The Phillips question

After the Bryan Price press conference, I asked Reds general manager Walt Jocketty about the trade rumors regarding Brandon Phillips that have circulated of late. Jocketty was certainly aware they were floating around, as was Phillips.

“He texted wanting to know if we were trading him. I told him that I have not spoken to anybody about that,” Jocketty said Tuesday. “I’m not talking to any clubs about him.”

However, Jocketty would not go so far as to guarantee that Phillips would be with the Reds at Spring Training 2014.

“I’m not saying that,” Jocketty said. “We’ve got some things we’ve got to look at on how we’re going to improve our club. I’m not going to say nobody is untouchable. Obviously, we want to keep as much of this club intact as we can.”

Trading Phillips would be a tall order, namely because he is owed $50 million over the last four years of his contract. That could leave a limited circle of suitors, especially to make a trade that would improve the Reds as they try to go further in the playoffs than in recent years.

The off-the-field controversies involving Phillips this summer when he criticized the front office’s handling of his contract to Cincinnati Magazine and a verbal attack of a reporter caught on camera are not expected to enter in the equation if a deal is made. Jocketty said any potential deal involving Phillips would be a baseball decision that’s best for the club.

“Absolutely,” Jocketty affirmed.

17 Comments

Superb follow-up on a very, very hot topic. Your talk with management relative to Phillips was excellent. Thank you.

Brandon is a fan favorite and has been a dedicated and loyal Red….That being said, one NEVER criticizes the boss or one’s employer, certainly not in public and NOT in the press. If Brandon had “issues” with the deal he and his agent cut, then they should have met PRIVATELY with Ownership, and Walt NOT a magazine reporter…. My money is on a trade…But NOT what I want as a Reds FAN. T2

Reds Line-up Opening Day 2014: Robinson CF Votto 1B Phillips 2B Bruce RF Ludwick LF Frazier 3B SS Cozart C Hanigan P Cueto

Jimmy: Where are the needed additional RBI’s and Offense????? In your vision of Opening day???

Trading Phillips is the dumbest move the Reds could possibly make. I know Arroyo is all but gone, but I wish we could retain him as a pitching coach. He understands HOW to pitch.

Robinson CF Votto 1B Phillips 2B Bruce RF Ludwick LF Frazier 3B SS Cozart C Hanigan P Cueto
————————————————
I hope we can do better than the lineup shown above. Robinson cannot match up with Choo… no way. I am guessing that Phillips will be gone. At best he is too much of a distraction. Reds need for Frazier to either do a lot better or find someone who can. And the catching position needs an upgrade. Hanigan getting healthy may be the answer but I doubt he can produce the numbers of offense that Reds will need.

You don’t publicly blast the man who signs your checks. We’d miss BP’s defense, no doubt, plus I give him a mulligan for playing hurt. Let’s not forget, Dusty jacked him around the lineup so much it was bound to have an effect. Tough call but maybe the writing is on the wall.

T2 this team will never win with that line up and thats Dustys line up…

Couple of things I think will change. Price will not make Hanigan the number 1 catcher. I think Mez will be one of those right handed power bats this year Reds have been waiting for. Price will start Chapman. I think Price will also allow more rookies to play, like Hamilton. He may even be playing 2nd to start the year. If anything he could be a supper sub and play all over. I think 50/50 Phillips is not back. I like Phillips but dont like what he did. I would not be suprised to see a starter traded either. I dont think Price will allow this team to dictate to him who plays when and where. I think Price will earn the respect but also manage the players telling them what will happen.

bigbluedrew…you have confused with another blogger….. I never proposed a line up….. I questioned the need of RBI’s….sorely lacking the past year in critical games….FYI, On this blog…the bloggers name/tag is after the comment, not before….

My bad. looked to quickly, that was for Jimmy

Not living in the Cincinnati area, it’s easy for me to miss some stories that are probably all over the local media. This is the first I’ve heard of any real disagreements between BP and Walt. I know Brandon likes to speak his mind, but I assumed that no one had been too offended by any of his remarks. I have no idea what verbal attack took place.

I can only tell you what I’ve seen on the field – that Brandon is the best 2nd baseman I’ve ever seen, that he plays hard, that he plays hurt, and that he is capable of changing his approach at the plate in order to help the team. His unselfish focus on RBI from the 4th spot this season impressed me. On top of that, he’s generally smiling, friendly to fans, and seems to be having fun at the ballpark. To me, he’s the face of the Reds and I surely would hate to see him go. I can’t imagine getting anything in return for him that would help this team succeed (though Walt is capable of making great trades). I love the whole team and would make a terrible GM because I’d never trade anyone… but trade BP? You gotta be kidding me?!?!

Instead of tossing Phillips for half his value, hopefully the hiring of a new coach will be the opportunity to start a clean slate and salvage the relationship.

Ben, well said, except one point….To be nice, I assume you are too young to remember the offense AND defense of a former REDS second baseman by the name of Joe Morgan…. He casts a large, legendary shadow on any Cincinnati Baseball field @ 2nd base…. A two time MVP and an unselfish member of the legendary BIG RED Machine…. HE was THE BEST Red at this position ever…And arguably one of the 5 best in MLB history….Brandon is better than good, but in all honesty, he could never fit into Joe Morgan’s jock strap. Pound for pound one of the best major leaguer’s I have EVER seen play the game..Offense Defense Speed Power —He had it all… T2

T2,
No, I didn’t get to the party until ’77, so I just missed the Big Red Machine. My first Reds game was in 1990. I’d heard about Morgan’s bat but didn’t realize he was that good defensively. Brandon is the best -defensively-that I’ve seen at 2nd base.

Morgan was a better hitter and base runner than BP. But he had no were near BPs range and arm strength defensively.

I still maintain heads up its no contest… Joe Morgan has the MVP’s to prove it.T2

AND also did anyone notice WHO Tom Williams, CO-owner/Partner with Mr. Castellini WAS SITTING with at the one game play -in .@ PNC park in PITTSBURGH???…..JOE MORGAN…

Thank you for reporting on this. A lot of reporters would just slough off the topic because of its politics. This is what fans talk about the most. Thanks for keeping the fan base well-informed, Mark!

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