Wednesday, December 21, 2016

MLB's most coveted player this winter is someone you don't know

Everyone has to have David Rollins this offseason. (Getty Images/Rob Leiter)The offseason can be a time of uncertainty for baseball players. With so many transactions going on, it’s tough to feel safe. One minute, you’re at home prepping to be a member of the Miami Marlins. A phone call later, you have to totally uproot your family across the country as you prepare to join the San Diego Padres.
Changing teams can be difficult, particularly when you have no control over the transaction. Doing it once during an offseason can be intimidating. Doing it four times in the span of just one month sounds like a player’s worst nightmare.
Former Seattle Mariners pitcher David Rollins isn’t dreaming, though. Over the past 33 days, he’s changed teams four different times!
Try to follow along with Rollins’ journey, if you can. At the start of the offseason, the 27-year-old was a member of the Mariners. That changed on Nov. 18, when the Chicago Cubs claimed him on waivers. OK, fine. No big deal, right? Players change teams all the time in the offseason. Rollins would simply have to find a temporary living space in Chicago for the 2017 season.
We hope he didn’t follow through on that. Four days later, the Texas Rangers struck, grabbing Rollins on waivers from the Cubs. His career with Texas lasted what he probably considers to be a lengthy nine days. On the 10th day, the Philadelphia Phillies made their move. Rollins was, again, claimed on waivers.
After 10 days had passed, Rollins was still a member of the Phillies, and was likely starting to believe his hectic offseason had finally come to an end. After 15 days, he was probably considering buying Phillies gear to hand out to his family this holiday season.
We hope he didn’t follow through on that. On his 19th day as a member of the Phillies, Rollins was claimed on waivers once again. This time, at least, he was going back to familiar ground. The Rangers claimed Rollins for the second, and hopefully the final, time this winter.
Rollins spent most of last season in Triple-A. There, he posted a 3.77 ERA over 45 1/3 innings. Over the past two seasons, he’s pitched 34 1/3 innings in the majors, compiling a 7.60 ERA.
Now, we’re going to guess Rollins didn’t actually travel to each place after being claimed. It’s the offseason, and it’s likely he was able to remain at home throughout this whole thing. But, for the fun of it, let’s take a look at what Rollins’ journey would have been like had he actually gone to each city immediately after being traded.
  • Seattle to Chicago: 2,043 miles
  • Chicago to Arlington: 944 miles
  • Arlington to Philadelphia: 1,488 miles
  • Philadelphia to Arlington: 1,488 miles
  • Total trip: 5,963 miles
That’s a lot of frequent flier miles.
If there’s any positive here, it’s that the Rangers merchandise he purchased for his family during the lovely nine day period when he was a member of the club is no longer useless. He can still pass out Rangers hats and shirts as gifts.
That is … unless another team strikes in the coming days. In fact, Rollins might want to hold off on handing out any baseball-related gifts this winter. Socks are more practical anyway, right?

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