Should Mets Sign Jimmy Rollins?
Nuts, right? Why the heck would the Mets sign Jimmy Rollins?
Well, why wouldn’t they?
Look at it this way: the Mets front office claims they want to field a competitive team and they refuse to say that the team is in “rebuilding mode”. They also claim that they really wanted Jose Reyes, but on their terms — which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 years and $75-90M. Right?
OK, if both of those things are true, then why wouldn’t the Mets make an offer for Jimmy Rollins — who could be available for a lesser contract commitment in terms of both years and dollars, and would provide an overall performance that might not be near Reyes’ level, but would be pretty darn good compared to most NL shortstops not named Tulowitzki.
Sure, Rollins is 32 years old — but that’s why he can be had for, say, a 3-year contract. He’s no longer capable of batting titles or MVP performances, so his annual salary would be at best $15M. Three years at $40-$45M is half of what the Mets supposedly were willing to give Reyes — right? So, if they had the wherewithal to give Reyes 5 years / $90M, they MUST have the capability of giving Rollins 3/$40M, correct?
What Rollins gives the Mets is the following: more potential homerun power than Reyes; similar defense; stronger leadership and intangibles; lower batting average and OBP — but still better than most NL shortstops; similar basestealing output and proficiency; similar if not better durability. In short, Rollins is a “notch below” Reyes, or “Reyes Lite” — and that’s why he’ll cost less than half of what Reyes costs.
Of course, we don’t know if Rollins is interested in joining the Mets, but that’s not the issue to argue right now. First, the Mets have to show interest in him, and make a viable offer. And they should, because such a move would prove that they are serious about competing for a playoff spot in 2012. Signing Rollins would change every pessimist’s opinion on where the Mets plan to be for the next few seasons. Additionally, having a strong personality and veteran winner such as Rollins around would be great for the Mets’ youngsters — and it would be a positive move for the clubhouse dynamic. Upon arrival, Rollins would be a leader on a team that’s been without one for far too long.
Think about it: Rollins may no longer play like a star, but he still has star quality. He is brash, has swagger, is willing to talk with the media, and can handle pressure. He’s MADE for New York.
And here’s the kicker: if Rollins plays to about what’s expected, and the Mets find themselves far out of the race come late July, Rollins would be a highly sought-after trading chip for a contending team. Shortstops who can play strong defense, provide above-average offense, and have postseason experience are difficult to find — look at how valuable Rafael Furcal has suddenly become. Rollins would have additional value because he wouldn’t be a two-month rental — he’ll have at least two more years left on his contract.
What do you think? Crazy idea? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.
No doubt Rollins would ad status, attitude and star power to the Mets, but even the tiniest of embryos know this is not happening.
A 3-year contract for Rollins is not risky, and he’s not “broken down”. Compared to Reyes he’s as durable as Lou Gehrig. What IS risky is giving a NYC fan base a AAA team, because just as important as saving money is making money. What motivation will fans have to go to Citi Field in 2012, beyond the obvious (Shake Shack)?
All the reasons the mets didnt sign JOSE is probally exactly what has happened to Jimmy Rollins the last 4 years.
First, that average is skewed by 2010, when Rollins played in only 88 games due to a chronic calf injury that he kept reinjuring. He played in 142 games last year and 155 in 2009, suggesting that he’s durable enough.
Even if he did play in only 130 games per season for the next three years, I would argue that 130 games of Jimmy Rollins will be more productive, overall, than the majority of NL shortstops who play 130+ games per year, and further, why would he have to play many more than 130 games when there is a very capable backup named Ruben Tejada available to spell him once a week?
maybe you should actually check the stats next time before you write an entire article based on the inaccuracy that a mediocre player is anything more than mediocre and calling us to pay him as if hes great
Even though your tone is less than savory, I’m going to be nice and assume that you are comparing Rollins to all shortstops in MLB, whereas I am comparing him only to other NL shortstops. The players and teams in the Adulterated League don’t figure into my analysis, as the Mets only compete with them for a tiny fraction of the season.
If Rollins worth 15 million for the next 3 years Jose is worth 30 they are not even comparable at this point. Rollins is worth that kind of money to the Phils like Jeter is worth 17.5 a year to the yanks and no one else.
If you break it down by annual salary, then I might agree that Reyes is worth $30M in one season if Rollins is worth $15M.
