Jimmy Rollins and the Incentives of Vesting Options

The news out of Phillies camp this week is that Ryne Sandberg and Jimmy Rollins were not on the same page. Despite being healthy, Rollins wasn’t in the line-up for four straight games, and Sandberg went out of his way to praise Freddy Galvis‘ energy. Suddenly, a pretty cut and dried starter/backup depth chart seems to be not quite so cut and dried.

In the end, this may turn out to be nothing. Perhaps Sandberg is just trying to motivate Rollins by letting him know that he’s not guaranteed a spot in the line-up everyday. Perhaps he was just resting an aging player in meaningless spring training games. Perhaps the team just wanted to see if Galvis could hit big league pitching, and the only way to get him those at-bats in March is to let him play the first few innings. But because of the structure of Rollins’ contract, it isn’t too hard to see that this could also be the groundwork for ensuring that 2014 is his last year in Philadelphia.

After the 2011 season, Rollins signed a three year extension with the Phillies that included a vesting option for the 2015 season. That $11 million option becomes guaranteed if Rollins gets either 600 plate appearances in 2014 or 1,100 plate appearances between 2013 and 2014 combined. Because Rollins is a durable guy, he racked up 666 PAs last year, meaning he’s now just 434 PAs away from that option becoming a guaranteed salary. Given his health track record, it is very likely that option will vest, and the Phillies will be on the hook for an additional $11 million for next year as well.

Unless, of course, Rollins just finds himself out of the line-up on a regular basis, even if he’s healthy. The Phillies would vehemently deny that they would ever make playing time decisions based on preventing an option from vesting, of course, but teams still deny that they hold players down in the minors until after the service time windows pass to get a year towards free agency and Super Two arbitration status as well. The reality is that, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the Phillies hold the power of deciding how much Rollins plays, and how much Rollins plays determines whether or not the Phillies have to pay him a salary that would likely be more than he could get on the open market for 2015. There’s a conflict there, even if team officials insist it doesn’t influence their decision.

And Rollins case is actually even a little trickier than just a traditional vesting option, because his contract stipulates that if the option does not vest, it converts into an $8 million team option or a $5 million player option. While $11 million for an aging Rollins might be a tough pill to swallow, an $8 million option for a player who can still start for most teams might actually be seen as a boon to his trade value. Or at least, it wouldn’t be a serious impediment, since even if an acquiring team didn’t want to pay the $8 million for 2015, his player option is only worth $5 million. It’s almost impossible to imagine that he’d be worth less than that on the open market, so if he falls short of 434 plate appearances, all the outcomes start to lean in favor of the team who controls his rights.

And there’s probably a pretty high likelihood that, come August, that team won’t be the Phillies. They’re unlikely contenders in 2014, and he’s the kind of guy that would be easiest to move and most desirable to other teams, given the short commitment and his ability to still play shortstop. In fact, if the Phillies anticipate trading Rollins at some point in 2014, not playing him everyday in the first half may do more to boost his trade value than letting him take the field.

If the Phillies made him share time with Galvis in the first half of the year, limiting him to a couple hundred plate appearances before the All-Star Break, then they could market Rollins as a potential regular for any team acquiring his services, since there would may not be enough time left in the season for Rollins’ option to vest, even if the new team returned him to his role as an everyday shortstop. In other words, the Phillies could depress his playing time in the first half to such a degree that they were essentially saving those plate appearances for any team looking to pick him up for the last two months of the season, while still keeping the option for 2015 from being guaranteed.

The Phillies can’t overtly put this plan into place. This is the kind of thing that would get the attention of the Players Association very quickly, and they’d be in for a legal fight if it was clear that they were benching Rollins for the primary purpose of keeping that option from vesting. But, with Galvis already getting praised for his energy and taking at-bats away from Rollins in spring training, the Phillies are creating a plausible scenario where Galvis could get starts at shortstop in the regular season without giving off the appearance that the decision has anything to do with contractual matters. And in reality, the gap between Rollins and Galvis isn’t so great that the Phillies wouldn’t be justified in giving the younger player a share of the at-bats.

