The Phillies made official what was pretty evident all along, exercising Jimmy Rollins' $8.5 million option for the 2011 season. This ensures that seven of the team's eight projected regulars will be under club control for the next two seasons, the lone exception being right fielder Jayson Werth, who will be a free agent after this year.
It also gives a clearer picture of the Phillies payroll heading into next offseason, when they will have several critical decisions to make, including re-signing Werth or finding a capable replacement, finding two starters to follow Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ in the rotation, as well as several bullpen pieces (lefthander J.C. Romero has a $4.5 million option for 2011 -- Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge will both be entering the final years of their contracts).
According to data compiled by the Daily News, the Phillies have just under $108 million committed to 11 players for the 2011 season.
Rollins, who signed a 5-year, $40 million extension in 2005 and will make $7.5 million in 2010, would have been due a $2 million buy-out had the Phillies not exercised his option.
“Jimmy has always been an integral part of our club, not only on the field, but in the clubhouse as well,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “He has been a big part of the team’s success over the past three years and there is no doubt that we want him to be a part of that in the future.”
In 155 games last season, Rollins hit .250 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI. With a team-leading 31 stolen bases, he recorded his sixth straight season (2004-09) with 30 or more steals. Defensively, Rollins led all major league shortstops in fielding percentage (.990) and committed a career-low six errors en route to winning his third straight Gold Glove Award.
Entering his 11th season with the club, Rollins is currently the longest tenured Phillie on the team. In franchise history, he ranks third in doubles (350), fourth in stolen bases (326), fifth in runs scored (945), triples (95) and extra-base hits (591) and eighth in hits (1,629). For his career, the 2007 National League MVP is hitting .274 with 146 home runs and 621 RBI in 1,406 games.