Phillies vets Rollins, Utley tune out trade talk

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Phillies vets Rollins, Utley tune out trade talk

Even though the media -- social, mainstream and otherwise -- is a abuzz with the potential for an active trade deadline for the Phillies, the players have been able to ignore most of the chatter.

Burrowed into a cocoon where TV and computers are used for watching video on hitting and pitchers, the trade chatter hasn’t filtered into the clubhouse.

Or so they say.

Though the stands are filled with scouts from opposing teams and the sports media continues to remain on alert for possible trades, old warhorses like Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley are living by the old clichés.

Just one game at a time.

“As baseball players, I’ve been around a little while and we really try to focus on that day and when that’s over you focus on the next day,” Utley said. “You try not to get distracted or get too high or too low and you really try to put your blinders on and stay focused.”

According to Rollins, the trade talk is more pronounced when the team is losing.

“It happens every year -- more so when you’re losing,” Rollins said. “When you’re winning they talk about who to bring in. I’ve been around it, [Utley has] been around it and it really has no affect on us.”

It’s fun for fans to make fantasy trades or pretend they are the general manager, Rollins said. But ultimately, the players like to concentrate on other things.

“It makes a little excitement around baseball, but inside the clubhouse it doesn’t change a thing,” Rollins said.

Rollins and Utley have been around, though. And, with 10-and-5 rights -- 10 years in the big leagues, five years with one team -- both players can veto any trade.

Lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo has been mentioned as a centerpiece in trades (see story), which is something he probably hasn’t heard much of.

Or maybe he has.

“I’m not that kind of person looking to see what’s going on around the league and stuff. I’m not into that," Bastardo said. “When I come in here I shut everything down. Everything is about baseball. That’s it.”

In other words, Bastardo has learned well from veterans Rollins and Utley.

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

The Phillies tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players on Friday night and set another free.
 
Reliever Jeanmar Gomez and infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were tendered contracts for the 2017 season while outfielder Cody Asche was let go after four seasons with the club. 
 
The Phillies signaled their intention to let Asche go when they designated him for assignment, a move that removed him from the 40-man roster, on Friday afternoon. The club had the option of trading Asche — and likely had discussions with other clubs — but ultimately decided to non-tender him before the 8 p.m. deadline. The move made Asche a free agent.
 
The Phils had removed Asche from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for David Rollins, a left-handed reliever who was claimed off waivers from Texas on Friday (see story)
 
Galvis and Hernandez, the team’s regular shortstop and second baseman, respectively, were certain to receive contracts for 2017. Gomez was less certain. He saved 37 games for the Phils in 2016, but struggled badly late in the season.
 
Phillies officials will try to negotiate 2017 salaries with all three players. If an agreement cannot be reached with a player, an arbitration hearing will be held later in the winter to determine that player’s salary for the coming season.
 
Gomez made $1.4 million in 2016, Galvis $2 million and Hernandez $525,000. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Gomez projects to make $4.6 million in arbitration, Galvis $4.4 million and Hernandez $2.5 million. 

The Phillies' roster is full at 40.

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Cody Asche's time with the Phillies has come to an end.

The Phillies claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, Asche was designated for assignment. The Phillies had until 8 p.m. on Friday to tender a contract to the outfielder, but they instead chose to free up the roster spot for Rollins.

Asche played four seasons with the Phillies from 2013-16 after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. The St. Charles, Mo. native had a .213/.284/.350 batting line this past season over 71 games. His best season with the Phillies came as their starting third baseman in 2014, hitting 10 home runs and driving home 46 runs in 121 games.

Rollins has been on four different rosters this offseason. He pitched 31 games in relief for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons, sporting a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs 15 days after the World Series and then subsequently claimed again by the Rangers. 

Rollins was a 24th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft and was traded a year later to the Houston Astros. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners picked Rollins in the Rule 5 draft after the Astros chose not to protect him.