What I did, though, was consider the entire commitment, as that was what the Mets were balking at. And the entire commitment was 5 years / $75-$90M. It could’ve been backloaded, frontloaded, whatever — point is, the Mets didn’t want to go past 5 years and didn’t want to spend more than $90M. But that also mean they were WILLING to offer that much to a leadoff-hitting shortstop. Rollins is at least half as good a leadoff hitter and shortstop as Reyes, so that’s how the “half” commitment was worked out in my devious mind.
Essentialy my point is over the last 4 years both have had trouble staying on the field but when they are on field Jimmy is no longer half the player Jose is.
So pretty much 5 years at 17 mil for a 28 year old that has an injury problem is a better gamble then 3 years at 15-17 for a 32 year old that has just as many injury problems.
But are you absolutely certain this is the “dumbest post ever”? I mean, there are close to 4000 posts here at MetsToday.com — don’t you want to browse through at least a few dozen more and see if there’s something dumber?
Andrew nailed it. The Phillies want JR but don’t want to go 5. They will beat any 3 yr offer from the MEts and JR will go “home” sith a shot at another championship. I think the Mets do have another $10-$12 mil to spend but it eould be better spent on upgrading the starting pitching, catching, and offense.
While Andrew has a very strong argument, it is running away from the original argument of my post — which is that the Mets should MAKE AN OFFER of 3 years / $40M.
I don’t really care what Rollins would accept or not accept — this has nothing to do with that and it is another argument entirely. My point is that if the Mets SUPPOSEDLY “wanted” Jose Reyes on “their terms” — meaning, they were willing to spend $75-90M over 5 years for their starting shortstop, then what is preventing them from spending half that much for a starting shortstop who will give them much more than half the performance of Reyes?
Easy: the Mets never did want Reyes in the first place, and don’t want to spend any money on anyone of quality — perhaps because the Wilpons are dead broke and need to sell the team.
But what I do know is that Jimmy Rollins is on the decline and is at best a slightly better than average ML shortstop at this point and that the odds are he will be less than average three years from now. Not an investment I would want to make if I were GM.
Gotta stay away.
Look at how “hurt” Albert Pujols was that the Cardinals didn’t buy him enough chocolates … maybe Rollins feels the same way about the Phillies, you never know. It doesn’t hurt to make an offer and see what he says, does it?
It’s time to Rise NEW YORK LETS DO IT
THE METS ARE CLEANING THE HOUSE., WHEN YOU CLEAN YOUR HOUSE ., YOU DONT SPEND ., YOU JUST KEEP COUTING YOUR LOSES., BUT THE TIME., WRIGHT, SANTANA AND BAY WILL BE OFF THE METS PAYROLL., THEY WILL HAVE SAMETHING CAMING FROM THEIR MINORS., THEN THEY WILL REBUILD
SO ., ROLLINS IS NOT PART OF THE IDEA.,
WE DONT NEED TO AD ROLINS TO THAT GROUP
The Mets probably need to find at least one position player (other than back-up catcher) — not saying the person they get will impress people here but I’m betting they find SOMEONE — to advance their 50/50 strategy of playing good enough but doing it cheaply w/o much long term risk — and SS or 2B would be a logical place to go.
Now, on to your other point — of finding a position player to play “good enough” … agreed, which is why I think Rollins is a good fit. Who are you thinking? Kelly Johnson? Yuniesky Betancourt? I don’t see much else on the free agent market, and I don’t see the Mets trading for anyone. Some people are talking Jack Wilson and Cesar Izturis but to me they aren’t going to make any difference whatsoever, especially offensively.
As to the other issue, yeah, we seem to be on the same page. I cited a more general point, going beyond your suggestion. As to who else, I have no one specific in mind, and am open to your or other suggestions.
Further, I don’t believe that such a contract should hamstring an organization or prevent them from doing anything between now and 2014.
But then, I also don’t believe that saving money / stripping payroll now is going to motivate the Mets to spend more money in the future.
What do you think about Kelly Johnson for 2B?