Our depth charts projections give Rollins an expected .302 wOBA, while Galvis checks in at .281. Over the course of 600 plate appearances, a 20 point wOBA gap is about 10 runs. While Rollins has traditionally been a good defender, he is going to be 35 this year, and it’s not too difficult to make a case that Galvis is a better fielder at this point in their careers, and if Galvis is five runs better defensively than Rollins in 2014 — not a ridiculous assumption — then the gap between the two would be something like half a win over the entire season. In other words, transferring a few hundred PAs to Galvis from Rollins would likely have little tangible effect on the Phillies, and it’s not like they’d be intentionally making themselves much worse just to save a little money.

If the Phillies are as bad as our projections think, they’re likely going to be playing for the future by mid-May anyway, and a team that isn’t a likely contender shouldn’t be prioritizing fractions of a win over evaluating and developing future talent. Even putting the contract issues aside, the Phillies could be justified in playing Galvis over Rollins just because of their organizational place on the win curve. The contract issues just push the incentives even further in Galvis’ direction.

Of course, all of this will be denied, and the Phillies would say that no major league organization would ever let these factors influence their decision making. And maybe none of this ever materializes into anything, with Rollins going right back into the line-up and staying there all season. But it’s not crazy for the Phillies to want to play Freddy Galvis, especially because Rollins’ contract incentivizes them to do just that.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Aaron (UK)
Member
Aaron (UK)
2 years 5 months ago

Similarly, watch for the Nationals giving Rafael Soriano a day off here and there and allowing Storen to close (or, ahem, “finish games”).

zimmerman
Guest
zimmerman
2 years 5 months ago

How does JRoll’s rights to veto trades play into your analysis? He has gone on record that he would always veto a trade because he wants to break certain Phillies’ all-time records.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah, he’s a 10-5 guy, so it doesn’t matter whether the Phillies want to trade him.

What are you talking about
Guest
What are you talking about
2 years 5 months ago

Rollins said he didn’t care about spring stats. Ryne interpreted it as him saying he didn’t care about spring. He said everyone else on the team cared. He was proving a point. And Rollins was getting over the flu.

I am not trying to be mean at all. Did you research this before righting this article? At all?

What are you talking about
Guest
What are you talking about
2 years 5 months ago

How embarrassing. **writing**

Haha.

Yeah
Guest
Yeah
2 years 5 months ago

And we would have all just assumed it was clever word play.

What are you talking about
Guest
What are you talking about
2 years 5 months ago

Well if you knew me, you would know that’s overly charitable :-)

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

“I am not trying to be mean at all. Did you research this before righting this article? At all?”

Yes, you were trying to be a dick. The “at all” at the end is a clear indication of dickish intent. Howsabout something along the lines of:

“Hey, here’s an article that I read that said Rollins said this, while Ryne said that. Also Rollins may have been recovering from the flu. It may offer some additional perspective on the alleged tiff.”

See? Easy to offer up the same info sans the dickish tone! And will generally be much better received. :)

What are you talking about
Guest
What are you talking about
2 years 5 months ago

Understand your point. Could have worded it better.

I wasn’t trying to be a dick. How could you possibly know that? Because of the “at all”?

Your wording was better, if not accurate to my point. It wasn’t an article. It was ALL of them. Regardless, you don’t my intentions so please don’t claim that you do and paint them in the worst possible light.

Not too sure who actually had intentions of being dickish in all of this…

Bill Maher
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Jason was a passive aggressive asshole and got plus votes. My kind of system!

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah, my main issue is the “not trying to be mean.”

There’s no reason not to be mean, if he’s completely wrong.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 5 months ago

“There’s no reason not to be mean, if he’s completely wrong.”

sure there is, and that reason is called civility.

arc
Guest
arc
2 years 5 months ago

“that reason is called civility”

May as well appeal to “classiness” or “honor” while you’re at it. Really, any undefined buzzword that can be thrown out as self-evidently higher-minded will do. No argument required.

Jake
Guest
Jake
2 years 5 months ago

Its almost as though the author would have to believe that the Phillies would say they were benching Rollins for reasons other than saving money. Balderdash!

Oh wait, he said that explicitly, in the article itself.

Bearman
Guest
Bearman
2 years 5 months ago

Ur buying bullshit, Rollins is fine

Billy
Guest
Billy
2 years 5 months ago

I feel like there’s a bit of a mob mentality here when it comes to down voting posts. Once a few people express disapproval (which they are entitled to), everyone else jumps the guy. Kinda like how in middle school there was the kid that everyone picked on for no other reason that it was somehow established that he was the kid it was cool to pick on.

