As we all painfully know by now, the Phillies didn’t move anyone on the July 31st deadline, besides being on of the worst teams in the MLB. Local and national buzz were that the Phillies held the values of their players far higher than opposing general managers did. From the sounds of things, Jimmy Rollins was just another one of those players.
Yesterday evening on Baseball Night in America, Fox’s Ken Rosenthal said that the A’s contacted the Phillies about Rollins’ services, but talks ‘didn’t go anywhere’. I’d be willing to take a wild guess that the Phillies wanted too much for him in any deal.
Rosenthal also passed along that when Rollins is inevitably waived in August, he likely will be claimed by another team, before he reaches the A’s, who are currently dead last in the waiver order due to having the best record in baseball. It’s impossible to think that a team like the Tigers, who have next to no stability at shortstop currently, wouldn’t claim Rollins, even if they had no intention of agreeing to a trade to bring him to Philly, just to keep him away from the A’s.
As long as teams feel like the Phillies will pull back Rollins and try to negotiate a trade, rather than just letting whatever team claims him to take on his deal, then just about all contenders will put in a claim on him, just to make sure he doesn’t get to the A’s or Tigers. If any team claims him and the Phillies pull him back, they have no risk at all. If they can’t agree on a trade, Rollins doesn’t continue to go through the waiver process, and he just stays in Philly.
For any trades to seriously happen, one of two things will need to happen. Either Rollins makes it to a team like the Giants and they claim him, the Phillies pull him back, and the two sides work out a trade, or the Phillies will have to make teams think that they would be willing to let whatever team claims Rollins have him and his $11 million salary for 2014. I don’t think anyone gets the sense that the Phillies would just ‘give’ Rollins away, though.