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The Early Lead
Posted at 03:24 PM ET, 12/19/2011

Jimmy Rollins, Phillies strike the right deal — for everybody

Not every free agent is leaving his long-time team in his dust this year. Unlike, say, Albert Pujols — to name just one — Jimmy Rollins is staying put, re-signing with his original team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rollins agreed to a three-year, $33-million deal (with an $11 million vesting option for a fourth year), a move that means there’ll be no jilted team or fanbase when Rollins holds a press conference. It’s a move that makes sense for the Phillies as well as Rollins and sends a message to the free-spending Miami Marlins, too.

It’s a “fair price for goodwill, organizational continuity and a late-career push for the Hall of Fame,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes. “In the end, the two sides found a way to make it work because they go well together, and this winter they learned that they really needed each other.”

Besides, there’s a sentimental factor. “I've been here since 1996,” Rollins told philly.com after the season ended. “That's a long time in this organization It's the only one I've known. I've never thought about having to go anywhere else.”

If the contract vests and Rollins plays all four seasons, only Mike Schmidt will have spent more time in a Phillies uniform.

“I see you all know by now,” Rollins tweeted Saturday. “Gotta deal with me for 3 (4) years!”

By  |  03:24 PM ET, 12/19/2011

 
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