This guy really didn’t sound THAT bad. He could have said it in a nicer way, and even admitted as much. But I think sometimes we read things on the internet with a more negative tone than that with which it is meant. I’ve seen far more distasteful garbage go unpunished in the comments here than this.

arc
Guest
arc
2 years 5 months ago

Speaking of gradeschool, who cares about the votes?

All those folks complaining about the MVP races
Guest
All those folks complaining about the MVP races
2 years 5 months ago

Hey there! You rang?

Miggy
Guest
Miggy
2 years 5 months ago

votes on votes on votes on votes

SammyL
Guest
SammyL
2 years 5 months ago

This is very similar to Bobby Abreu’s situation in 2011.

He needed something like 450 PAs for his 2012 option to vest and it was pretty clear that the Angels were not interested in having the option vest, but there wasn’t really a way to keep a healthy Abreu from reaching those PAs without overtly cutting his playing time, so the 2012 option vested by the end of July and the Angels ended up eating most of the 2012 salary to dump him.

C. Mitchell
Guest
C. Mitchell
2 years 5 months ago

It surprising that you say the Phillies are not contenders because according to Paplebon if he was a gambling man then he would pick the Phillies to go to the WS. Feel bad leaving Boston now Pap!!! Just kidding of course but the article is a very interesting piece.

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
2 years 5 months ago

This is why you shouldn’t gamble on sports teams you are emotionally invested in.

But I doubt Paplebon feals bad about leaving Boston, I doubt the RedSox came close to matching what the Philies offered him.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 years 5 months ago

Of course not. The Red Sox have a competent front office.

dovif
Guest
dovif
2 years 5 months ago

Paplebon gets about $150k for every innings he pitch in Philadelphia. I am pretty sure he is not regrating much

pj
Guest
pj
2 years 5 months ago

The only problem with all those calculations is that Freddy Galvis is terrible.

somedude
Guest
somedude
2 years 5 months ago

Having one of the best gloves in the league and some sneaky pop – he’s far from terrible.

pj
Guest
pj
2 years 5 months ago

In Oliver’s projections which is the best possible scenario for Galvis of 600 ABs, they give him a .291 OBP. Terrible. Steamers gives him a negative defensive rating as well.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

Perhapsh, but (terrible + cheap) versus (mediocre/declining + much more expensive) is a different calculus! May depend very heavily on whether the Phils are in contention or dump mode come July.

Leoz
Guest
Leoz
2 years 5 months ago

Freddy’s glove is definitely solid. His bat is definitely meh. But you’ve got to love his pre-arbitration contract over an $8-$11 million Jimmy Rollins.

walt526
Member
walt526
2 years 5 months ago

Galvis’ negative defensive rating from Steamers is due in no small part to his horrendous 2B performance last year. Given that he played all of 3 games at 2B in the minors and had never played 2B at all until 2012, I’m not sure how informative those numbers are for how he will perform at SS. All indications are that he’s, at worst, an average defender at SS and most likely superior to Rollins at this point.

Brian
Guest
Brian
2 years 5 months ago

It would still strike me as odd that the Phillies would be OK paying Rollins $11 million to sit on the bench this year, just to make him more tradeable by saving a few coins for some other team next year. Wouldn’t the better option simply be to let him play (and hopefully play well) and then eat a few million on the back end of the vesting option in a trade, than to pay him to sit and not contribute? I get that the contract is a sunk cost at this point, but it’s not like Rollins is useless like Jason Bay was with the Mets.

walt526
Member
walt526
2 years 5 months ago

Well it depends on how much value the Phillies put on the ~1 win that Rollins is projected to provide over Galvis in 2014. And realistically, the marginal difference will be far less than that because Rollins will play ~2/3rds of a season even if the Phillies are determined not to let the option vest. Assuming the Phillies are as bad as we expect them to be in 2014, giving up <0.5 win this year might be worth the chance to save $11M next year (or at least $5M, if Rollins exercises his player option).

somedude
Guest
somedude
2 years 5 months ago

Trading Rollins might be tricky as he has 10/5 rights and if he’s mad at the organization may not be willing to waive them.

j6takish
Guest
j6takish
2 years 5 months ago

The Phillies have been pretty adamant on not trading guys that seemed like obvious trade candidates

What are you talking about
Guest
What are you talking about
2 years 5 months ago

Seriously guys, please Google this story. Much ado over nothing. It’s a non-story. Even if DC did write it – he’s not Midas. Only close. This was a big swing-and-a-miss.