Here’s why I disagree with you: Rollins could be a valuable 3 year pickup for a playoff contender hoping that filling the SS hole can help push them to the top. But that is not the Mets in 2012 or 2013. We need to break the cycle of signing guys on the downhill to multiyear deals that handcuff our payroll. The whole point of developing young talent is to give them a genuine shot. Most guys who develop strong careers spend a year or two at below league average (Jose’s OPS in 1st 3 seasons: .768, .644, .686) when they reach the MLB. If we keep those guys on the bench or deal them away, we’ll never have a base of core young players. Tejada just turned 22; he improved from a clearly overmatched .587 OPS in 2010 to a much improved .695 in 2011. In another year or two, he could be exactly the kind of premier defensive SS with high OBP and a little pop that help contenders make the playoffs. Give him the shot and let’s see what he’s got. Same with Duda, Thole and Murphy. We’re not going to the playoffs, Rollins or no Rollins! So let’s see what we’ve got for 2014 and beyond.
Am I “cool with throwing away 2012”? Of course, I’d like to see the Mets win 90 games next year and make the playoffs. But I see no plausible possiblity that signing Jimmy Rollins to a multiyear contract will do that. The Mets’ starting rotation now consists of R.A Dickey (great guy and great story, but we’re all holding our breath waiting for the wheels to fall off), post-surgery Johan (who knows what he’s be), Niese (a 2/3 of the season guy), Pelfrey (a marginal MLB starter the last 2 years), and Dillon Gee (we already saw the wheels fall off). We’ll have somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of a legitimate lineup. So what FAs other than Rollins would you sign, or non-FAs would you trade for (and who would you trade for them) to move this team from 75 wins to 90? My point is that, rather than throwing away money on someone who won’t really help in the next 2 years, let’s develop the young talent we have. Unless you think resigning Mo Vaughn or Bobby Bo is the way to go…
1) Rollins has been declining the last three years.
2) What happens in year three of the contract when Rollins is 35 and you have Valdespin or Havens ready for the big leagues but you have a bum and his contract clogging SS and Tejada is at second. (unless you are assuming Tejada isn’t going to be an everyday player.)
3) Then you have Daniel Murphy, one of your biggest trade chips, sitting on the bench pissing away good trade value.
you have to look at all the angles dude. you can’t just say oooo he’s a star, let’s sign him. he’s not even that good.
and anyway Sandy has already basically said no one is getting more than two years right now, prob till 2013 or 14. let alone to a declining 32 year old.
1) Dan Murphy is a DH
2) Playing Tejada at SS leaves a hole at 2B, because Murphy is a DH
3) The Mets just lost $70M and attendance is down significantly. They need to do something to bring more fans to the park in 2012. One of those things is putting a team on the field that might lead people to believe they are committed to winning. Signing Rollins would be one small splash they can make to help build that perception — maybe not in the mind of someone as smart as you, but the AVERAGE Mets fan.
4) If the “bum” is underperforming in year 3 of the deal, and there’s someone better in the organization, then the “bum” rides the bench. Luis Castillo would have been on the bench, too, if the Mets had someone better than Argenis Reyes waiting in the wings.
5) I don’t care what Sandy says about 2-year deals — this is my blog, not his, and I create the discussion topics. Bringing that up merely restricts our imagination and prevents us from arguing. Instead of blindly accepting what Sandy says how about providing an argument for or against it? And if he means what he says about 2-year deals, then why were the Mets willing to give Reyes 4-5 years? Or better yet: what if Tim Lincecum became available to the Mets, but only if they were willing to give him a three-year deal — would Alderson say “no”?
If we’re going to play pretend, and just imagine having Rollins on our team, I think there’s a 50/50 chance that he could improve Wright or hinder him.
I’ve long thought that Reyes was the anti-Utley, and Wright was the anti-Rollins. Utley is super focused and max effort even when he doesn’t need to be. Rollins is super confident even when he doesn’t deserve to be. I hope I don’t have to go into how Reyes and Wright have been the opposite of these.
So, if Rollins’ attitude rubs off on Wright, I think we’d seem some better ABs from David in big spots. On the other hand, everyone who hasn’t grown up playing with Rollins might find his bravado obnoxious and, based on his performance, embarrassing. This could be bad news.
If Rollins was the final piece on playoff team, I’d say his attitude would be a boon. On a non-playoff team, it might be a boon or a negative.
I will say, though, definitely, that Rollins on the Mets would make for quality entertainment.
