Gary Cederstrom, Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins wants to re-sign with the Phillies … as long as they give him a five-year contract

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Last week impending free agent Jimmy Rollins explained that he won’t be giving a “hometown discount” to the Phillies and today the former MVP told reporters that he’ll be looking for a five-year contract on the open market.

During a press conference this morning Rollins made it clear that he wants to re-sign with the Phillies and spend his entire career in Philadelphia, but “I’m looking to get five years … if it’s going to be shorter, there’d have to be a fifth-year option, my option.”

Four years with a fifth-year player option is basically just five years anyway.

Of course, the fact that Rollins wants a five-year contract as he approaches free agency has little bearing on whether any team will actually give him a five-year contract. He remains one of the better all-around shortstops in baseball, but he’ll be 33 years old next month and has hit .255 with a .316 on-base percentage and .403 slugging percentage during the past three seasons while missing 100 games with injuries.

Committing to Rollins at big money through his age-37 season would be incredibly foolish for any team, as he’s no longer an elite player and very few shortstops avoid a significant decline in their mid-30s.

Rollins noted that he’s open to re-signing quickly if the Phillies offer him an acceptable five-year deal, calling it “a no-brainer.” More likely is that he’ll hit the open market in search of a five-year deal that just isn’t there and then perhaps come back to the Phillies for, say, a three-year pact. On the other hand, it only takes one crazy general manager to make a five-year contract a reality.

Josh Hamilton has knee surgery, out 2-3 months

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.

As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:

That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.