Batting 2nd today, message delivered, end of story.

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
2 years 5 months ago

This article’s not really about what may or may not be going on with Rollins, though. At its heart, it’s about the inherent conflict of interest in vesting options, using one of multiple possible interpretations of whatever happened between Rollins and Sandberg as the hook. The Rollins-Sandberg story might not mean anything (and I’m not 100% sure that’s the case), but to call this article a swing-and-a-miss is to, as it were, not see the forest for the trees.

KM
Guest
KM
2 years 5 months ago

This is true, but Rollins is probably a poor candidate to discuss in the context of trades since he has veto power and has already said he would use it. Unless, I guess, the suggestion is that the phillies are trying to piss him off enough to want out.

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 5 months ago

Wouldn’t jump to that conclusion so quickly. Whether or not they are actually trying to avoid having his option vest, DC is clearly correct that they have a fairly strong incentive to do so. The CBA explicitly bans teams from making playing time or roster decisions based on service time or other contractual considerations, hence DC’s comment about potentially provoking a legal/grivance fight with Rollins & the MLBPA. This is usually only relevant for FA/arbiration clock issues, but is relevant here.

If the Phils were to want to intentionally nuke his vesting option, it would be a clear violation of the CBA. Because of that, phils mgmt would need plausible deniablity. Setting this precedent in ST (when there’s no $ on the line) and promoting Galvis as a credible alternative to Rollins on the field goes a long way towards giving them the plausible deniability they’d need to pull this off in the regular season. If they are intent on this, look for several more excuses floated that would give them cover for denying him PA’s (“It’s important for us to keep our vets fresh, so we intend on giving them regular rest” , etc) and plenty of anonymous-source digs (“lost a step” / “letting his attitude towards Sanberg affect his play”)

Emcee Peepants
Guest
Emcee Peepants
2 years 5 months ago

This scenario would also assume Ruin Tomorrow Jr. knows what a vesting option means…

Mike
Guest
Mike
2 years 5 months ago

This reads like Dave had “The Incentives of Vesting Options” already written and was just looking for the player’s name to use as an example.

The larger point he makes is valid, but I don’t see any evidence that this is something the Phillies have ever concerned themselves with. Using a spring training benching by an inexperienced manager looking to prove his authority to a veteran starter as an indicator that it’s going to lead to regular-season benchings for the purposes of making sure an option doesn’t vest takes a leap of faith the size of the Grand Canyon.

Snidely Whiplash
Guest
Snidely Whiplash
2 years 5 months ago

Of course, someone in the Filly’s organization will read this article and ‘come up’ with the idea and get a promotion…

Vlad the Impaler
Guest
Vlad the Impaler
2 years 5 months ago

It’s never too early to start thinking about letting Papelbon not finish as many games, either.

His 2016 option vests with either 55 Games Finished in 2015 or 100 combined in 2014-15.

Of course, that would require proactive thinking, something RAJ didn’t do in a terrible 2013 season by letting Rollins get 666 PA’s.

Compton
Guest
Compton
2 years 5 months ago

I have come to realize that what the Phillies *should* do and what the Phillies *do* do are two entirely different things. Even if someone brought up this idea up in their front office, it would probably get them fired because it’s too analytical.

Snidely Whiplash
Guest
Snidely Whiplash
2 years 5 months ago

…or a promotion…

walt526
Member
walt526
2 years 5 months ago

I suspect that it was intended more as a long overdue kick-in-the-butt to Rollins to put some effort into his play than anything else. Who knows if it will work, but publicly shaming him might be a more effective than yelling and screaming at a 35 year-old guy.

Bri Guy
Guest
Bri Guy
2 years 5 months ago

A contract is a contract. If the related clauses are written well, I don’t see why the Phillies shouldn’t just give him 432 at bats or whatever and call it a season if they can’t win by then. Or run him out there every day and hope he gets hurt or sucks to start the season and they can replace him legitimately.Both sides negotiated the contract, and both should be able to benefit from it. Not saying anything about fan backlash or general image issues for the club of course, but considering the general railing against management, what’s the difference really?

