MLB Rumors: 10 Shortstops Who Could Replace Jimmy Rollins After 2011

February 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Since his debut in 2000, Jimmy Rollins has been the driving force for the Philadelphia Phillies both on and off the field. He’s the rare type of ball player that doesn’t come along all too often. He has been a vocal leader off the field and has the talent on the field to back that up.

Though he had been one of the best shortstop’s in the game in years prior, Rollins catapulted himself into Phillies’ lore in 2007. Before playing a single game, he told the media: “The Mets had a chance to win the World Series last year [2006]. Last year is over. I think we’re the team to beat in the National League East, finally. But, that’s only on paper.”

Rollins and the Phillies quickly took care of that last part. In 2007, Rollins had the best season of his career, posting a slash line of .296 / .344 / .531, with 30 home runs and 41 stolen bases, on his way to narrowly being voted in as the National League MVP. The Phillies, of course, would stun the Mets in September before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Following their elimination, Rollins predicted that the Phillies would win 100 games and go deeper into the playoffs the following season, and they haven’t looked back since.

After seeing the level of talent that their young shortstop possessed, and how hard it was to find an All-Star caliber short stop around the league, the Phillies quickly extended their young star. In June of 2005, the Phillies signed Rollins to a five-year, $40 million extension.

Now 32, Rollins is entering the final year of that extension with the Phillies, and things aren’t looking all too great for the veteran shortstop. He has been plagued by injuries over the last few seasons, and as a result, his performance suffered. Combined with the current state of the Phillies’ payroll, their options seem to be limited at the shortstop position moving forward. Surely, they wouldn’t want to commit to another injury plagued shortstop, like Jose Reyes, who would cost more annually than Rollins did.

Rollins, who is set to earn $8.5 million in the upcoming season, will likely set the bar. If he isn’t able to rebuild value for himself, it may be time for the Phillies and their prodigy shortstop to part ways. With that in mind, who could replace Rollins following the 2011 season?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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