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Phillies, Rollins agree at $33m

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ― Jimmy Rollins is bringing his swagger back to the Phillies.

Three people familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press that Rollins has agreed to a 3-year, $33 million contract with Philadelphia. The deal includes a vesting option for a fourth year.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the agreement is pending a physical.

“Gotta deal with me for 3 (4) more years!” Rollins wrote on Twitter. He also thanked former Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who tweeted congratulations to Rollins and the Phillies.

Rollins is a three-time All-Star shortstop and the 2007 NL MVP. He has spent his entire career with the Phillies after being selected in the second round of the 1996 amateur draft, and was a free agent for the first time.

Rollins, who turned 33 last month, sought at least a five-year deal. The Phillies didn’t want to go that long, and were able to reach an agreement after the market for Rollins lessened.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (AP-Yonhap News)
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (AP-Yonhap News)

From the start, Rollins said he wanted to stay in Philadelphia. He has been the heart and soul of a team that has won five consecutive NL East titles and the 2008 World Series. Rollins is undeniably the team leader, a charismatic personality who brings a special confidence to the clubhouse.

Reds acquire Latos

CINCINNATI (AP) ― The price tag for Mat Latos was daunting. The Cincinnati Reds were willing to pay it.

The Reds addressed their biggest offseason need on Saturday, acquiring the right-handed starter from San Diego for a package of four players that includes two top prospects.

Cincinnati gave up infielder Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal ― both first-round picks ― along with starting pitcher Edinson Volquez to get the 24-year-old Latos, who initially will move into the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Johnny Cueto. Latos went 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA for the Padres last season, finishing among the NL leaders in ERA and strikeouts.

The trade surprised Latos, who said the Padres had indicated to him that he wouldn’t be going anywhere.

“A little bit of shock and a little bit of excitement,” Latos said, describing his reaction. “Shock because literally I wake up and I’m traded. Excitement because I’m excited to join a club that’s got a lot of talent and a lot of potential. I’m excited for new scenery.”

The Reds wanted him so badly that they were willing to give up a lot.

“To acquire a pitcher who is ready to fit into the top of a rotation, you have to give up talent,” general manager Walt Jocketty said.

Latos joins a rotation that includes Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey. The rotation was a problem last season, with Cueto opening the season on the disabled list and Arroyo struggling with mononucleosis that he contracted during spring training.
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