Friday, December 19, 2014

Rollins to Dodgers finally happening

The Phillies announced Friday morning they finally were able to agree on a selling price for shortstop Jimmy Rollins and cash to the Dodgers for minor league pitching prospects Zach Eflin and Tom Windle.

The deal ends a 15-year run for Rollins from 2000-14 that included one World Series championship, two National League pennants, five NL East titles, one NL MVP, three NL All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger Award, memorable predictions and proclamations, a 38-game hitting streak and a franchise-record 2,306 hits.

"Jimmy is both an iconic player and person whom I have had the great joy of watching grow up in this game and this city," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement issued upon the trade announcement. "His contributions to the franchise and to Philadelphia are unparalleled, and I wish him the best in Los Angeles. This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies."

Rollins had been the longest serving member of the club, having been called up to Terry Francona's squad in September of 2000, mere months after another championship cornerstone, Pat Burrell, made his big league debut. Now, second baseman Chase Utley -- rumored to be the next player out of town -- holds that distinction, having been sent to the majors while the Phils still played at the Vet in 2003.

"The Dodgers are very lucky to acquire a player like Jimmy," Utley added. "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 pregame handshake."

Rollins keyed the Phillies' memorable stretch of five straight division titles from 2007-11 with one of the most electrifying seasons in recent memory. To aid the club in their first NL East crown since 1993, he hit .296, collected 20 triples, 30 home runs, 38 doubles, drove in 94 runs, scored a league-high 134 runs and accumulated major-league highs of 716 at-bats, 778 plate appearances and played in all 162 games. It was a cinch he was selected as the National League MVP following the campaign.

All told, the Oakland, CA native appeared in 2,090 games as a member of the Phillies, while collecting a .267 average, 216 homers, 887 RBI, 453 stolen bases, 111 triples, 479 doubles, 1,325 runs scored and a .983 lifetime fielding percentage.

He moves on as one of just four shortstops in MLB history to record at least 200 homers and 2,000 hits at the position, along with Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Miguel Tejada. 

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