Jimmy Rollins and the Dodgers Trade Prospects

Starting pitcher Cole Hamels is the Phillies top option on the trade market as the Winter Meetings get underway in San Diego.  Chase Utley likely isn’t getting moved either due to his desire to stay in Philadelphia. Jonathon Papelbon could also begin the 2015 season pitching at Citizens Bank Park and GM Ruben Amaro will be hard-pressed to find anything beyond a middle reliever prospect for the sunk cost of Ryan Howard.

Marlon Byrd is probably the Phillies’ second most attractive trade option this offseason, earning just eight million dollars in 2015, but is tabbed with a vesting option in the following year for the same price which reportedly has caused teams to pause. Following Byrd is Jimmy Rollins, a potential fit for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who need a shortstop after the departure of Boston Red Sox signee Hanley Ramirez.

According to FanGraphs, Rollins had the fourth best season of all MLB shortstops in 2014, going by wins above replacement. After a tough 2013 campaign under then first-year skipper Ryne Sandberg where the 36 year old hit a career low six homeruns for a full season, Rollins arguably had his best year since 2008.

He hit 17 homeruns in 2014 along with 28 stolen bases for the 73 win Phillies, who enter the third year of their unofficial rebuild. Money is not an issue in trades, but exploring a Jimmy Rollins trade to the Dodgers would be wise for Ruben Amaro and interim president Pat Gillick. Due to his no trade clause, the longtime Phillies shortstop can decide where he wants to go and if he even wants to leave town regardless of how next season will play out.

He’s on the final year of a four year pact that Amaro signed him to after the 2011 season – a deal that has been somewhat of a bargain and the right choice by the current GM – who has been much maligned by the national baseball media. Rollins will earn 11 million dollars in 2015, the free agent market is barren and a team that trades for the Phillies shortstop will have a reliable short term option that can help them contend.

So with the Dodgers as arguably the best suitor for Rollins, what players should the Phillies be interested in? Rollins isn’t going to get Amaro and company the type of prospect they’d receive if they moved Cole Hamels to the Dodgers, but asking for a potential major league starter isn’t out of the question. Moving Rollins is not required for the Phillies, getting a potential difference maker down the road is the goal, not gaining salary relief. Below is a list of prospects the Phillies could potentially gain in a deal with L.A.

Chris Anderson, RHP

While probably a reach for just Jimmy Rollins, Anderson is a starting pitcher still underdeveloped and was drafted in the first round the 2013 draft by the Dodgers. He’ll enter the 2015 campaign at 22 years old and could start the season in Double A. Anderson has posted a career 9.8 K/9 through just over 180 minor league innings in the Dodgers’ organization.

“The very template of a front-line starter, Anderson has size, velocity, command and poise enough to succeed at the MLB level. Working from a high-90’s fastball with good sink, he mixes in a quality wipeout slider to great effect, and a promising (though raw) change to lefthanders. Sharper changeup command is really all he needs to do to perform well in MLB tomorrow.” –Scouting Book

Tom Windle, LHP

A left-handed pitcher with some deception, Windle is an intriguing option for the Phillies and Amaro in a potential trade. He features a fairly average fastball that has been seen at up to 95 MPH, along with a slider and changeup. In him, the Phillies could get a potential bottom of the rotation starter or a lefty out of the bullpen. Windle isn’t going to blow any hitter away with his fastball so he’s unlikely to become a setup man or a closer.

“If Windle is as consistently good as he was on May 2, he could be a No. 3 starter in the majors. Of course, it was just one look, so the odds are he’ll still end up in the bullpen. But he has a true wipeout slider, and it’s particularly effective against right-handed hitters. He’s big, strong kid, so durability shouldn’t be much of a concern, but he does need to improve his stamina. He also has command issues at times, but has thrown plenty of strikes in his brief pro career. His makeup is solid for a second-year player. If he doesn’t make it as a starter, he could be an effective, hard-throwing late-inning reliever.”Dodgers Digest

Scott Schebler, OF

After being named Dodgers 2013 Minor League Player of the Year, 26th round draftee Scott Schebler followed his performance with a strong 2014 campaign and was added to L.A.’s 40 man roster this offseason. He posted .280/.365/.556 in his first season in Double A in 2014 and could be a September call-up in the upcoming year dependent on the Dodgers outfield situation. He strikes out a lot (19.6%) for a guy without a ton of projected MLB homerun power.

While his offense has improved, his defense is uncertain. Dodgers Digest termed Schebler as a player without great range in the outfield and as a future corner outfielder, likely in left fielder. Aaron Altherr seems to be a comparable for his offensive game in the Phillies system.

The Phillies might not get a huge haul, adding potential pieces like the three listed above could payoff later for Amaro if Rollins would indeed waive his no trade clause. Philadelphia lacks substantial leverage in this situation especially without a plethora of teams as viable candidates for Rollins, but if they do move their all-time hits leader he’s worthy of a significant return.

Author: Matthew Speck

Matthew is based in Central Pennsylvania and hopes to capture Phillies prospects information effectively for the fans. He covers high school sports for the Lebanon Daily News along with the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers.

3 comments

  1. PHack?

    Well, as regards the J.Roll trade, I don’t see any current Philly options at SS that I would like to see starting for a season to soak up all that playing time. Now , I figure they could go with either Galvis or Edgar Duran, I like these guys as augmenting the position, but I think the Dodgers could fork over one of their Cubans, they have stockpiled at the position( I believe Alex Guerrrero, or Arreberrueno ( or however that is spelled, and maybe I got the first guys name wrong, also, I know it starts with a G. Maybe it’s Gonzalez.

    I’d still trade J. Roll though, because they have to clear some space where they can.

    Now, as to the return above, if they can get the Anderson guy, they should do that, because, if that blue sky scouting report is correct, they could plug him in right off, maybe even to front the rotation. The second guy, the lefty, I would not be enthused as left-handers , if not top-of-the-line are something that need s to be slotted in at the correct spot and counter manipulated to the opponents moves. It says the Lefty (Windle?) can pitch up to 95, but says he is not going to retire people by the fastball , or something. Is 95 too slow, now>
    Schebler, i like Schebler, he might hit and hit a lot of HomeRuns in the Pacific Coast League, so who knows what he might do topside?
    Also, a Left-Handed Hitter if not top-of-the-line presents a lot of the same problems as Left-Handed-Pitchers do.

    Now, if I might pick at the Ryan Howard comment, I think it could be interpreted as a belief that Howard’s contract could be assumed by the acquiring team in its entirety, and a middle relief prospect could be returned.
    I don’t think it means , but if it does , and they find the guy that makes that deal, don’t let ;em get away. I think maybe it means that some team would absorb some small portion of the contract and hope to get back a middle relief prospect. I figure to trade Howard, Philly should pay the contract in its’ entirety even without deducting the minimum salary, and then not getting back a middle relief prospect or any kind of prospect, but getting back a minor leaguer.

  2. Romus

    Great article.
    The one player that intrigues me is Scott Schebler and I would not be disappointed if a Rollins trade would bring him back to Philly.
    His bat can be average to a little above.
    His defense though is limited to LF, unless the Phillies want another Revere like-arm in CF.
    His arm is only rated a 35 by MLB and that can be his major flaw, though he does run well..

  3. allentown1

    I’d be happy with any of the three and I would be willing to give SS to Galvis in 2015. He plays great D and 2015 is a lost year, so what’s the big deal?