The fire-sale has officially begun. Nine days after agreeing to a deal in principle, the Phillies have finalized a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that will see the franchise’s all-time hits leader Jimmy Rollins head to L.A in exchange for pitching prospects Zach Eflin and Tom Windle. This deal came as a surprise to many, as Rollins was the last player that anyone suspected would be dealt. In hindsight though, the deal makes sense. It signifies the turn of a new chapter for this franchise, as Rollins was the longest-tenured Phillie, apart of the organization since 1996. J-Roll has 2,306 career hits, and holds a career stat line of .267/216/887, in addition he’s also stolen 453 career bases. The 2007 NL MVP, is also a 3-time All Star, 4-time Gold Glove, and 1-time Silver Slugger. In 2014, Rollins racked up 131 hits, while batting .243. He also knocked in 55 runs, while belting 17 homers. Rollins hit the open market back in 2011, where he re-signed with the Phillies on a 3-year deal, worth $33 million dollars. That deal also contained a vesting option, that has secured Rollins an $11 million dollar salary with the Dodgers in 2015. What happens to Jimmy after the 2015 season remains a mystery, but I’d say that the odds of him returning to the Phils on a retirement deal are pretty good.
Let’s move on, and discuss the other side of the deal. The Phillies will receive pitching prospects Tom Windle and Zach Elfin in return from the Dodgers. Windle, and Eflin are both 22 years of age. Windle, a southpaw was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 28th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft. However, he opted to forgo the minor-leagues, in order to attend college at the University of Minnesota. That gamble paid off, as he was re-selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 Amateur Draft by the Dodgers. In his two years in the minors, Windle is 17-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 37 combined starts. In 193 innings pitched, Windle has struck out 162, while walking 64. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.53, while his WHIP is 1.35. Meanwhile, Eflin was selected 33rd overall in the 2012 Amateur Draft. In 49 career starts, Eflin is 17-14 with a 3.41 ERA. He has 183 career strikeouts, 65 walks, and has given up 16 homers. His WHIP is 1.26, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.82. While both hurlers are still in the early makings of their careers, they promise to add more depth to an already deep pool of young arms in the Phillies farm system.
The Phillies also struck another deal that same day, sending reliever Antonio Bastardo to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez. In his career, Bastardo is 20-18 with a 3.72 ERA, and 324 strikeouts. Last season, Antonio went 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA. He also mowed down 81, while walking 34. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.59 in 6 major league seasons with the Phillies. Bastardo is a good addition for the Pirates, as not only will he add veteran leadership to that locker room, but he’ll also provide a solid bridge gap from the 7th inning to the 9th inning, with the option to have him close out some games. Overall, it was a solid addition for the Bucs. In return, the Phils received 23-year-old southpaw Joely Rodriguez. In 6 minor league seasons, Rodriguez is 22-31 with a 4.02 ERA. He owns 261 career strikeouts, and 131 walks. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 1.99. Currently playing at the AA level, Rodriguez figures to be a few years away from his major league debut. At that point, he is projected to be a mid-level reliever.
With the trade of Jimmy Rollins, the cork has been popped. That deal is expected to be the catalyst for much larger deals down the line, that include the likes of Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, and possibly even Jonathan Papelbon. The most likely of the group to be dealt is Hamels. Dating back to the trade deadline in July, Cole has been a strong subject of trade rumors. Many teams have had their eyes on the southpaw, including the likes of the Red Sox, and Dodgers. One interesting team of note, are the Colorado Rockies. Colorado has arguably two of the biggest stars in baseball currently, in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. It’s been no secret that either player is happy with the team’s direction, and Colorado has been looking for a deal for one, if not both players. In return, the Rockies would be searching for pitching, and who better to solve the Rockies pitching woes than Cole Hamels? Not saying that it will happen, but it’s just something to monitor as the offseason lingers on.
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Tags: Phillies, Phillies Fire Sale, Phillies Trade News, Ryan Waterman, TalkSportsPhilly