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.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.