Giants general manager Bobby Evans admitted to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com that he “talked quite a bit” to Rollins about coming to San Francisco but “ultimately his interest was in trying to compete for an everyday role and we respect that.”
Rollins is definitely not guaranteed that everyday role in Chicago. For one thing his contract pays just $2 million even if he makes the Opening Day roster, which itself is no sure thing. Beyond that the White Sox have Tyler Saladino as a current shortstop option and top prospect Tim Anderson waiting in the wings.
Still, it’s easy to see why Rollins felt there was more of an opportunity for significant playing time with the White Sox rather than with the Giants, where shortstop Brandon Crawford, second baseman Joe Panik, and third baseman Matt Duffy are all locked in as regulars. There’s some indication that the Giants actually offered him a higher salary.
Rollins had a career-worst season for the Dodgers last year, hitting just .224 with a .643 OPS in 144 games, but he did produce decently in the second half after a brutal start. At age 37 and given his sub par 2013-2015 numbers Rollins is probably best suited for a backup gig at this stage of his career, but it’s tough to blame someone who’s been an everyday player for the past 15 seasons for valuing playing time above all else.