Time just has a way of mending fences and that may be what is happening with the Cincinnati Reds and second baseman Brandon Phillips. For most of the off-season many expected the Reds to deal Phillips.
For their part the Reds have had discussions with a number of teams including the New York Yankees earlier this off-season. However, none of those talks produced the deal and now the Reds may have second thoughts on moving the All-Star second baseman.
Trade rumors started almost immediately after Phillips reportedly angered Reds officials by complaining about his contract in a magazine article this past season.
A verbal confrontation with the reporter added to the strained relationship, but the market isn’t exactly flush with second baseman with the talent and skill set that Phillips possesses.
Clubs in need of second basemen can choose between free agents such as Robinson Cano and Omar Infante. After that the pickings get pretty slim. Faced with the loss of outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to free agency and losing Phillips too would amount to a huge loss to the Reds lineup for new Reds manager Bryan Price to deal with.
Phillips may still be dealt at this point and the Reds may simply be driving to drive the price up by pulling him off the market, but the deal is going to have to overwhelm Cincinnati. Phillips is owed $50 million over the final four years of his contract. Based on what control may be able to pull on the open market $50 million sounds like a bargain.
Phillips hit .261 with 18 home runs and 103 RBIs. in 2013 and is a three-tim All-Star and four time Gold Glove winner.
Reds News and Rumors
As many as seven teams have contacted free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo, who turns 37 in February, has started at least 32 games for nine straight seasons. He went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 124 strikeouts for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013.
“Devin Mesoraco will have the opportunity to become a front-line catcher for us,” Reds GM Jocketty said.