Despite reports that have persisted for more than a month, the Cincinnati Reds are now unlikely to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips and his terrible contract. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has reported that sources have told him the team is almost certain not to move the 32-year-old former All-Star.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden and Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan have previously reported that Phillips (no relation) was as good as gone. Apparently something has changed quickly in Cincinnati and now he’s considered part of the team’s future.
Phillips wasn’t great in 2013 and certainly didn’t live up to expectations. He hit .261 with 18 home runs and 103 RBIs. That doesn’t sound bad, right? Well he also posted an on-base percentage of .310, on OPS of .706 and a WAR of just 1.7. Did I mention he was in the second year of a six-year, $72.5 million contract? Well, he was.
Phillips is a three-time All-Star (2010, 2011, 2013) and a four-time Gold Glove winner (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013) but he’s already ruffled the feathers of many in Cincinnati’s front office and his contract is simply ridiculous. It’s not surprising that the Reds couldn’t find a deal for him they liked.
Maybe the Reds are trying to drive up the price on Phillips by pulling him back off the market, but I don’t think so. They made their bed with his contract and now they have to deal with it. Maybe they can move him later if another team gets desperate, but right now there just isn’t deal out there to be had.