Quick question: Do you think the Angels would be interested in a free agent, 37 year old second baseman coming off the worst year of his career at the plate as well as a down year on defense? If you've followed the team long enough, and if you've become even half the cynic that this frustrating post-season has turned me into, then you'd sardonically say "Oh, totally GREAT move." But what if that characteristic bad Angels deal actually made some sense? The player in question would be one Jimmy Rollins, and recent developments have some baseball writers wondering if he has Angels written all over him.
Yesterday afternoon, this little nugget was tweeted out by Ken Rosenthal:
Source: Multiple teams have inquired about Jimmy Rollins playing 2B. Rollins open to idea, but waiting to see if SS opportunities develop.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2016
Okay, so that got my interest. When I looked up Rollins' slash line from last year, though, I had a brief bit of repulsion. We're talking .224 AVG, .285 OBP, .358 SLG and a .643 OPS. Blech! Surely, if the Angels were willing to pick up Rollins as a 2B, and thereby move around folk hero Johnny Giavotella, they'd want him to actually be BETTER than Johnny Giavotella, right? The hope in this, though, is that this season(his worst of a 15 year career) is his bottom and he can get back up to his already-low statistical floor. Because here's the thing...he's typically such a good defender, something Billy Eppler has put a premium on, that with some mediocre plate work mixed with what is usually a great glove could be a downright savvy piece to plug into the Angels' 2016 infield.
MLB Trade Rumors pegged the Angels as a great landing spot for Rollins, as well, with a great look at what he could bring defensively, and why you can't exactly trust those 2015 numbers. The Angels are still going to have to spend some money, though. Something they're seemingly allergic to, at the moment, but if they could get him for $7-8 mil per year or so, we could be in business.(Okay, that's probably way too high but you get the drift. Cheaper the better, of course.)
The move makes sense, when looked at in just the right light, and if Eppler and Co. are going for full defensive lockdown of The Big A this season, then you'd have one more flashy glove to compliment Andrelton Simmons. If anything, this deal would continue the trend of the Angels improving at such small increments that it seems like they've not improved at all.