Jimmy Rollins’ agent met recently with the Phillies and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the meeting “did not go all that well.”
Salisbury writes that Rollins continues to insist on a five-year contract, with the Phillies understandably balking at making that sort of commitment to a 33-year-old shortstop who’s already started to decline.
In the meantime the Phillies have increased their pursuit of free agent Aramis Ramirez and are said to be shopping Placido Polanco to potentially make room at third base. However, a source told Salisbury that he still expects Rollins to eventually re-sign with the Phillies and indicated that the team’s interest in Ramirez is only as a fallback option.
The Braves released veteran infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista on Sunday, per a team announcement. Right-hander Lucas Sims was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding move.
Bautista, 37, was recruited by the Braves in mid-April as a potential third base option. He inked a minor league deal with the club and lasted just 12 games in the majors, during which he batted a meager .143/.250/.343 with three extra-base hits and a .593 OPS across 40 plate appearances. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the big leagues — he collected 40 home runs, a .250 average and 5.3 fWAR with the Blue Jays in 2015 — his power has been noticeably declining over the last three years, and it’s clear the Braves don’t have enough time or opportunity to wait for him to get his groove back.
Without Bautista, Johan Camargo is expected to handle the hot corner on a daily basis. The 24-year-old infielder is working through his sophomore season at the major league level and entered Sunday’s game batting .226/.368/.403 with six extra bases and a .772 OPS in 76 PA. General manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that top infield prospect Austin Riley could also get a shot at playing third base sometime in 2018, though the club has no current plans to promote him from Triple-A at the moment.