PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jimmy Rollins, after 15 seasons in Philadelphia, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 19th.READ MORE: 17-Year-Old Latif Williams Turns Self In For Alleged Murder Of Temple Student Samuel Collington
Almost exactly two months later, Rollins, the Phillies’ all-time hits leader, gave a detailed account of his trade conversations with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
“I’ve said it before, back in ’11—after that last out was made and the loss to the Cardinals—whatever that special spark was that started it,” Rollins told Rob Maadi on 94WIP late Wednesday night. “I’m sure all of us felt it before it happened, but I just happened to be the one to announce it. Whatever that was, it kind of just went into Albert’s [Pujols] glove and stuck with St. Louis and left us. And at the point it was just like, ‘What am I gonna do? I can’t walk away from something I help build.’
Listen to Jimmy Rollins with Rob Maadi on 94WIP:
“And obviously I would love to finish my career in Philadelphia, but there’s a part that, there’s always gonna be a part as a competitor—you want to win,” Rollins continued. “You just don’t want to be on the field putting on a uniform. And after this season Ruben [Amaro Jr.] called me in, we had a talk, and he told me at any point if I wanted to be traded or felt like I didn’t want to be part of the rebuilding process to let him know.READ MORE: Off-Duty Police Officer Shot Multiple Times In North Philadelphia, Police Say
Rollins says he was willing to stay in Philly for 2015, the final year of his contract.
“I told him [Amaro] at that point that, I plan on honoring my contact,” Rollins explained. “I signed a contract, I’m gonna honor the contract and after the 2015 season, at the time, if I become a free agent and you want to sign me back, we’ll deal with it then. And if not, then I will become a free-agent and go on and shake hands, and that’s how it was. He called me back 30 days later, about a month later, and said a couple of teams were interested in me.
“He asked me two times and I’m not gonna let him ask me a third time. And I called my agent, spoke to my wife, and was like, ‘Hey if I’m gonna leave I’ll go to LA. If it’s not LA, then I’m not going anywhere.’
“We happened to get a deal done, it worked out, and both sides were satisfied with what happened,” said Rollins.
Rollins leaving signified the start of the rebuild for Amaro and the Phillies. On Wednesday, pitcher Cole Hamels, who was involved in trade rumors throughout the winter, admitted he wants to win and that’s not going to happen with the Phillies.
Rollins says he was actively recruiting the 2008 World Series MVP to join him out west.
“That would be absolutely fantastic,” Rollins said of Hamels joining him in Los Angeles. “I actually texted him a lot about that as trade talk was going down, right before I got traded. I know he’s from San Diego, but he’s always pitched well in San Diego and in LA. So to get him out there would be absolutely fantastic if that is something that could be done. I would absolutely love it. Cole is a great guy, he’s a great pitcher, and has been that and a long time he’s just had tough luck pitching in Philadelphia as far as getting wins. Outstanding year last year, but nothing to show for it. So, to have an opportunity—just to be in that rhythm of going to the mentality, of the mentality to the ball park every day that we’re meant to win, it does something for you.”MORE NEWS: Jayson Tatum Leads Celtics Past 76ers, 88-87