By Peter Gleason
What’s this you say?
The New York Yankees, perhaps the biggest spenders in major league baseball history, have found Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins too expensive!
The Yanks found the price tag — $11 million a year — for a potential trade for Rollins too high when they called the Phillies to broach the subject, a baseball official with knowledge of the conversation confirmed. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported via Twitter Wednesday that the Yankees offered a “utility player” and the Phillies had much more in mind because of how much they value their shortstop.
Plus, Stark reported, Phils GM Ruben Amaro described Rollins as “somebody we want on our club” who would be “very hard to replace.”
The Mets have also shown interest in Rollins as a potential solution for their own shortstop issues, but the veteran has a no-trade clause that he is unlikely to waive.
Rollins, who turns 36 on Thanksgiving, batted .243 with a .717 OPS, 17 homers and 55 RBI in 138 games for the Phillies last year. The National League MVP in 2007, he has won four Gold Gloves and been named an All-Star three times.
The Yankees must find someone to take the position manned since 1996 by their franchise icon, and GM Brian Cashman, who did not return a call, has said that finding a shortstop is a priority.
While the Yankees have defensive specialist Brendan Ryan on the roster, they could continue to scour the trade market for a shortstop. Stephen Drew, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie are among those available on the free agent market.