Adding a Former MVP to the Mix?

An article by posted on March 14, 2014 0 Comments

If you don’t have a starting SS you’re comfortable with, less than 20 spring games to go, you have a problem.

Meaning, we have a problem.

You’ve heard all the names already, Nick Franklin, Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings. All seemingly will either command one of our better prospects, which none of them in my opinion are worth – or will need a long term deal with potential draft pick loss.

jimmy-rollins-400After reading this piece by Matt Gelb, I’ve come to the decision that the Mets need to check in on Jimmy Rollins.

Now, before you come at me about his age, and everything. I get it. He’s on the decline, he’s older than any of the above mentioned players. But, he’s a winner. Not only is he a winner, he’s a veteran winner who brings credibility to the team and doesn’t handcuff the team in the near future. Plus, if this report is anywhere close to factual that Rollins is not happy, nor are the Phillies – then he shouldn’t cost nearly as much as the above mentioned trade targets.

Rollins is owed $11million this year, and has an $11million option that kicks in if he has 600 plate appearances in 2014 or 1,100 Pas (would take 440 PA this year) in 2013-14 and Rollins is not on disabled list at end of 2014 season.

Now, Rollins is 35 years old and is definitely declining. His last three years he’s averaged .256 with a .323 OBP and a .715 OPS, averaging about 27 steals over that time.

He’s a good enough fielder to the degree that you could make a solid argument he makes the left side of your infield better defensively. He has enough speed to make an argument that he could have an impact on the base paths – and he’s a veteran MVP with a World Series ring.

The trick here is what the Phillies would want, and whether Rollins would waive his no trade clause to come to Citi Field. I don’t think Philadelphia would (or should) ask a ton for him if the salary was being totally wiped off their books. Plus, having issues with the current Manager doesn’t bode well for the future of that relationship.

To me, I’m just not sold on the idea of Drew, Franklin, Gregorius, Owings, Tejada or even Flores at SS (I like Flores, just not at SS). Outside of Drew, none of them to me are sure thing starters for the long term and Drew to me isn’t worth what he has been asking for.

So then the question pops up, is it worth bringing in an established veteran to play the position temporarily? Is having Rollins your starting SS for the next two seasons max so bad if it doesn’t cost you a top prospect and/or you don’t have to commit money over 3-4 years that you know in your heart he is not worth (aka Stephen Drew)?

There is a history with Rollins and the Mets, and to me, that is what it is, history.

If the Mets want to do a deal that benefits both teams where they don’t have to get robbed in prospects to fill their need at SS, then Jimmy Rollins might be that guy.

So if I told you it took a top prospect to get Franklin, Owings, or Didi and it will take a minimum 4 guaranteed years to sign Drew – would you consider Rollins if it meant a mid-level prospect but you take his contract?

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About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.