Heres some reasons Rollins may make sense. Ruben Tejada will be in a difficult spot as the every day shortstop for the New York Mets. Fans think its so easy. Just because he's young and has the qualities to be a major leaguer, doesn't mean he can in any way replace Jose Reyes. It doesn't help Tejada that he is not the same player. Reyes is a superior defensive player, steals bases, has gap power and is more of dynamic player than Tejada will ever be. Lets also factor in that despite batting .284, out of his 93 hits, only 15 2B and 1 3B and had a SLG of just .335. It was an improvement over last year but there has to be questions of how good player Tejada can be. Its time for fans to stop saying, "Its ok that Reyes is gone, the Mets have Ruben Tejada." I'm not saying he has to go, but the Mets need to add another middle infielder, of course within reason money-wise.
So if Reyes is not coming back, I believe Alderson will look for a reasonable replacement. The team may pocket the remaining dollars. (Between replacement and what Reyes would have made.) And because I am not convinced Daniel Murphy can play 2B on an every day basis, the Mets should bring in a veteran. I before have suggested Aaron Hill (who is back with Arizona,) Rafael Furcal and perhaps Orlando Cabrera or Alex Gonzalez. Jimmy Rollins will only get a three year contract from the Phillies. The only team that will overpay for Rollins is the Phillies. So, if the negotiations fall through, and the Phillies replace him at SS, (hopefully not with Reyes) it will leave a series of teams who will be looking at Rollins as a low risk, high reward free agent. And the fact that Rollins is coming off two particularly injury plagued, low production seasons in addition to the fact that he is not what he was when he won the NL MVP in 2007. He is not getting a big payday. Definitely not off his 2011 season. A healthy Rollins is intriguing though. If he agrees to sign a one year contract, have a big season and test free agency after 2012, he can get that big payday he ultimately wants. And if that happens, why can't the Mets be the ones to take advantage of his services for one season. And after this big season, no Mets fan would care if Rollins left as a free agent, especially because he will be getting over paid by the team that signs him to the long term contract.
Tejada can play 2B and doesn't have the pressure to do more than he can. He can continue to bulk up and become a better player without that. Even if Tejada ends up having to go back to AAA, he is not forced to play every day. Thats how young players get ruined, by being forced to be everyday players. If they fail, they keep being run out there. Tejada has to be more than a singles hitter and he may not get there in 2012. It doesn't mean that he will not be a useful player down the road. I don't think its fair to put Tejada in a spot where if he struggles, he has to stay out there. He has options left. Even if Rollins is not the answer, the Mets need to, and will, bring in another middle infielder to help out in 2012.