After turning down their $10 million team option on longtime shortstop Alexei Ramirez the White Sox seemed ready to turn the position over to young, in-house options like Tyler Saladino, but Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that they’ve signed 37-year-old former MVP Jimmy Rollins to a minor-league deal.
Rollins really struggled for the Dodgers last season, hitting just .224 with a career-worst .643 OPS in 144 games following 15 seasons with the Phillies. However, he did top a .700 OPS after the All-Star break and smacked 13 homers overall. If he makes the Opening Day roster Rollins will be guaranteed just $2 million.
As a veteran place-holder and mentor for the young middle infield options Rollins could make some sense, but handing him an everyday job would be a mistake at this stage of his career. Combined during the past three seasons Rollins hit .240 with a .310 on-base percentage and .366 slugging percentage while losing effectiveness as a base-stealer and defender.
He’s a shell of his former self, but Rollins’ former self was good enough that even at age 37 there might still be a little gas left in the tank while the White Sox wait for top prospect Tim Anderson to arrive in the majors. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Rollins turned down multiple offers to join other teams as a well-paid utility man because he wants the chance to win the starting job in Chicago.
In looking over some numbers, I noticed this:
Alexei Ramirez last year: .285 on-base percentage, .357 slugging percentage
Jimmy Rollins last year: .285 on-base percentage, .358 slugging percentage
Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The San Francisco Giants have issued a statement saying that they “fully support Buster’s decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.”
Posey and his wife are adopting identical twin girls who were born prematurely and who are currently in the NICU and will be for some time. They are stable, but obviously theirs is not a situation that would be amenable to the demands of a baseball season as it’s currently structured.
Poset had missed all of the Giants’ workouts so far, Recently he said, “I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well. I think I want to see kind of how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. I think it would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, not only around you here but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country.” He said that he talked about playing with his wife quite a great deal but, really, this seems like a no-brainer decision on his part.
In opting out Posey is foregoing the 60-game proration of his $21.4 million salary. He is under contract for one more year at $21.4 million as well. The Giants can pick up his 2022 club option for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million.
A veteran of 11 seasons, Posey has earned about $124 million to date. Which seems to be the common denominator with players who have opted out thus far. With the exception of Joe Ross and Héctor Noesí, the players to have opted out thus far have earned well above $10 million during their careers. Players that aren’t considered “high risk” and elect not to play do not get paid and do not receive service time.