PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins believes he's one of the top
shortstops in baseball. Now, he has a salary to prove it.
Rollins agreed to a $40 million, five-year contract extension
with the team on Monday. The 26-year-old shortstop has spent his
entire career with Philadelphia and was eligible for free agency
after the 2006 season.
His contract includes a $5 million signing bonus. Philadelphia
holds a club option for 2011 at $8.5 million with a $2 million
buyout. If the Phillies exercise the option, the total value of the
contract would increase to $46.5 million.
"We've never envisioned our ballclub going forward without
Jimmy," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said. "He brings a lot
of energy and is a catalyst for this team."
This season, Rollins has hit .263 with five home runs, 19 RBI
and 13 stolen bases in 62 games.
Rollins wanted a contract extension during spring training. When
talks fell through, Rollins said he wouldn't seek a new contract
until after the season. That changed on Monday.
"After spring training, I had put it out of my mind," Rollins
said. "To get it done at this point, it shows that they wanted me
more than I thought they did."
Rollins knows that with the new contract comes new
"Now, it's my turn to join the big crew with Bobby [Abreu], Jim
[Thome], and Pat [Burrell]," Rollins said. "With a long-term
contract, I feel that gives me a chance to be a leader on this club
with those guys."
The Phillies completed one of their best homestands in their
history, going 12-1 against San Francisco, Arizona, Texas and
"It's fun here," Rollins said. "I've always enjoyed playing
here. The fans are tough sometimes, but they always show up."
Rollins will have a chance to celebrate the payday with his
family. The Oakland, Calif., native will return home this weekend
when the Phillies take on the A's.
"The only thing that would be better when I went back to
Oakland is if we had won the World Series. This is the next best
thing," Rollins said. "It's going to be great to go home after
something like this."
He was an NL All-Star in 2001-02, leading the league in triples
both seasons. In 2001, he tied for the league lead in stolen bases
with 46 and from 2001-04, his fielding percentage of .981 was best
among NL shortstops.
Telemaco, designated for assignment on Wednesday, cleared
waivers early Monday and will rejoin the team in Seattle.
Wolf (6-4, 4.39 ERA) complained of soreness after winning his
fifth straight start and sixth consecutive decision against
Milwaukee on Saturday. Wolf said it's the same type of pain that
caused him to miss the last two months of 2004.
Rob Tejeda (0-0, 3.00 ERA) will start in Wolf's place on Friday