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

If the Phillies were to give Rollins 430 plate appearances and then bench him to stop his option from vesting, fan backlash and image issues would be the least of their worries. They’d be up against a grievance from the players’ union, and the MLBPA would have a very strong case.

kdon
Guest
kdon
2 years 5 months ago

The note about the 666 PAs pretty clearly indicates that the Phillies were not thinking along the lines suggested in this article. The team was out of it early last year, Rollins was playing terribly, and Galvis could have easily taken 2-3 games a week, or Jimmy could have been moved down in the lineup. But he ended the 2013 season starting the final 20 games and hitting in the #2 spot.

I mean, it’s possible (as above) to interpret this as an oversight by a clueless organization, and that they are just now realizing they could do this, but that takes some pretty twisted logic, one that is hard to fit even a feckless org like the Phils.

dovif
Guest
dovif
2 years 5 months ago

you are assuming the Phillie front office have faresight, did you know Howard got a $100 mill contract and based on WAR will be worth about $10 mil?

Poo
Guest
Poo
2 years 5 months ago

If he’s not worth 11 million, and the team doesn’t want to pay him and he’s not good enough to force their hand and play him regularly, then by all means bench him.

Mr Punch
Guest
Mr Punch
2 years 5 months ago

The PA numbers are hard to work, though. He had 666 last year, about 111/month. A team that acquires him will play him, giving him, say, 300 PA from the All Star break, or 222 from the deadline. Philly would have to bench him, basically, to trade him in early July, or play him less than half-time through 7/31. If the team isn’t very good (and Pap is, of course, an idiot) then mistreating a popular star is bound to be a bad move. And will anybody want him? There’s at least one better shortstop with no job right now.

Spit Ball
Guest
Spit Ball
2 years 5 months ago

You could claim that Freddy Galvis is a better option at shortstop when a lefty starter is on the mound. J-Roll has hit better lefty than righty over the course of his career although last year was a wash as he sucked from the left side too. If the Phillies were serious about this they could start with a platoon that would give the Plate apps against lefty starters to Galvis. Even if the Phils theoretically wanted to do this Rollins would still likely get to 432 PA’s just through the straight platoon. Add in pinch hitting, the 15 games national league teams get to use the DH, Utley’s creaky knees and uncertainty at third and way to many things would have have to go right for the Phillies and wrong with J-Roll.

fred
Guest
fred
2 years 5 months ago

“And there’s probably a pretty high likelihood that, come August, that team won’t be the Phillies.” Etc…

Rollins must approve a trade and he’s on record as wanting to remain in Phila.

Cj
Guest
Cj
2 years 5 months ago

Uhh… Yawn who cares

Anthony
Guest
Anthony
2 years 5 months ago

Dave, I think you’re ignoring the Rollins factor.

Rollins has 2175 hits. The person currently in sole possession of first place on the Phillies all-time hits list is Mike Schmidt, with 2234. That makes J-Roll 60 away. Steamers projects him at .238 average next season, the other three projection systems around .250. Getting a hit in a quarter of your at-bats makes math easy, so I’m going to use that. 60 hits times four would mean approximately 240 at bats needed. If it were 434 at bats, this would be great, since August and September would mean 194 at bats spread out amongst two months, very reasonable for a healthy Rollins.

The issue is, though, that Rollins also has nonAB plate appearances, that account for about 9.5% of his total plate appearances. Factoring those in gets us to about 265 PA. Reasonably, before the July 31st Trade deadline, Rollins would need around 265 (or more if he hits worse than .250) plate appearances to claim the hits title. Normally, the Phillies could just trade him anyway, but he’s got 10 & 5 rights and I believe he’s on record saying he wants to hit title. If the Phillies don’t get him at least 265 PA by July/he doesn’t pass Schmidt, I think he very well may veto any trade, and then he could just exercise his player option.

Additionally, the only way he has any real value as an average-performing shortstop at the deadline, is if he’s not on pace to play all of August and September and exceed 434 PA. If he gets to 2235 hits before the deadline, it’s very likely he’ll trigger the 11 MM vesting option with over 434 PA, assuming playing time down the stretch with his new team (which I think is safe to assume if someone is taking on the remaining 3.7~ MM of his salary that will be left by then).

