Rollins to Giants rumors heat up
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has played his entire career in Philadelphia. But the Oakland native, who’s a free agent now, told reporters this week that he’s a business man who’s ready to become part of a bidding war to interested teams.
One of those interested teams appears to be the San Francisco Giants.
Rollins wants a five-year deal, but at his age (he turns 33 next month), the Phillies are hesitant to entertain such an offer. With most of their starting lineup already in the 30-and-over club, Philly is more inclined to sign J-Roll to a shorter contract.
Rollins isn’t budging.
“If I was older, I’d take a shorter term,” the three-time All Star said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I probably have a good six years left, possibly more, to perform at a high level. I know how to keep myself in shape. I’m looking to get five years. If it’s going to be shorter, it would have to be a fifth-year option or something like that. My option.”
The Giants have jumped out in front as early contenders for Rollins’ services. Rollins owns an MVP award (2007), a Silver Slugger award (2007), and three Gold Gloves (2007-09). After a down year in 2010, he batted .268/.338/.399 in 2011 with 16 HR, 63 RBI and 30 stolen bases.
I did a quick Google news search to see just how many articles mentioned Rollins and the Giants, and the search yielded 434 results, with 34 news articles in the last 72 hours alone.
San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean has always shown an interest in veteran shortstops (e.g., Rich Aurilia, Omar Vizquel, Juan Uribe, and most recently, Miguel Tejada). Frankly, Rollins seems like a kid compared to some of the dudes on this list.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, meanwhile, is the first to admit that a Rollins-less Phillies lineup would seriously hurt his team, but he’s also been giving hints lately that 21-year old wonderkid Freddy Galvis might be ready for the big time sooner than originally thought.
With 24-year old Brandon Crawford still unproven (at the plate anyway), San Francisco has a glaring hole to fill on the left side of the infield and Rollins would provide a steady glove and much-needed leadoff experience in the Giants’ anemic lineup.
The only real question is, can the Giants afford to sign Rollins to a contract that would take him to age 38?