Several days ago the news came out that Brandon Phillips had turned down trades to not only the Washington Nationals, but also to the Arizona Diamondbacks. At the time, all that we knew was that Phillips wanted more money, but we didn’t know the specifics of what that meant. Could it have been that he wanted an extension? Could it have meant that he had deferred money in the future that he wanted paid up front? Lots of speculation, but no real answers. Until yesterday afternoon.
Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio and MLB.com talked with the agent for Phillips and got the answer. Reading through his twitter feed, which you will need to do as it’s a lot more than just one tweet. Essentially though, it came down to this, from the agent:
For Brandon to uproot his family and move elsewhere, start over from scratch, he simply wanted to know that the new club would be fully committed to him. That is what is important to Brandon and his family.
So, there it is, direct from the agent who represents him. Given his age, there’s next to no chance that a team is going to give Phillips an extension on a contract that already takes him through his age 36 season.
Could things change course if the Reds decide they are going to go in a different direction than having Phillips be their every day second baseman? Sure, that’s possible. But Phillips isn’t going to lose his job if he performs, and while that’s not a bad thing as when he dos perform, he’s a valuable player, it does sort of get in the way of what the Reds plan seems to be.
For now, it looks like Jose Peraza is going to be heading to Triple-A where the Reds will have to make a few decisions on how to handle him. When he was acquired, the team talked about him being the future second baseman. If Phillips isn’t moving on for a while, that plan is in jeopardy in the short term. Peraza has experience at shortstop and wasn’t moved off of the position because of his ability as much as it was due to his being blocked in previous organizations. The Reds could slide him back to shortstop and see if he can stick there, making it possible to try and move Zack Cozart in a deal if he shows he’s back by midseason, or if he shows that he’s not, moving Peraza as the starter. The final option would be to move him to center field where he’s had limited action in the past and have him as a back up plan to Billy Hamilton, who needs to take a big step forward at the plate if he’s going to continue being a starting caliber player.