I feel pretty strongly that Rollins will command close to $12 million per year for 5 years. If he's a lot cheaper than that, it is only signing with the Phillies. Again, I will explain he has a marketable identity there; which is good (financially) for both himself and for the team.
I've not seen anybody put together info in this way. So, I spent some time to create a data sheet. I feel it is that large of a factor when anybody wants to consider Jimmy Rollins. He's got the same agent as Albert Pujols, and if *somehow* he sees this, I doubt I'd become personal friends or receive holiday greeting cards from him thereafter. J-Roll and Lozano ain't gonna like this. It could cost Rollins MILLIONS in his contract year.
Yes, I am serious. And no, I do not believe I am full of myself.
Please check the datasheet, and see if you can find a flaw in my judgements.
Rollins will start his 2012 season as a 33 year-old shortstop. I don't think anybody can accurately 'anticipate' whether he will lose two steps in range before he turns 37 or whether his arm strength will diminish for plays in the hole. After all, 37 isn't THAT old. By forty, I think it hard to argue his range will decrease at least a little. But I'm not here to try to foretell the future, whether he will be decimated by bad knees, or whether his range lessens.
I'm interested in his eyesight. Many pro baseball players have at least 20/20 vision. More than a few have 20/15 vision. It can seriously be the difference between a young prospect that can swing the bat, compared to one that can consistently hit at the major league level. I realize this is not so for every MLB player. I am simply stating there are more MLB players with better vision than the 'average percentage' would be across other demographic groups. Agree so far?
If you talk with any optometrist and/or opthamologist, they are likely to explain how our eyes 'age', the lens and cornea 'harden' and particulates over many years, and millions of 'blinks' can affect the delicate balance of systems and processes that control our vision.
Things like glare can increase from bright light sources- especially in the harsh contrast of dark nighttime environments, or while driving. Minute details may become slightly affected. It can start in a person's 20's or 30's, but certainly but one's 40's; it is not uncommon for one's eyesight to diminish at least slightly. It maybe in many different ways, like peripheral vision or visual acuity (sharpness), or near-sightedness. Or color vibrancy. Whatever.
Check my datasheet:
Since 2007, Rollins average has increasingly more differentiated splits based on batting right-handed and left-handed.
Since 2007, Rollins average has increasingly more differentiated splits based on daytime games and nighttime games.
I believe he is becoming 'less valuable' as a switch-hitter. And I would be very concerned about his batting splits for night games.
That's it. And it is plenty. More than enough for me to say 'no thanks' on the homecoming of Jimmy Rollins to the Bay Area. Especially not at $60M-ish over 5-years.
Perhaps some of you think this is only coincidence? Or that there is no credence of anything 'wrong' with him. Or my reasoning is somehow flawed. I am not disputing his vision is failing. It may not be. It could be many things. Perhaps. I am simply trying to find a reasonable explanation for the stats I can clearly recognize. And, at the end of the day; the only thing that matters is the performance- or what are deemed 'results.'
It seems Rollins' performance is diminishing when considered under these factors.
Now tell me.
Would Dan Lozano have cause to worry if team GM's see this datasheet before dealing with him?
No, I haven't made a similar datasheet for Erick Aybar (who?). Or Jose Reyes (YES!). Aybar's is pretty familiar territory for most switch-hitters IMO. And I've already explained how remarkably well-balanced Reyes' splits are. Those are about the only notable things you need to know. Or feel free to check them out for yourself on B-R.
edit: my apologies. The "2011" splits on my datasheet are his "career" splits. It was somewhat time consuming to put the sheet together. No I will not be editing it. You can check his 2011 splits here:http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=rolliji01&year=2011&t=b
Image credit: Jimmy Rollins from teamtobeat.wordpress.