Brandon Phillips turned down a trade to the Washington Nationals over the winter in a big fiasco of sorts that had the Cincinnati Reds fanbase buzzing with a “will he, won’t he” attitude in terms of figuring out if he would accept the trade or turn it down. Rumors were that he wanted more money in order to approve the trade, though it was never stated if that was in an extension, or if he simply wanted the deferred money of his current contract paid up front.
Some Reds fans were thrilled that the second baseman was staying in town, while others were disappointed. The Reds seemed as if they were clearly ready to move on as they acquired a second baseman in the Todd Frazier trade who they talked about as a future second baseman as soon as 2016, even while Phillips was still on the team and was coming off of his best season in several years.
There were rumors of a proposed trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks around the same time, but nothing concrete ever leaked out about how far trade talks got. That all changed this afternoon when Walt Jocketty was on the air on 700 WLW promoting the Reds Caravan. Talks jumped to Brandon Phillips and how he turned down the trade to Washington, when Walt Jocketty also noted that Phillips turned down a trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jocketty also noted that Phillips wanted “too much money” to approve the trade. Basically, the same things we heard when the Nationals deal was all over the news cycle.
At this point, it’s clear that the Reds want to move on at second base from Brandon Phillips, but also aren’t willing to pay up in order to do it. Maybe that’s a good move, as we don’t know exactly what the amount of money is that we are talking about. Until they are willing to pay up, so-to-speak, then the second base position is likely to be manned by Phillips. What that means for Jose Peraza, Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez over the next two years that Phillips is still under contract is going to be interesting to follow from the Reds standpoint.