Phillies ink Rollins to 3-year contract
By Sports Network
|The Phillies signed Jimmy Rollins to a three-year, $33-million contract. (REUTERS/Sarah Conard)
The Philadelphia Phillies made it official on Monday and signed shortstop Jimmy Rollins to a three-year, $33-million contract.
The deal includes a vesting option for 2015 at $11 million that, if not vested, could be a club option at $8 million or a player option at $5 million.
"Jimmy has been an integral part of this franchise's recent success and is arguably the best shortstop in club history," said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
"He also stands to be one of the Phillies' all-time greatest players. This contract ensures that he will be with us at a time when we hope to continue this recent run of division titles. Jimmy clearly gives us the best chance to bring a World Series title back to Philadelphia and we are looking forward to the next several years with him at his home at the shortstop position."
Rollins, 33, has spent his entire 12-season career with the Phillies, who picked him in the second round of the 1996 draft. He made his big league debut in 2000, then became the everyday shortstop the following season and helped transform a sometimes moribund franchise into a consistent winner.
"From the first day I got here -- in the big leagues -- it was about making this team a contender and eventually a champion. Those things have been accomplished," Rollins said during a Monday press conference.
The Phillies had suffered through seven straight losing seasons when Rollins took over at short in 2001. They've had just one losing season -- 80-81 in 2002 -- since and have become the National League East's elite team over the past five seasons.
Rollins won the NL MVP in 2007, coincidentally the same year the Phillies won the first of their five straight NL East titles. He batted .296 with 30 homers and 94 runs batted in during his MVP campaign, then helped the franchise to its second World Series title the following year.
Injuries have taken their toll in recent years and Rollins' numbers have steadily declined.
An injury-filled 2010 campaign allowed Rollins to play just 88 games and he struggled to a career-worst .243 batting average. He bounced back somewhat in 2011, finishing with 16 homers, 63 runs batted in and a .268 average in 142 games.
A three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins owns a career average of .272 with 170 homers and 725 runs batted in. He has scored at least 100 runs five times and is still a consistent stolen base threat, having swiped 30 bases last year.