Los Angeles Dodgers acquire shortstop Jimmy Rollins in trade with Phillies

December 19, 2014

The Los Angeles Dodgers today officially announced the acquisition of star shortstop and former MVP Jimmy Rollins and cash considerations from Philadelphia in exchange for left-handed pitcher Tom Windle and right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin, who was acquired yesterday from San Diego.

The Dodgers had delayed in announcing the deal because it had been contingent upon the completion of the team's Matt Kemp trade with the Padres.

Of all the Dodgers controversial moves this offseason -- namely, trading away the productive Matt Kemp and speedster Dee Gordon, and letting slugger Hanley Ramirez walk in free agency -- the Rollins move has been the most sensible.

Rollins, 36, is a huge defensive upgrade at shortstop over the oft-injured Ramirez and will immediately solidify the Dodgers middle infield.   Last year he topped big league shortstops with a .988 fielding percentage, committing only seven errors in 1,170.2 innings.

A four-time Gold Glove Award winner (2007-09, ’12), Rollins ranks second among active shortstops (min. 650 games) with a .983 fielding percentage and leads active players with 18,080.1 innings, 5,702 assists and 1,166 career double-plays turned at the position.

He also still has some pop, which will be needed to offset the losses of Kemp and Ramirez in the lineup.  Last season the switch-hitting Rollins appeared in 138 games with Philadelphia, batting .243 with 76 runs scored (1st, NL shortstops), 17 home runs (4th, NL shortstops), and 55 RBI.

The 2007 National League Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Star (2001-02, 2005) has a .267 career batting average with 216 home runs and 887 RBI in 15 big league seasons, all with the Phillies, from 2000-14. Rollins ranks third among active players with 453 career stolen bases, including stealing 20 or more bases in four consecutive years and in 13 of his 14 full MLB seasons.

In addition to stolen bases, the 2007 Silver Slugger also ranks among the active leaders in games (2,090, 7th), hits (2,306, 6th), runs (1,325, 4th), doubles (479, 5th) and triples (111, 3rd).  He has considerable postseason experience, appearing in 46 career postseason games and earning a ring with the 2008 World Series champion Phillies.

Although Rollins might be a little long in the tooth, he essentially could be viewed by management as a talented placeholder for the Dodgers hotshot shortstop prospect Corey Seager, who figures to take over the position down the line.

Rollins was originally selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft and ranks among the Phillies’ modern-era franchise leaders in games played (2,090, 2nd behind Mike Schmidt), hits (2,306, 1st), steals (453, 1st), doubles (479, 1st), home runs (216, 9th) and RBI (887, 7th).

Windle, 22, went 17-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 39 professional games (37 starts) with Single-A Great Lakes and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in two minor league seasons in the Dodger organization after he was selected in the second round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Minnesota.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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