GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox signed 37-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training Monday.
Rollins, the National League’s 2007 Most Valuable Player with the Philadelphia Phillies and a four-time Gold Glove winner, batted .224 with a .285 on-base percentage over 563 plate appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. He hit 13 homers and had 12 stolen bases.
The Sox’ plan has been to start Tyler Saladino, a good defender who batted .225 in his first major league season in 2015 at shortstop. Rollins had offers with other teams to serve a super-utility type role but reportedly agreed to join the Sox, where he will be given a chance to win a starting job in camp. Rollins, who has played shortstop exclusively during a career that began with the Phillies in 2000, ranked fifth among NL shortstops with a .983 fielding percentage, committing nine errors in 526 chances.
“We envision Jimmy contributing both on and off the field,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. “He provides us with another quality infield option with the potential to play a variety of roles, as well as another significant positive presence inside our clubhouse.”
Rollins, a switch-hitter who ranks among the top five active players in career at-bats, runs, doubles, triples and stolen bases, did pick up his production during the second half of 2015, posting a slash line of .244/.310/.395 from July to the end of the season.