stadium into a pitcher friendly park.

Guess "Mr No Hustle Personified" was not over-whelmed with lomg term offers from other teams. I was hoping the Phillies let him walk. He has lost a step, has been injured more than any other starter. Maybe they can include him in a trade now that he is under contract for a team player.

maine - I thought we traded Bowker for wasabi.

Amazing news, jroll is the f'n man.

Sherrill signs for $1.1m, dtrain was a bad move. BAP: further evidence that you aren't as 'knowledgeable' as you think. Yea sure, we all are right/wrong on subjects but you responded to me like I was aksmith that I even suggested sherrill sign for something remotely close to Willis.

At this point in the offseason, with all viable back-up options off the table, Phils HAD to do this deal. Good job by Rube waiting out the market. Only problem is... Phils' offense will be exactly the same as last year...

Raul's grandpa and Andy -- while CBP is a better hitter's park than Petco, that doesn't mean it's a better than average hitter's park. It's actually been in the middle of the pack for the past several years.

See ESPN's park factors here:

And article on it here:

bud radcliffe, defensively he's still excellent, and he stole 30 bases.

Offensively, you have to look at any hitter in the context of hitting that's been declining across baseball for several years now.

Compared to the league, here is his OPS+ since 2001 (i.e. his OPS normalized for the league; 100 = league average):

92, 85, 90, 102, 97, 101, 119, 103, 87, 85, 101

The 119 is obviously 2007. After that there is a second tier of seasons that includes 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008, as well as 2011.

I don't see a lot of decline there.

Now that the team speed has improved Mr. Gillick, what's next? There must be a bit more budget cash to spend.

Clout: exactly, any of the posters who hoped jroll would leave used contract terms as their logic and cited bullcrap estimates of 5yr/$80m (heather) to make their point.

Is Arizona that much higher in altitude? How good would a Vegas park be for pitching?

Would Brown suck there too?

Arizona is like 100 degrees all summer. there's that. As far as altitude idk. I think the dimensions are small in ARZ though arent they?

That's all well and good, Andy, but can you explain it with a haiku?

Heat is good for long balls
Cool sea level air is not
Can't hit our Aces

How's that?

Almost, train:
"heat's good for long balls"
Is five syllables.

I also realized that elevation also plays a factor in the weight of the baseball. The closer an object is to the center of the earth, the greater the force of gravity. At sea level, the ball weighs more.

Phoenix has an elevation over 1000 feet.

Wow, people were suggesting you were aksmith for suggesting such a thing, Lorecore?

You're welcome.

In fact, i don't mind the Dontrelle signing and I never thought Sherrill would get a big contract. However, if Rube had signed Sherrill instead, you can bet it would have been for at least two years. So there is that.

I think it's entirely possible that Willis will have about half as many pinch hit opportunities as pitching opportunities. And the way he hits, those appearances could be more important than the pitching, and he'd be the cheapest bench hitter on the team.

Anyone know if Dontrelle has ever considered taking balls at third?

It may seem unusual, but if you can be a very good fielder as a pitcher, and Willis is, why can't you be a good fielder when given up to 30 more feet for the ball to get to you? And of course, you're not in your follow through and making adjustments to catch a ball at third base. We know he has the arm.

It is extremely helpful for me. would you mind updating your blog with more information

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