Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 12/12/11

Ben Fran is off to Toronto.

Ben Fran is no more. The Phillies have dealt him north of the border. Here is the announcement from the Phillies:

Outfielder Ben Francisco was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for left-hander Frank Gailey, the Phillies announced today.

Gailey, a 26-year-old native of Philadelphia, split last season between single-A Dunedin and double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ minor league system where he combined to go 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 relief appearances.  For his minor league career he has gone 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 games (one start).  Gailey, Toronto’s 23rd round selection in the June 2007 draft, attended Archbishop Carroll High School and West Chester University.

Francisco, 30, spent parts of three seasons with the Phillies (2009-11) where he hit .259 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 225 games.  He appeared in 17 career postseason games for the Phillies and belted the sixth postseason pinch-hit home run in club history in Game 3 of the 2011 NLDS against St. Louis.

With the transaction, the Phillies now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

This frees up some space on the 40-man and gives the ability for the Phillies to add another potential part for 2012. What will they do with that space? They’re also off the hook for the $2 million-plus Francisco could have made in arbitration.

–We wait. It’s been a waiting game all offseason as the Phillies stick to their guns by not offering Jimmy Rollins the five-year contract he so desires. Rollins has lost several potential suitors, first by being adamant about his demands, and then during the Winter Meetings when teams like Milwaukee and St. Louis inked other shortstops to shorter, friendlier deals. Now what’s left?

Just come on home Rollins.

You’d think it’s just down to the Phillies, with perhaps San Francisco waiting in the wings should something go wrong. And I never count out the Red Sox, even though they have Marco Scutaro back in the fold. They’re always willing to spend money.

That being said, it seems like a contract is on the horizon. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com noted over the weekend that Ruben Amaro Jr. would be meeting with Rollins’ agent, Dan Lozano, to discuss a new deal. No information has been leaked from that meeting as of yet. The two sides have kept it under wraps, which I’m assuming each prefer.

Just when Rollins believed that the Albert Pujols deal may have helped him, he could not be looking at lost leverage. Rafael Furcal is back with the Cardinals for two-years, $14 million. Alex Gonzalez signed with the Brewers on a one-year pact. San Francisco has Brandon Crawford waiting in the wings, plus Ryan Theriot and Jeff Keppinger to hold down the fort until he’s ready.

Is J-Roll hoping Oakland comes in with a late pitch so he can return to the Bay Area? Billy Beane isn’t in the best position to be offering an aging shortstop anywhere near five years.

Basically, it’s now a waiting game. Both sides are holding firm in their positions, but eventually, one will have to break. It seems like it’ll have to be Rollins, or else he’ll lose what little leverage remains.

–The Phillies remain interest in left-handed reliever George Sherrill, according to Jon Paul Morosi from FoxSports.com. Is he worth it? Just because he’s a lefty and a veteran, it doesn’t mean the Phillies should go that direction.

Last season, he revitalized his career in Atlanta, posting a 3.00 ERA a year after it was 6.69 in Los Angeles. Lefties had some success against him in 2011, but was that driven by luck? Lefties hit .256 against him, but their OPS was a meager .608. Sherill allowed just one homer in 81 plate appearances vs. lefites, as well. His numbers could have been even better had his BABIP not been an absurd .422. Only a four of the 20 hits he gave up were for extra-bases (three doubles, one home run).

Does he fit into the Phillies plans? Possibly, although he turned down a chance to come to Philly before the ’11 season. That being said, should the Phillies give Joe Savery a chance to be the LOOGY and second lefty behind Antonio Bastardo? Guess you can never have too many southpaws.

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