Finally, from a dollars per win standpoint, I don’t think Rollins is a better value than Tejada. Jimmy’s OBP is just too low.
Well done, bunnyboy.
Agreed on the entertainment value, which is the main reason I’d like to see Rollins in Flushing — by himself he’d provide a reason to pay attention to the Mets on a daily basis (both on the field and off).
Whether he’s a better value than Tejada remains to be seen. If Tejada can build off of his strong finish in 2011, then maybe — especially since Tejada will be making the MLB minimum. My concern is that Tejada has hit his ceiling. Of course, I could be way off; time will tell. But at the same time, I feel more comfortable with Rollins at short and Tejada at 2B then I do with Tejada at SS and ???? at 2B. Eventually I hope to see Reese Havens there, but until then, who? Will Dan Murphy break another leg on his first DP turn? Can Justin Turner play over his head?
I’m sorry, don’t mean to sound too harsh, but you were called out for trying to elicit page views, which is exactly what you’re doing (it doesn’t matter that you are not making money off of this site). It’s ok to try and spurn a silly conversation about Rollins in a Mets uniform (just for fun), but please be honest with yourself and your readers.
I’m being 100% honest: I would be absolutely thrilled to see Jimmy Rollins in a Mets uniform in 2012, and I absolutely do not see any valid reason that the Mets can’t at least explore the possibility and make a lowball offer.
If signing Rollins is the opposite of what Alderson is trying to do, can you please explain what it is he IS trying to do? All I see is someone cutting payroll and filling the roster with average performers. To what end? To become the Pittsburgh Pirates? If that’s what happens on “earth” then I’ll stay on Planet Claire.
BTW if my goal was to “elicit pageviews” then I would be posting naked photos of Anna Benson.
Even if we would have resigned reyes and signed fielder/pujols, that still does not make the mets competitive in 2012 with their starting staff filled with #4-5 starters.
That’s not to suggest that the Mets should find another way to spend $75-90M over the next 5 years right away, BUT, it does suggest that there is more money available to spend then they are willing to part with. Or, there ISN’T any money to spend, which is why the team never tendered an official offer to Reyes in the first place.
For all the “honesty” and “transparency” that has been “so refreshing” since Sandy Alderson took over, there is still a fair amount of straight-up bs to the fan base coming from the main offices in Flushing. It’s an old trick by slick liars: admit to a few disparaging truths, and people will tend to trust you — and not even blink when you tell a few lies.
The big reason for not signing him though is that the Mets are not one player away from making the playoffs at this point. In reality also, they need some big stud starting pitchers to be able to move into contention .
1. Mets and Rollins escalate the rivalry.
2. 3 -4yr contract MIGHT be doable, fitting both the Mets and Rollins plans.
3. OFFERING a contract to Rollins makes Amaro up the ante to rollins.
4. A 3-4 yr contract means less obligation over the long haul which appeals to the Mets.
5 Rollins offers creditability, respectability, a fan draw, and quicker road to competitiveness. PLUS a decent infield of Tejada, Wright, Rollins and Ike.
6. For those dreaming of a rebuild and a rotation of Familia, Jenry, Harvey and Wheeler…a counter with a Met history that suggests the afore mentioned will leave in two seperate trades for average/journeyman ML starters within 3 yrs.
the kind of contract that you suggest to offer Rollins is the type of contract Alderson is trying to avoid. In actuality, Alderson is trying to rid the mets of contracts that they currently have ie Bay & Santana. Deep down, you have to believe Alderson wanted no part of a long term contract with Reyes and the Marlins got him off the hook by not even giving the mets the opportunity to give a reasonable offer. The way it looks, any moves the mets make for the remainder of the offseason will be minor league deals and perhaps another trade involving players making minimum salaries. The fact is the 40 man roster stands at 39 players, which doesn’t include Rauch or Francisco, so that means one player will be gone from that group (probably Paulino will be non tendered). I know Alderson has been getting a lot of negative criticism, but at least he has a plan. This plan may end up not working in the long run, but as a longtime fan I appreciate a plan. The prior regime had no clue, let alone a plan, so I can appreciate a leader that can formulate a plan as well as a leader that can speak publically. Time will tell if the mets have success, but I am optitimistic…plus the extra wild card team increases our odds.
NEED I SAY MORE?
To me that sounds like a prelude to ‘ SELL’