SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers are looking to fill their shortstop position for only a short-term basis, until 2016 when top prospect is Corey Seager is ready to join the big league club. The best fit just might be Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who would be a willing participant in a deal.
The Dodgers and Phillies have reportedly had ongoing discussions regarding Rollins, per Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, and Rollins is apparently willing to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal with Los Angeles, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Rollins, now 36, hit .243/.323/.394 with 17 home runs, 22 doubles and 28 stolen bases in 138 games for the Phillies in 2014, his 15th season with the club. The former MVP winner is the Phillies' all-time franchise leader with 2,306 hits.
The Dodgers need to replace shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who signed a free agent deal with the Red Sox to play left field. Ramirez hit .283/.369/.448 with 13 home runs and 35 doubles in 128 games in 2014, but was well below average on defense. Rollins, conversely, was above average defensively at shortstop by total zone rating (+11 runs), defensive runs saved (+11) and ultimate zone rating (+3.6).
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi on Tuesday said the Dodgers would try to replace the total package of Ramirez, not just the superlative offense.
"It's sort of a sum-zero operation. We as a team were below average defensively at a couple positions last year, including short," Zaidi said. "If you go from a few runs below average to 10 runs above average and get a really good shortstop, then your bar on offense is a little bit lower in terms of what you have to achieve."
Rollins has one year remaining on his contract, and is due $11 million in 2015. The Dodgers already have $194.525 million committed to 17 players next year, plus maybe another $20 million salary arbitration for six more players.
It is unknown what it would take from the Dodgers to nab Rollins, with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. telling reporters on Monday, "I think we have the opportunity to have decent returns." per Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Salisbury estimated that a Rollins deal would be the Phillies' best chance to make a trade while at the winter meetings, while Zaidi said on Tuesday if the Dodgers were to make a move by Thursday, the final day of the winter meetings, it would more likely be via free agency rather than trade.
"We're not going to make a deal we wouldn't ordinarily make because we think we need to make one at the winter meetings," Zaidi said. "That would be ridiculous."