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Dodgers' wide search for help could include Jimmy Rollins

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

Jimmy Rollins never got an offer to go home to the West Coast when he was a free agent last winter.

Could he end up there now?

The Dodgers, who are short on prospects but long on both money and needs, have some interest in the Phillies shortstop, sources said Monday.

Rollins is part of a long list of players the Dodgers are looking at, as they try to trade for both a hitter and a starting pitcher in an effort to keep pace with the Giants in the National League West. But he may be the most intriguing.

While Rollins has been a big disappointment with the Phillies this year, he could be a help to a Dodger team that lost shortstop Dee Gordon to the disabled list. Since Gordon went down with a torn ligament in his right thumb, the Dodgers have played Luis Cruz and Juan Uribe at short.

The Phillies gave Rollins a three-year, $33 million contract in December, when his only other real offer was from the Brewers. The Phillies thought then that it was crucial to keep Rollins, but they've been disappointed by his play this year, and thought he could have done more to get them through the difficult times when both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were on the disabled list.

The Dodgers, who still hope to add both a pitcher and a hitter, also have interest in both Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino. It's unlikely they have enough prospects to land Hamels; Victorino would seem a more realistic target (because he's a free agent-to-be having a so-so year), as might Rollins (big contract, so-so year).

One thing to keep in mind on Rollins: As a 10-5 player (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team), he enjoys full no-trade protection and could choose whether or not to go (if it comes to that).

Another thing to keep in mind: Dodgers first-base coach Davey Lopes has long been a Rollins fan.

"The key to that [Phillies] ballclub has always been Rollins, as far as I'm concerned," Lopes told me last month in Philadelphia. "When Jimmy rolls, they roll."

When I mentioned Rollins' slow start, Lopes said: "I never worry about him."

The Dodgers have long been linked with both Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza of the Cubs. They also had a scout in Milwaukee over the weekend to watch Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart of the Brewers, and have shown interest in Josh Willingham of the Twins and Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies, as well.


 
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