The Philadelphia Phillies have no plans to deal veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins before the trade deadline next month, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Having won nine of their past 13 games to make up some ground in the NL East, Philadelphia now sits just five games behind first-place Washington in the division. Rather than throw up the white flag prematurely, the Phillies will instead consider bolstering their roster for a playoff run:
“Everybody figured that after this road trip, we’d be done,” general manager Ruben Amaro told USA TODAY Sports. “People figured we’d be selling, and we’ll be breaking this team up. If they keep playing the way they can play, who knows, we might be thinking about adding at the deadline.”
Following a rough spring training for Rollins, the shortstop was expected to be one of the Phillies’ prime trade candidates this summer. Set to make $11 million this year and next year once he reaches the 600 plate appearances necessary to exercise his 2015 vesting option, it would’ve been an opportunity for Philly to get out of one of its many expensive contracts.
However, Rollins has played fairly well this season, and rather than wonder where he’ll go next, the 35-year-old has settled back in with the only franchise he’s ever known. Over 70 games this year, Rollins has batted .244/.330/.387 with eight homers and 11 stolen bases. With 311 plate appearances already under his belt, he should have little problem getting his 2015 option vested.
That would’ve been bad news if Rollins continued his decline from last season, but we’ve seen a resurgence so far in 2014. Now the Phillies are possible buyers, and trading Rollins seems unlikely.