There, I said it. Jimmy Rollins, it’s time to come home to Oakland. Rollins is a possible option for the Oakland A’s, if only as nothing more than a short-term stop-gap option at shortstop. Yes, I know I said Kelly Johnson could be an option in my last article, but I also feel Rollins would make a perfect fit for the A’s.
Aug 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) throws to first for an out during the first inning of a game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Rollins, who will be 36 at the end of this month, is everything the A’s need in a shortstop. Last season, the switch-hitting Rollins had a triple slash of .243/.323/.394 in 131 games, according to Baseball Reference. Rollins also stole 28 bases, which, had he been on the A’s, would have been good enough for first on a team that only stole 83 bags all year.
With the run threat gone, the A’s were pressured to rely almost solely on bats scoring runs and down the stretch they just couldn’t facilitate any more scores, as was seen in the team’s run decline. With, not only a little off-and-on power as shown in Rollins’ 17 home runs last season, he also poses as a threat on the base paths to pair with Coco Crisp. That, as a 1-2 punch would instantly spark the A’s from the get-go in games and it’s off and running after that. As for fielding, Rollins had a fielding percentage of .988, which is about the percentage he was flashing when he won gold gloves from 2010-12.
Rollins is due $11 million dollars in 2015, so it’s no secret the Phillies would love to lose that contract, and it wouldn’t be crazy if Philly ate a chunk of it to wave bye-bye to an aging Rollins. This is where Billy feasts, taking players who resemble a squeezed lemon and proceed to get every last drop out of them. The idea isn’t new, either, with Ken Rosenthal tweeting that there were discussions last season prior to non-waiver trade deadline.
With Rollins’ career in its final chapters, a chance to play in front of the fans he grew up cheering with sounds like a nice little conclusion to me.