Scott Rolen checks in with the Phillies

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Scott Rolen checks in with the Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. – There were all kinds of familiar faces at Bright House Field for the Phillies spring opener Wednesday.

Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs were high above home plate, calling their first game as the team’s new TV broadcasters.

Chris Coste, now head baseball coach at Concordia College in Minnesota, threw out a ceremonial first pitch. He was in town with his team for its spring training.

Scott Rolen was also in the house with his two young children. The former Phillies third baseman is beginning his second year out of the game, but like Moyer, who pitched until he was 49, won’t use the word “retired.”

“I’m not going to shut anything down,” said Rolen, who turns 39 in April. “I’ll leave some options open. I wanted to see how it felt after taking a year off and trying to heal and recover a little bit. I don’t know. I’m not going to shut any doors.”

Rolen had offers to re-sign with Cincinnati or join the Dodgers last season but chose to take the year off.

For the record, he still appears to be in top physical condition.

Rolen, who played for the Phillies during some lean years from 1996 to 2002, remains in contact with several people in the organization. He spends his winters near Bradenton, Fla., and accepted an invitation to the game to renew old acquaintances.

It’s well known that Rolen had a rocky relationship with Phillies management at the end of his time with the club, but all is good now. In fact, there was a time late in his career when Rolen would liked to have come back to the Phillies, but it never worked out.

“What happened happened,” he said. “Everything is good now. I kind of feel like we’re all in the place we should be.”

Rolen gets his baseball fill working occasionally with the Indiana University baseball team. He did not rule out becoming a spring-training instructor with a club in coming seasons. In fact, he said the Reds have extended an offer.

After 17 seasons in the majors, Rolen does miss it.

But not for reasons that might be readily apparent to most.

“I’ll tell you what I miss," he said. "I miss the accountability. I miss having a job. I miss having a drive, a direction and being tired. I miss being miserable. If you’re not tired and not miserable and hot and hurting … you have to fill that space a little bit. I’m a driven person and you can’t drive 100 miles per hour to the golf course.”

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.