Philadelphia will consider shopping shortstop Jimmy Rollins, as ESPN's Buster Olney reports.
Rollins, who will enter his 15th major league season in 2014, is set to earn $11 million in 2014 and has an option for 2015 at the same value. That option vests with 434 plate appearances in 2014 as long as he doesn't finish the year on the disabled list. If the option doesn't vest, it becomes an $8 million club option for the Phillies, as well as a $5 million player option for Rollins.
The Phillies made him available last winter as well, but were unable to find the right deal. Rollins recently turned 35 years old, and put up his worst offensive season as a professional with a 667 OPS and six home runs in 2013.
If Philadelphia is able to trade Rollins this time around, they could turn to Freddy Galvis to replace him at short. Galvis has played a utility role for the club in the last two seasons with Rollins and Chase Utley firmly established in the middle infield, but as a minor leaguer Galvis played shortstop almost exclusively. Using him on an everyday basis could be a way for the Phillies to gauge his long-term value to club and save some much needed payroll in the process. But they'll have to trade their former MVP before that's an option, and that might not be as easy as it would've been a few years ago.
There aren't many teams with both the need at shortstop and the financial flexibility to add a player like Rollins. The Mets certainly have the need and could probably absorb a payroll hit of that magnitude, but it's uncertain whether or not the Phillies would entertain the idea of trading a franchise icon within the NL East.
If the Yankees aren't confident in Derek Jeter as their regular shortstop for 2014, and their earlier pursuit of free agent shortstop Stephen Drew has suggested as much, then Rollins could be a fit for them. However, they just gave Brendan Ryan a two-year deal and could still stay below the league's luxury tax threshold with some careful planning.
Beyond New York, few teams have a place to put Rollins unless he's willing to change positions. Since he has a full no-trade clause that he can use to veto any trade, that seems unlikely. In fact, as recently as this summer, Rollins said he would not waive the clause if the team asked him.
Facilitating a deal for Rollins might require Philadelphia to include cash in a potential swap, especially if they expect anything better than marginal prospects in return. Even then, a trade would take some pretty deft maneuvers from general manger Ruben Amaro, Jr.