The San Francisco Giants have come to a minor league contract agreement with one of the greatest shortstops of the last two decades.
As if to show that you can indeed go home again, shortstop Jimmy Rollins has signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants. The contract for Rollins is reportedly for one year and $1 million. That deal assumes he stays on the big league roster all season long.
Rollins is a native of the Bay Area. He was born in Oakland, and played his high school ball with Encinal High School in Alameda.
He became the Philadelphia Phillies’ pick in the second round of the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft. Rollins then made his big league debut in the 2000 season. Rollins took over as the starting shortstop in Philly at the tail end of that 2000 campaign. It was a job that he would hold for 15 more seasons.
He became one of the greatest players in the history of the Phillies franchise, and its all-time hits leader. Rollins was a four-time NL Gold Glove Award winner with the Phils. He was also a three-time NL All-Star during that run.
MVP AND WORLD SERIES
At the run-up to the 2007 season, the team had fallen short the previous four years. Rollins declared that the Phillies were the “team to beat” in the NL East Division.
He would back up that boast, and then some. “J-Roll” led the Phillies to that NL East crown with an incredible season in which he became the National League Most Valuable Player.
In that 2007 season, Rollins hit for a .296/.344/.531 slash line. Rollins produced 30 home runs, 94 RBI, 38 doubles, 20 triples, 41 stolen bases and 139 runs scored. He was also awarded an NL Silver Slugger that year.
Rollins was a team leader in the clubhouse as well. He became a pivotal figure as the Phillies won the World Series for just the second time in franchise history in 2008.
Rollins would help the club return to the Fall Classic in 2009, and to win five consecutive NL East crowns capped by a 2011 season in which the team won a franchise record 102 games.
ROLLINS HEADS WEST
Along with the rest of that Phillies team, Rollins began to age. He was finally dealt in December of 2014 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in what was essentially a three-team trade that included the San Diego Padres.
In 2015, Rollins was reunited with his longtime Phillies double-play partner when Chase Utley was traded to the Dodgers in August. Together they helped L.A. win the NL West, but the club was eliminated in the playoffs.
Just before Spring Training this year, Rollins signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox. He opened the year as the starting shortstop for a ChiSox team that had loaded up with veterans and was hoping to contend. But when both he and the team faltered, and prospect shortstop Tim Anderson emerged, Rollins was released.