Is that true? Or did Jimmy just flip the Cliff Lee card?
You can decide.
Rollins told Jim Salisbury that he accepted less guaranteed money (and years) to re-sign with the Phillies. In effect, he gave them the “hometown discount,” which is exactly what he said he wouldn’t do.
Rollins said he could have gotten a four-year deal in Milwaukee, but that couldn’t top his desire to stay in Philadelphia, where he has been a fixture at shortstop and the top of the batting order for 11 seasons. Rollins would not comment on the amount of money that Milwaukee offered.
“If it was purely about guaranteed money and guaranteed years, I’d be wearing blue and gold in Milwaukee,” he said. “There is a lure about Philly. I’ve been part of the foundation here. The fans have seen me grow up since I was 21. Do you leave that for money or do you stay home? This is where I want to be.”
That’s laudable, but is it accurate?
Howard Eskin, whom most of you don’t like, weighed in on the Twitters:
Still believe if J rollins would have gotten more $ from Milwaukee he would have taken it.
That’s purely speculation, but let’s delve into our Winter Meetings running commentary from last Wednesday:
6:57 PM: A second meeting between the Brewers and Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano, was cancelled. It was at that point the Brewers knew J-Roll™ was headed back to Philly. Nothing is official, but it's another sign that the Phillies and Rollins are close.
7:11 PM: And Ruben Amaro is dripping smug all over my keyboard. When told about Rollins' agent canceling a meeting with the Brewers, Amaro said: [Philly.com]
"That's good news, I guess. I haven't heard that yet. I hope it's true."
The fact that talks between the Brewers and Rollins broke down so early (the Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez last Thursday), and the Phillies didn’t reach agreement with Rollins until today, leads one to believe that either the Brewers weren’t that interested, or Rollins was willing and wanted to take a leap of faith on the Phillies offering him a comparable deal.
We’ll probably never know for sure, and the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of the Brewers offering more guaranteed money and the Phillies eventually offering a higher average annual value, with an attainable fourth year. Whatever the case, Salisbury tells us that Rollins is thrilled to be back with the Phillies, and all is well after that reported “epic Roman battle” between the two sides:
From last Monday:
2:42 PM: Well, this isn’t surprising. Jim Salisbury gets his reporting on– he says that the meeting between Amaro and Lozano (Rollins’ agent) “did not go that well." Hmm… perhaps it did play out like that whole “epic Roman battle” thing from earlier.
Sources tell Sully that J-Roll™ is still – ludicrously – asking for five years, a request that has led to the Aramis Ramirez rumors. One source tells Salisbury those rumors are all smoke and mirrors, and merely serve as a bargaining chip with Rollins… another tells him that the Phillies are melodramatically coming to terms with the fact that J-Roll™ may not be a Phillie next year. Stay tuned.
In the end, everybody hugged. Ruben slammed his wang on the table. The Phillies got a deal in their favor that will get Jimmy close to his target if he stays healthy. And we get to see more I Gotchu Games.
The art of dealmaking.