Jimmy Rollins, the leader of the 2008 World Series championship Phillies team and the franchise’ all-time Hits leader was designated for assignment today by the Chicago White Sox.
Rollins had been mired in a deep slump, hitting just .156 over the past two and a half weeks with just one extra-base hit, one RBI, and one stolen base in 38 plate appearances.
On the season, the now 37-year old ‘JRoll” was hitting for a .221/.295/329 slash line with two homers, eight RBI, and five steals across 166 plate appearances in 41 games played.
Rollins was traded by the Phillies along with cash considerations to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December of 2014 in exchange for pitchers Zach Eflin and Tom Windle.
Last August, Rollins was joined in the Dodgers’ lineup by longtime Phillies doubleplay partner Chase Utley in a move that LA hoped would help them advance in the postseason.
It didn’t work out. Rollins eventually lost his job to hotshot rookie Corey Seager. He became a free agent last November, and was left out there all winter.
The South Siders are just 3.5 games out in the AL Central race, playing exactly .500 baseball at 30-30. But they are reeling, having lost 12 of 15, and are receiving no real contribution from Rollins at the shortstop position.
The club had shortstop prospect Tim Anderson ready for his big league opportunity, and Anderson’s promotion today resulted in the Rollins DFA.
It is unlikely that Rollins is ready to retire. He is in great shape physically, can still play the shortstop position well, and his experience would certainly help some contender, even if just off the bench.
That experience includes, of course, that tremendous postseason run in 2008 with the Phillies, as well as his contributions during five consecutive NL East-winning campaigns.
Rollins was 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting back in 2001, became a 3x NL All-Star, 4x Gold Glover, and was the 2007 National League Most Valuable Player when he hit .296 with 30 home runs, 94 RBI, 38 doubles, 20 triples, 139 runs scored, and had 41 stolen bases.
He was making $2 million on a guaranteed contract for this season, which the White Sox are responsible for, so his pickup by another club would be extremely inexpensive.
Perhaps the top two teams who might fit a Rollins profile are the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays, both contenders who could each use the experience and reliability that Rollins brings to a team.