Philadelphia Phillies: Vesting Option Holds Key to How Long Jimmy Rollins Remains

By Mike Gibson
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors were rampant earlier this week that the Philadelphia Phillies were offering shortstop Jimmy Rollins to any and all prospective buyers.

There are two problems with that. One, nobody wants Rollins at the $11 million a year his contract calls for him to make in 2014 and, two, Rollins has a no-trade contract and has often stated that he has no desire to leave the team. Rollins gave the Phils his usual solid play in the field, but his batting average has dropped off significantly since his .297 in the 30-HR MVP season of 2007.

That was a long time and the Phillies and Rollins appear to have reached a crossroads. If by some miracle there’s a contender out there who would take Rollins off the Phillies’ hands by trading a prospect, the Phils no doubt would bite, but Rollins would also have to be talked into the deal.

By hitting .252 in 2013, he was giving the team Freddy Galvis-like production at Chase Utley prices. The vesting option on his contract appears to be the only way Rollins and the Phils will ever part earlier than the expiration of his contract two years from now.

Rollins needs 600 plate appearances in 2014 for his 2015 vesting option to kick in and if he  continues to hit in the .250s, the Phillies might be inclined to go with Galvis at short, leaving Rollins as an expensive pinch-hitting and pinch-running replacement sometime in 2014. If that happens, his pride could kick in and then he might give the team the go-ahead for a trade.

Better yet, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. might make that clear to Rollins sometime this offseason, and he could save the team and himself some headaches. Right now, the smart money is on Rollins sticking around town at least until midseason of next year.

Mike Gibson is a Phillies writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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