This 2235 situation complicates this tremendously. If he doesn’t get there, he’s likely to veto a trade, making this whole thing moot. If he does get there, he’s likely to get to 434, significantly decreasing his attractiveness in a trade.

There’s also the point that playing Freddy Galvis would be completely irrational on account of the fact that Phillies management clearly believes they are in an optimal position on the win curve right now and have a legitimate chance to contend; if they didn’t, why have they extended Utley and essentially Ruiz, signed Carmona/Hernandez, signed Burnett, and signed Byrd? It would be a complete turnaround from their offseason stance to *enter* the season with the mindset that marginal win Rollins provides over Galvis is meaningless. At least until it’s evident that Philadelphia IS (as we expect) going to be horrendous, it would seem like Philly’s offseason plan is to put the best players out there.

All of this factors into this equation. It’s a lot more complicated than a simple vesting option. The Phillies are one heck of a confusing organization, as is this contract in the first place and their handling of it by letting Rollins get 666 PA last season…

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

“This 2235 situation complicates this tremendously”

Does it though? Does anyone notice or care about who is the all-time (fill in your favorite stat) leader for (fill in your ball club of choice)?

I’m not saying no one cares, just legitimately asking if anyone cares about such things. Maybe Rollins cares a LOT. Maybe not at all. Does anyone know for sure, aside from speculation?

Quetzalcuddyer
Guest
Quetzalcuddyer
2 years 5 months ago

Aren’t the Phillies about to be stupid rich? As such, is drawing the ire of what I’m assuming is still a beloved player (and of the fan base) worth saving relatively unproductive money in what should be a 2015 rebuild? And if fans might enjoy attending games with Jimmy Rollins playing instead of Freddy Galvis, or watching them on television, the entire calculus of this thing changes dramatically.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
2 years 5 months ago

Philly fans will turn on a player in a heartbeat. Especially if the local media tells them to.

I have been to 2 home openers in Philly. In one they booed Scott Rolen in his first plate appearance (for having the gall to say he’d only sign with the Phillies is the FO seemed like they were trying to win). In the other they booed Placido Planco in his first plate appearance (because the media blamed Planco – not the FO and service time or David Bell for blocking Utley’s path).

All that is to say…don’t factor fan favorite into things. Those opnions can change pretty quickly.

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 5 months ago

That’s very true. Former fan favorites Rolen and Schill were driven out of favor and then town for relatively minor issues. They can no longer count on the mindless idiots on WIP to do this for them, but I’m sure they could get some reporters to write a story about how JRoll thinks he’s to good for Philly now, puts tomatoes and Mayonnaise on his cheese steaks, and is a closet Cowboys fan.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
2 years 5 months ago

Bowa gave an interview recently where he said something about Rollins at times only giving 70% (but he also said he might be a hall of famer, and seemed to suggest it was mostly once the Phils were out of it that Rollins slacked some). And Sandberg did have an issue with Rolins saying “who cares” about spring stats, or something like that.

It may be an issue with vesting, but I got the sense it was more Sandberg as a new manager sending an old school message, in concert with Bowa.

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 5 months ago

There is a little irony in that Sandberg retired the first time in his age 35 season.

Steve Jeltz
Guest
Steve Jeltz
2 years 5 months ago

At least they don’t plan on benching him for Dickie Thon — after Dickie got beaned so bad he could barely see straight.

ramsey
Guest
ramsey
2 years 5 months ago

Sitting Rollins could get them in all kinds of trouble with the fans, the media, and potentially the players’ union. Rollins isn’t going to take something like that quietly. This is also rather inconsistent with the Phillies’ philosophy lately, which is to hold together the old core to retain fan interest. Sitting Rollins to save $3 million on an old player and play a young guy sounds like something a fangraphs writer would suggest the Phillies do, not something they would actually do. And as mentioned above, Rollins has no trade rights and has said he won’t waive them.

While this might be part of a grand money-saving plan, I think it’s much more likely Sandberg is trying to send a message. Rollins has always been a bit of a troublemaker, and from media reports it sounds like there may be a personality conflict between them.

6er
Member
6er
2 years 5 months ago

Rollins reminds me of Brandon Phillips but on the the other side of second base.

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