According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Phillies have made Jimmy Rollins available in trade talks. Even if the Phillies were willing to part with their 14-year shortstop, there's one hitch: his full no-trade rights.
The Phillies might have done it last summer. They're reportedly "very willing" to move J-Roll now, according to Olney. Not that their willingness really means anything — Rollins has attained a full-no trade clause through 10-and-5 rights.
Rollins is in line to make $11 million this season and has an easily attainable vesting option for another $11 million in 2015 if he reaches 434 plate appearances and doesn't end this year on the disabled list.
He's likely going to reach it. The only time Rollins has failed to reach that threshold in the last 13 seasons was in 2010, when he played in only 88 games and still accumulated 394 plate appearances.
Rollins indicated last year he would have no intention to waive his no-trade clause even if the Phillies could line up a potential suitor. Not because he wants to finish his career where he started or because his family is settled here after 14 years but, you know, he wants to break team records.
He's already set the Phillies record for career doubles (457) and has two more within his reach this season: hits (he trails Mike Schmidt by 59) and at-bats (trails Schmidt by 262). Since he's so close, he's probably not agreeing to go anywhere.
Even if Rollins did agree, because he has full say over where he could go, it severely limits the Phillies' options in moving him anyway.
That's all beside the point. Moving Rollins wouldn't line up with the moves the Phillies have been making this offseason — even if they're supposedly "very willing" to do so. To an extent, the Phillies are still in win-now mode. Even though moving Rollins would free up $22 million over the next two seasons, they seem uninterested at the moment in inserting an unproven piece like Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
If only the Phillies could move Rollins, it would probably be to their benefit. His dropoff in numbers from 2012 to 2013 was fairly drastic, and at age 35 it's unlikely he'll be able to improve them much if at all in 2014. Last season, his power and speed numbers dipped the most: slugging dropped from .427 to .348; homers from 23 to six; stolen bases from 30 to 22. The slugging and homers were both career lows; the stolen bases his fewest in a full season since 2003. And for the first time ever, he posted a negative defensive WAR (-1.0).
Galvis hasn't shown he has the bat, but he certainly has the glove — arguably a better one than Rollins' at this point in their respective careers. But with a salary less than $1 million next year, Galvis would come a lot cheaper and be worth the slight dip in offense to allow the Phillies to allocate Rollins' money to fill other needs in the starting rotation or bullpen.
And if Galvis doesn't work out, there's a much deeper free agency class at shortstop next offseason that includes Hanley Ramirez, Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera and J.J. Hardy.
Braves sign ex-Phillie Floyd
The Atlanta Braves on Monday agreed to a one-year, $4 million with starter Gavin Floyd. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts last year for the White Sox before tearing a ligament in his right elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May.
Floyd, the Phillies' former No. 4 overall pick, had been solid with Chicago from 2008-12, going 62-56 with a 4.12 ERA while making at least 29 starts per season.
The deal is slightly cheaper than the $4.5 million the Phils gave Roberto Hernandez. The 30-year-old Floyd, who is hoping to return in May, likely has more upside but comes at a higher risk.