I'm a Dodgers fan... Now that that's established...
The Dodgers have a habit of signing players past their prime to
overly-generous contracts before they are put out to baseball pasture
(see: Manny Ramirez, Jason Schmidt, Nomar Garciaparra, Andruw Jones, et.
So when the Dodgers made their first notable move at this week’s
Winter Meetings, I wasn’t surprised that they were in contention to sign
another veteran to their roster in Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
What does surprise me though is that trade actually makes sense for the Dodger’s current lineup.
In his 15 years in the City of Brotherly Love, Rollins has
established himself as one of the game’s top shortstops. Rollins, who is
36, is a two-time All-Star and 2007 NL MVP and is well regarded in the
Phillies clubhouse and community. And after losing Hanley Ramirez to the
BoSox, the boys in blue are in dire need of a quality middle infielder
that can be an immediate impact player in the lineup.
While the Dodgers have young talent in Corey Seager, the infielder is
still a year or two away from being an everyday player in the Bigs.
Rollins has one year left on his contract and is expecting to be paid
$11 million in the 2015 season and can act as a bridge until Seager’s
major league debut. Compared to some of the horrible deals the Dodgers
have made in the past few seasons, Rollins seems like a deal. The team
gets a reliable hitter and a seasoned veteran in a locker room that’s
been described as dysfunctional at best.
It’s not yet clear who the Dodgers will be trading in return for
Rollins, but the deal seems to indicate that new GM Andrew Friedman may
be a little more savvy that his predecessor Ned Colletti when it comes
to using the purse. While the Dodgers have been rumored to be suitors in
several blockbuster trades including Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and
Andrew Miller, Friedman has refrained from any major deals until today’s
acquisition of Rollins.
--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
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