Since the painful end of what was supposed to be a championship season, Ruben Amaro has dubbed addressing the shortstop position his “highest priority.” Ruben took care of generations of Papelbons, brought back Jim Thome and flirted with the idea of giving Michael Cuddyear too much money; all the while the shortstop position went unaddressed.
The prospect of Jimmy Rollins becoming a member of another ball club instantly made people look a little harder at minor league shortstop Freddy Galvis. Reports circulated that the team had some interest in making Aramis Ramirez the team’s new third baseman as a contingency plan if their negotiations with Rollins went south. The fact that there was a possibility that Yuniesky Betancourt would be the Phillies shortstop was scary as hell.
Jimmy took over at shortstop after the 2000 season of Desi Relaford. Desi Relaford was fucking terrible. This was the type of player that existed before the team made efforts to acquire people who actually know how to play baseball. Rollins responded by leading the league is triples, stolen bases and finishing third in the rookie of the year voting. Since then, he has an MVP, a bunch of gold gloves and a couple of all star appearances. He has become the best shortstop in the history of the ball club and the face of the franchise.
Jimmy wanted a five year contract and no one in their right mind was going to sign him for that long. With Ruben’s history of setting the market with deals that are too long and too expensive, the amount of time that passed without tendering Jimmy a contract seemed like an eternity. The Brewers were a suitor, so were the Pujolsless Cardinals. They signed Aramis Ramirez and Rafael Furcal respectively. When it came down to it, the Phillies and their longest tenured player were a good match. A match made better with a three year 33 million dollar contract.
Thank God the Phillies didn’t sign Ryan Theriot. I hate that guy. Welcome back Jimmy.
p.s. Freddy Galvis isn’t ready.