Jimmy Rollins’ has an $11 million option in his contract for 2015 that vests if the Phillies shortstop totals at least 1,100 plate appearances between 2013 and 2014. Last season he logged 666 plate appearances and this season he’s got 432 more, which means tonight around the third or fourth inning Rollins will get paid for 2015.
Normally teams don’t want to give $11 million to 36-year-old shortstops, but Rollins’ performance hasn’t declined much at all. In fact, his current .724 OPS is 60 points higher than last season’s mark and slightly above his combined .714 mark from 2009-2013. Defensive metrics still grade his glove as above average, too.
Rollins also has the ability to block any potential trade, so even if contending teams think having him locked into place for 2015 adds to their interest level it may be a moot point.
UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Braves are expected to lose as many as 12 players as a result of the sanctions, plus they’ll suffer significant restrictions on international signings for the next four years, plus they will lose a draft pick in next year’s draft.
2:46PM: Major League Baseball is expected to announce its sanctions against the Atlanta Braves for their international signing violations as early as this afternoon. Earlier today a handful of reports came out suggesting what at least part of those penalties will entail. Think multiple prospects signed in the last year or two.
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that shortstop Kevin Maitan, catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, second baseman Yunior Severino and righthander Juan Contreras — the Braves top four international signees of 2016 — will all become restricted free agents, but it is not clear what the restrictions will be. Maitan, it should be noted, was the number one ranked international prospect in all of baseball last year. Severino was the eighth-ranked, Gutierrez the 15th-ranked and Conrearas the 41st-ranked.
In addition to losing prospects, there will likewise be financial penalties and, most likely, future signing restrictions. The severity of these penalties suggest that, whatever the specifics of the violations MLB has found to have been committed by the Braves, they are unprecedented in scope and severity.