PHILADELPHIA -- Former All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed Tuesday to a $3.85 million,
one-year contract, and versatile infielder Placido Polanco also avoided arbitration with a $4.6 million contract for 2005.
Also, former All-Star right-hander Vicente Padilla reached a
$3.2 million, one-year deal, leaving only outfielder Jason Michaels
Polanco, a full-time player in his 2½ seasons with the Phillies, can earn up to $5.1 million under the deal. He is expected to move into a backup role with former first-round pick Chase Utley taking over as the starting second baseman.
Rollins, an All-Star in his first two seasons with the Phillies in 2001 and 2002, is coming off his best season, hitting .289 with 14 homers, 73 RBIs, 119 runs -- all career-highs -- and 30 steals. He made just nine errors. Rollins earned $2,425,000 last year.
Padilla, part of the trade that sent Curt Schilling to Arizona
in 2000, went 7-7 with a 4.53 ERA in 20 starts during an
injury-plagued season. He made $2.6 million last year.
Polanco, who came to the Phillies in the trade that sent
disgruntled All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen to the St. Louis
Cardinals in July 2002, hit .298 with a career-high 17 homers and
55 RBIs last season.
Polanco made $3.95 million last year, when he started 105 games
at second base and 11 at third base. He surprised by the Phillies
by accepting their arbitration offer in December.
Utley, the 15th overall pick in the 2000 amateur draft, hit .266 with 13 homers and 57 RBIs in just 267 at-bats last season.
The Phillies offered Michaels $650,000, while the player asked