Jimmy Rollins rumors: Phillies 'very willing' to trade shortstop

Rich Schultz

Philadelphia seems intent on moving some of its more expensive parts this winter.

The Philadelphia Phillies are telling clubs around the league that they are "very willing" to part with shortstop Jimmy Rollins this winter, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.

Rollins, 35, is a marquee name in a very shallow, if non-existent, shortstop market. He's sure to drum up some interest on the trading block this winter, but he's also coming off of a career-worst season at the plate and on the field, so the Phillies aren't exactly selling high on the former MVP. Rollins hit just .252/.318/.348 with six home runs over 160 games in 2013, turning in a sub-700 OPS for just the third time in his career.

The Phillies may be willing to trade the middle infielder on the heels of that production, but that doesn't mean they'll be able. Rollins will make $11 million in 2014, has a vesting option at the same price for 2015, and also owns a no-trade clause that he's recently shown reluctance to waive.

The club's openness to deal not only its veteran shortstop but also closer Jonathan Papelbon seems to indicate something of a shift in offseason strategy for Philadelphia. Ruben Amaro and company spent $42 million to net Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz in November, pointing towards a "win now" strategy, but now seem intent on selling big pieces away and freeing up payroll.

Spending big and purging payroll simultaneously don't always point to opposite goals, but the Phillies' top shortstop prospects -- J.P. Crawford and Roman Quinn -- are still a few years away, so selling Rollins would seem to clash with Amaro's statement to MLB.com that the club is "built to win."

Per Baseball Prospectus, the Phillies have about $141 million locked up in pre-arbitration payroll for 2014, which is just about $19 million shy of their total for last season. With about $12 million coming in arbitration to Kyle Kendrick, Ben Revere, Antonio Bastardo and John Mayberry, it seems there is very little wiggle room to add pieces without making room on the roster elsewhere.

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