|Saturday, July 27
Rolen would consider signing big deal with Cards
ESPN.com news services
Rolen has been the subject of trade reports since rejecting a $140 million, 10-year contract extension from the Phillies last November. He is eligible to become a free agent after the season.
St. Louis spokesman Brian Bartow said that the Cardinals and Phillies have been talking but there would be no announcement Saturday.
Rolen is keenly aware of speculation that St. Louis covets him. The Cardinals are four games ahead of Cincinnati in the NL Central.
''We all know that is a situation I'd be willing to talk about,'' Rolen said.
Including a long-term contract?
''Yes, I would,'' he replied. ''It's a situation where I'd like to see if I fit in.''
Rolen said he doesn't expect to be traded without agreeing to a new deal with another team.
''There has to be a deal,'' he said. ''If the right situation arises, I'd be willing to talk about a contract extension. But right now it's out of my hands, as it always has been.''
St. Louis and Philadelphia are still negotiating a possible trade, and sources have told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark the Phlliies want three players -- lefty Bud Smith, infielder Placido Polanco and a third quality player -- in exchange for Rolen.
St. Louis is willing to throw in a third player -- Stark believes that to be pitching prospect Jimmy Journell -- if the Phillies pay all of Rolen's $8.6 million salary this season. Philadelphia has been balking at that with every team interested in him.
The Cardinals also want to explore their ability to re-sign Rolen if they're giving up three players with a potential strike looming. The Phillies haven't said yes to any of that. They're still mulling, still negotiating, Stark reported.
Rolen has averaged 26 homers and 95 RBI in his first five seasons. This year, he is batting .259 with 16 homers and 65 RBI, despite getting booed at home and criticized by some teammates.
The trade deadline is Wednesday. After that, Rolen would have to clear waivers to be included in a deal, which is unlikely to happen.
''I'll be happy when it comes to a close,'' he said after Saturday's 5-3 loss to the first-place Atlanta Braves, which left the Phillies 18½ games back in the NL East.
Rolen's agent, Seth Levinson, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.