Jimmy Rollins might be a newcomer to the Dodgers, but he envisions himself becoming a leader on the team.
“Most definitely,” said Rollins, whose trade from the Phillies was finalized Friday.
Rollins is 36. He has a World Series ring and was the National League’s most valuable player in 2007. He’s also a shortstop.
“The position shortstop itself, if you accept everything that comes along with it, you’re kind of already grown into that position of being a leader,” Rollins said.
Rollins said he has already spoken to Manager Don Mattingly about the dynamics in the Dodgers clubhouse.
Rollins said he isn’t concerned about proving his worth to a new fan base.
“When you win, it takes care of everything,” he said. “It really does.”
Rollins spent his previous 15 major league seasons with the Phillies.
He said the move wasn’t difficult.
“Not at all,” he said. It’s business.”
That’s something Rollins said he learned in 2006, when Bobby Abreu was traded from the Phillies to the New York Yankees.
“That tore a piece of my heart out, but it also brought home the realization that this is a business,” Rollins said.
Still, Rollins took out a full-page advertisement in the Saturday edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer to thank Phillies fans for their support.
Rollins could have blocked the trade to the Dodgers as a 10-and-5 player – a player with 10 years in the major leagues, including the last five with the same team.
Rollins said he was open to moving to three teams: the Dodgers, the New York Yankees and New York Mets.
Rollins is originally from the West Coast, born and raised in the Oakland area.
Asked about which team he supported growing up, Rollins joked, “Are you trying to rub 1988 in my face or something? I definitely grew up an A’s fan.”