Anyone who is a Phillies fan had their world rocked last Wednesday afternoon when every baseball reporter on Twitter announced that Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Dodgers. Eventually, we also learned through every baseball reporter on Twitter that the Phillies were going to receive minor league pitchers Zach Eflin and Tim Windle in return.
Fast forward to today, over a week later, and so far what every baseball reporter on Twitter announced as a fact has not yet come to fruition. The Phillies have said nothing. The Dodgers have said nothing. And Jimmy Rollins has said nothing.
Last Friday I speculated that there could be at least four things holding up the deal. Here's what we seem to know about these four possibilities:
- Dodgers have to trade Matt Kemp to the Padres to receive Eflin to then trade to the Phillies: this is probably the biggest hold-up as it still hasn't happened yet. By all accounts, the deal has to happen today (though I have no idea why, if it doesn't happen today, it can't happen on a subsequent day - there are no official deadlines for trades at this point in the year).
There are rumors from various sources that the Padres are trying to get a little more money from the Dodgers. At the end of the day, though, the Dodgers want to get rid of Kemp, so this hurdle doesn't seem insurmountable. But, it's money, and money can always be a sticking point in a transaction, whatever the context.
- Kemp has to pass his medical tests: again, by all accounts, the Padres did the physical and haven't notified the Dodgers of any concerns. However, the physical happened Tuesday and here we are on Thursday with no deal.
- Eflin and Windle may have to go through physicals as well: as the Kemp trade hasn't happened yet, this hasn't even been an issue so far. But, it could if the Kemp trade goes through.
- The commissioner's office has to sign off on the deal because supposedly it involves money: no word on this either.
All of this is to say that the Jimmy Rollins trade that was certain according to all of the baseball reporters on Twitter last Wednesday is still up in the air 8 days later.
Last Friday I wrote that I thought the deal would happen but that we had to acknowledge there was a "non-negligible chance" that it won't. Given where we are today, I think those chances are now higher.
That being said, the reporters who originally were so confident are still confident now. Or, at least, Matt Gelb is. In this morning's Inquirer, in a short column that sounded in tone like it was in direct response to those silly Internet know-nothings who write nonsense from their mother's basement while wearing pajamas, Gelb assured the world that the Rollins trade was still happening. He wrote that "there are no indications that the deal is in jeopardy despite a delayed official announcement" and that the Dodgers reportedly believe there was nothing that "endangered the trade." This point was so obvious it deserved only three paragraphs.
When it comes down to it, I'd still put money on Jimmy Rollins very soon becoming a Dodger. But, I am far from certain this will happen. This long after Twitter announced this was a done deal, there are just too many contingencies still open for my inherent skepticism of all things driven by the blessed pageview and retweet count to be confident about this.
I'll end with the quotes I put into the just-linked story. These are from a reporter talking to NPR's "On the Media" and they always need to be kept in mind:
That’s obviously clearly the biggest problem because we are literally rewarded for sharing things that people want to read, which I think is the opposite of the job of a journalist. I think a journalist’s job is to write about things that people don't want to read or that someone doesn't want you to read. Everything else, as the old saying goes, "is just advertising." Instead of telling a story that needs to be told, we’re thinking about how to tell something that people are going to want to read and going to want to share.
And summarizing the point, the reporter concluded:
This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible. The media is feckless. Garbage is circulated around. And everyone goes to bed happy and fed.