DALLAS -- You may have heard that the Phillies talked to free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
You may have heard that the Phillies' talks with Jimmy Rollins hit some obstacles.
But here's another thing that remains as true as before: The Phillies' overwhelming desire is to have Rollins back as their shortstop.
And their show of interest in Ramirez could well be part of this.
By reaching out to Ramirez, several baseball officials suggested Monday, the Phils could be showing Rollins that they do have a suitable backup plan, and thus trying to prod him to accept a deal.
So far, Rollins has been asking the Phillies for five years, with the team preferring a three-year deal (with some sources suggesting that general manager Ruben Amaro would agree to go to four years).
It's unclear what the market for Rollins is outside Philadelphia. The Brewers have met with Dan Lozano, Rollins' agent, but people familiar with their plans say that even a three-year deal may be beyond what they would do. The Nationals are considered by some to be a possibility, but Rollins does not seem to be their primary (or even secondary) focus at this point. Perhaps the Cardinals could become involved if Albert Pujols signs elsewhere, but it's hard to count on that.
People who know Rollins aren't sure how the talented but also very proud shortstop will react to all this.
Some suggest that he could view the shorter offer from the Phillies as a sign of disrespect, and respond by telling Lozano he wants to go elsewhere. Others say it's hard to believe he would leave the Phillies spotlight to go to a team like the Brewers.
"Jimmy wants to get paid," said one official who knows him. "But Jimmy likes the big stage, too."
In the end, most in baseball seem to believe that Rollins will re-sign with the only team he has known.
If not, perhaps the Phillies will come hard after Ramirez, who they have so far shown just lukewarm interest in, sources say. Ramirez has also drawn interest from the Brewers and Angels, and one person who knows him say his strong desire is to find a team with the best chance to win.
If the Phillies signed Ramirez to replace Rollins, they would go with young Freddy Galvis at shortstop, and trade incumbent third baseman Placido Polanco (which would require eating some of the remaining $7.25 million on his contract).
Would the Phillies do that?
It's possible they would. It's certain that their first choice would be to simply re-sign Jimmy Rollins.