Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
After a week’s worth of “maybe” and “why haven’t they announced anything” and “Matt Kemp has old-man hips,” the trade between the Dodgers and Phillies for Jimmy Rollins is officially official.
As previously reported, the Phillies will send Rollins to L.A. and will receive minor league pitchers Zach Eflin and Tom Windle in return. The Phillies released a statement on the trade, and I think Chase Utley has something in his eye:
“The Dodgers are very lucky to acquire a player like Jimmy. I’ve said it time and time again that Jimmy makes everyone around him better. The team will miss his leadership on the field and his infectious smile, but most of all, I will miss our pre-game handshake.”
The trade will formally be announced in a press conference later today.
Photo Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
When you’re down in Clearwater this year watching Phillies Spring Training, especially keeping an eye on [player name] and [player name] who we got in return for Jimmy Rollins, you’ll also be able to check out [player name] and [player name] of the Philadelphia Union.
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Union have agreed to a multi-year deal that will bring their pre-season training camp to the Joe DiMaggio Complex in Clearwater, right across from the Phillies’ Brighthouse Field home. The Union’s pre-season training takes place in February. So when you’re checking out the anonymous dudes the Phillies invited down there (or just the guys you wish were anonymous), you can pop across the street and check out the anonymous dudes on the Union. They’re cool, I swear.
Jim Salisbury is reporting that the Jimmy Rollins trade will finally be finalized to finality soon.
The trade that will send Matt Kemp and his arthritic hips to the Padres is complete, which means pitcher Zach Eflin is a Dodger and can be sent to the Phillies as part of the Rollins deal:
Multiple baseball sources told CSNPhilly.com on Thursday night that the Phillies were close to being ready to announce the trade of shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“The I’s are being dotted and the T’s crossed,” a person with knowledge of the situation said.
And, um, yeah, that’s pretty much the whole story. This thing is about to be done, thankfully, because as Matt Rappa points out, Rollins has been floating out there like Sandra Bullock in space in the HIGHLY overrated Gravity.
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Typically, when reporters or teams say a trade is done “pending a physical,” it’s done. Most times, nothing of note comes up, and the trade moves forward as planned. Matt Kemp’s physical was not like most times.
According to Bob Nightengale at USA Today, the Matt Kemp trade to the Padres that has to happen before Jimmy Rollins can be officially traded to the Dodgers is on hold right now because Kemp’s physical revealed he has “severe arthritis in both hips.” The person who reveled this to Nightengale is “not authorized to discuss the medical issue,” because I’m pretty sure no one is.
The Kemp deal would bring Yasmani Grandal and pitching prospects Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin to the Dodgers, while sending Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million to San Diego. Eflin, reportedly, would then come here in return for Jimmy Rollins in a deal that is ready to go. “If the Padres decide to void the trade, then the Dodgers would also have to re-work their trade with the Philadelphia Phillies,” reported Nightengale. But it’s also possible (and possibly likely) that the deal continues mostly as planned, with the only modification being that the Dodgers will pick up more of Kemp’s $107 contract than originally offered. We’ll keep an eye on this.
UPDATE: Jim Salisbury says the Rollins deal is still in place and “the Phillies and Dodgers have discussed other players as part of the deal.”
WPHT’s Chris Stigall just did a nice thing so he had to go and ruin it. On his show yesterday, Stigall thought it would be clever and funny to point out that Julie Kramer, the 23-year-old cancer patient that received all of those gifts from Chase Utley on the Ellen Show might not get to cash in on the offer because Chase might not be here:
“You know Chase Utley’s not going to be around to take the cancer patient to the games. It’s a nice invite, but he won’t even be there.”
Fine. Not exactly funny or clever, but no one accused WPHT or Stigall of being either of those things. But then he cited exactly the thing you feared he would cite:
“Plus, it’s probably terminal what that woman has. You think she’s going to live through an entire season?”
Mediaite originally reported that Stigall is a sports talk guy, but has since corrected their story to reflect that he’s just “talk radio.” Regular, old, inspiring your Uncle to get political at Christmas, talk radio. The distinction is important, because as all-over-the-board as the quality of sports talk is in Philly, no one is this big of an asshole.
Earlier today, Kyle mentioned that Chase Utley would be making an appearance on the Ellen Show to “warm hearts and presumably kiss babies.” Well, there were no babies around but Chase sure warmed hearts and brought smiles and looked handsome.
Utley was on hand to surprise Tabernacle, NJ’s Julie Kramer, a 23-year-old Phillies fan battling stage 4 synovial sarcoma. Chase brought out a whole bunch of Phillies merch and gifts for Kramer and invited her to come to any game she wants next year.
Kramer also whispered something in Chase’s ear and said what sounded like “’08 … of course, I can’t say it” while gesturing towards the crowd. Chase responded: “Of course, I’m totally with ya.” Only Kramer and Chase know what she said, but I’m going with “World Fucking Champs.”
Video can be seen over here.
So it looks like Chase Utley joining the ‘Gram was actually part of an Ellen thing. Hashtag things in 2008 I never thought I’d write. Hashtag things Jen put him up to.
I have no idea who Julie is or what her story is about, but I’m sure it’s very inspiring and Chase is going to make it better by smiling at her or simply touching her arm ever so gently. We’ll post video when it’s available.
via Molly Eichel (@PhillyGossipDN)
Front and back views of Ruben Amaro walking through terminal
On one hand, Ruben Amaro has kind of that Scott O’Neil-approachable-everyman-exec thing going on. To his credit, he’s willing to take it on the chin by being the team’s spokesman during the toughest of times. He’s smug, but has a fan-like enthusiasm and seems to genuinely enjoy a life in the game he loves. And overall he doesn’t seem like a bad dude. But my God, would it kill him or the Phillies – a team that’s had a payroll north of $150 million every year since 2011 – to pony up for first-class or even a direct flight?
The Winter Meetings, which were held in San Diego, concluded yesterday, and after what was surely a long, laborious few days for Rube, he undoubtedly could’ve used some peace and quite in first or even business class. But nope, he had to connect through Chicago…
… and fly coach back to Philly with exactly the sorts of mongrels who would take his picture and send it to a sports blog:
Rube, satisfied with himself for landing two high-A pitchers in return for Jimmy Rollins
This all of course comes on the heels on Rube slumming it on the floor of Tampa International just hours before Game 7 of the World Series. I mean, maybe it’s because there’s no one in charge to sign his expense reports, but please, if we’re going to keep Amaro around and let him oversee the most important rebuild in team history, can we at least get him some better travel accommodations? Is that too much to ask?
pics via (@BR_iTodd), who has a great handle