According to multiple sources, the Philadelphia Phillies have re-signed shortstop Jimmy Rollins to a three-year, $33-million deal with an $11-million vesting option for 2015.

Rollins, who has spent all of his 11 big league seasons as the face of the Phillies franchise was rumoured to have been seeking a five-year deal, but the 33-year-old had to settle for a shorter tenure after Alex Gonzalez signed with the Brewers and Rafael Furcal re-signed in St. Louis, effectively drying up the market.

In 2011, Rollins hit .268/.338/.399 with a .329 wOBA in 631 plate appearances while accumulating a 3.8 fWAR.  Committing $11-million per season to a 33-year-old shortstop may seem foolish, but Rollins has only to accumulate around six-and-a-half marginal wins over the next three years to make the deal worthwhile.  Considering that’s roughly what he’s been worth to Philadelphia over the past two seasons (one of which he missed half the year with injuries), this deal seems like a good one.  His fielding numbers still peg him as an above average shortstop so he should be able to stick at the position for the life of the contract, which will allow him to decline further offensively and still produce enough value to justify the deal.

Since coming into the league in 2000, Rollins has been the second-most valuable shortstop in baseball behind only Derek Jeter, according to fWAR.  Even in the last three seasons, considered the beginning of his decline, the former NL MVP has been the eighth-most valuable shortstop around, with only Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes topping him in the NL.

The deal looks even better when you consider Rollins’ relative value as compared to say, Michael Cuddyer, who is also 33 and signed a deal for almost the same amount of money over the same length of time.

And the rest:

The Rockies apparently aren’t satisfied with throwing insane amounts of cash at just one mediocre player, they apparently want to sign Brad Lidge. And Lidge, for his part, is not demanding to be closer. What a team player [Denver Post].

The Yakult Swallows of the NPB have accepted a $2.5-million posting fee for outfielder Norichika Aoki, but the winning team has not yet been revealed [Hochi Shimbun].

After it was “reported” yesterday that the Toronto Blue Jays had the highest posting bid for Japanese phenom Yu Darvish, Anthony Castrovince is reporting today that the winning bid was $48-million [Twitter].  Still, nothing will be official until next week.

Tony LaRussa says that Albert Pujols has been “in pain” since signing with the Angels [St. Louis Today].  I’m sure over a quarter-billion dollars and a new mansion in Southern California will ease his suffering.

Even though they’re interested in retaining him, Jack Moore suggests that the Minnesota Twins should let Jason Kubel walk and take the compensatory draft pick [FanGraphs].  Expecting the Twins to make an intelligent decision regarding a free agent might be a stretch at this point.

Sticking with the incomparable FanGraphs, if you haven’t already, check out their Top 15 Organizational Prospects lists; a new team is released every day [FanGraphs].

Barry Bonds will appeal his sentence of 30-days house arrest, two years probation and 250 hours of community service for giving misleading testimony before a grand jury.  The process could take more than a year [Toronto Star].  Good thing American taxpayers didn’t pay millions of dollars for a kangaroo court to try and convict the Home Run King…oh wait.

And today in great news:

Brian Stow, the Giants fan that was brutally attacked outside of Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, speaks publically for the first time since his ordeal [NBC]


Kevin Goldstein says Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will likely not officially be a free agent until sometime in January.  Oh, and he’s released a sequel to his video [Baseball Prospectus].

Comments (4)

  1. Could you possibly explain the $5 million/WAR valuation? You’re not the only one that makes reference to it, but I am still struggling to see how 1 WAR can be said to equal 5 million in FMV.

    For reference, the avg $ / WAR paid in salary across the MLB in 2011 was 2.4 million and in 2010, it was 2.3 million.

    • It’s a calculation from FanGraphs. Market value for one win above replacement is around $5-million. Obviously pre-arb and arb players are being retained at below market value, that’s why smart GMs like AA go after controllable players rather than FAs, most of the time.

      Usually by looking at what a team gives a player, you can see how much WAR they plan to get out of him over the life of a deal. So for Pujols and his $254-million, the Angels expect him to be a roughly 50 WAR player over the next ten years. They’re clearly banking on him to be in the 7-8 range in the first few years so that when he starts to decline, he’s already given the team more value than he’s earned in the contract.

      • I understood that general line of thinking. I was less clear on how the number is arrived at. And it applies to unrestricted free agents or free agents in their cost controlled years or both? As you say, the low cost of younger players leaves the avg $ / WAR at a lower number across the MLB. That same thinking would seem to apply to arbitration eligible players. so the same valuation metric for both unrestricted and restricted free agents would strike me as odd.

        I’m sure there is a Fan Graphs post that would sort me out. I’ll see what I can find.

  2. That refers to dollars per fa war

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