Phillies @ Dodgers July 16, 2012: Blanton vs Eovaldi

The fun part about the Dodgers apparently trying to trade for everyone under the sun – and I say “fun” with the requisite amount of resignation – is that every time they play a new team, we get a first hand look at players who have been linked to Los Angeles in potentially-true-but-probably-not-really-but-hey-what-the-hell-who-cares-if-its-poorly-sourced media rumors. This weekend against San Diego, it was Chase Headley & Carlos Quentin. Starting tonight against Philadelphia, it’s Shane Victorino & Jimmy Rollins, though not Cole Hamels, since he pitched in Colorado yesterday.

Phillies
Dodgers
SS
Rollins
3B
Hairston
CF
Victorno
2B
M.Ellis
2B
Utley
CF
Kemp
1B
Howard
RF
Ethier
C
Ruiz
LF
Rivera
RF
Pence
1B
Loney
LF
Pierre
SS
Cruz
3B
Polanco
C
A.Ellis
P
Blanton
P
Eovaldi

“Wait, Jimmy Rollins, really?”, you might be saying, as you wonder if my jokes about Ned Colletti trying to put together the best team of 2006 – a claim I made before Bobby Abreu arrived, by the way – are starting to come to fruition. Well, if CBS’ Danny Knobler is to be believed

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.

Now, we should have learned by now that you absolutely cannot believe everything – or maybe even anything – you read this time of year, so let’s hold off on the overreaction. Rollins is nowhere near the guy he was in 2007 when he was winning the NL MVP with 30 homers and 41 stolen bases, but even at 33 he’s arguably one of the five best all-around shortstops in baseball, according to some measures. (It helps, of course, that shortstop is in unbelievably poor shape right now, and the few guys who can hit can’t seem to field. Yes, I’m talking about you, Derek Jeter.) I don’t think there’s any question that Rollins would be a huge upgrade over Luis Cruz & Dee Gordon, and if he were headed into his free agent year I’d be totally fine with it. But he’s not; the Phillies signed him to what looks like a poor 3/$33m contract this past winter, and I really, really don’t want to be on the hook for the age-34 and -35 seasons of an expensive player on the decline. Fortunately, since I believe this team is committed to Gordon over the long haul, that seems like a fit that probably won’t happen – especially with how many other holes they’ll need to fill.

Back to players we might expect to see in Dodger blue soon, Chad Billingsley has “inflammation” in his right elbow, and he’s able to do some throwing, though we don’t know when he’ll be able to start. Chris Jackson notes that John Ely is still in Albuquerque, since the Isotopes have not heard anything from the Dodgers about needing a pitcher, so perhaps this Billingsley business won’t be as serious as we feared. On the other hand, Stephen Fife is suddenly no longer starting tonight’s ABQ game, with 2010 46th-round pick Bret Montgomery filling in, despite starting just 7 of his previous 76 games. So there’s that.

Finally, I answered a few questions for Phillies blog This Ball’s Outta Here this afternoon.

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