All signs indicate a Rollins deal is close

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The Milwaukee Brewers were told not to bother continuing talks with Rollins, a baseball source said. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

DALLAS — No, it's not done yet. But it's close.

The signs at the Anatole Hilton were overwhelming Wednesday that the Phillies neared an accord with longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

Their top competition for his services, the Milwaukee Brewers, were told not to bother continuing talks with Rollins, a baseball source said.

"That's good news, I guess," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "I haven't heard that yet. I hope it's true."

Paul Kinzer, the agent for Aramis Ramirez, said no talks were happening with the Phillies. Ramirez was the team's top alternative to signing Rollins, who has been the priority all winter.

An erroneous report surfaced Wednesday evening that Rollins had agreed to terms. That was not the case, a baseball source said. But there was optimism toward a pact.

The timetable for a deal is unclear, but Amaro said Wednesday afternoon he had yet to meet with Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano. Lozano was busy finalizing a deal for his other client, Albert Pujols. Once that deal is done, Lozano can turn his focus to Rollins.

"No different. No change," Amaro said. "Still optimistic and hopeful. The goal remains the same, to bring him back."

A baseball source said the current market (or lack thereof) means Rollins will probably sign a three-year deal with an annual average value of $10 to $12 million per season. The Phillies could include some sort of option for a fourth year. Rollins stated his desire for a five-year deal at the beginning of the winter.

That source said Rollins was probably worth around $9 million per season to any other club but likened Rollins' situation to that of Derek Jeter's from a year ago. The Yankees signed Jeter to a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year although there was no clear bidding for his services.

Jeter, of course, has spent his entire career with one team. And Rollins could take a giant step shortly toward doing the same with the Phillies.


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