Report: Yankees inquired on Phillips

Reds 2B Brandon Phillips has already been the subject of trade rumors in the still-early off-season. On Tuesday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Yankees contacted the Reds about Phillips’ availability should free agent 2B Robinson Cano not return to New York.

Heyman also reported the initial price the Reds wanted was “way too steep.”

Phillips has four years and $50 million remaining on his six-year, $72 million deal with the Reds that was signed in April 2012, which makes moving him more difficult for Cincinnati. But big market teams like the Yankees would be able to take on such a contract with less issue. When you consider that Cano is reportedly seeking a $300 million contract, Phillips would be a relative bargain in the Bronx.

Last month, Reds GM Walt Jocketty maintained he wasn’t actively shopping Phillips but stopped short of guaranteeing that the All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner would be with the team in 2014. Jocketty noted he was looking at all ways to improve his club.

Phillips, 32, batted .261 with 18 home runs and a career-high 103 RBIs. But his on-base percentage was .310 and slugging percentage was at .396 while he often struggled following a June 1 hit-by-pitch on his left forearm. He was also involved in a pair of incidents that embarrassed the Reds — an August cover story and interview with Cincinnati Magazine had Phillips complaining about how his contract negotiations were handled and he portrayed Jocketty and CEO Bob Castellini as liars. Phillips also verbally attacked a newspaper reporter in a moment that was caught on camera.

12 Comments

Brandon Phillips for Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez and David Phelps

Ummm.. Should we have only asked for 1 box of baseballs and not 2… Can we swing a player to be named later? And just not pick. I was a huge Phillips fan, but after this year I dont want someone like that on this team.

bigblue…I think that management has made their decision based on a few factors;
1) his comments about his contract, 2) outbursts outside the clubhouse, and 3) the change from Baker to Price. Baker presents a fatherly figure and air about him to all of his players. Price doesn’t command that skill set currently. I may be underestimating Price, but I think that entered into the decision. And if true, I don’t
have a problem with letting Phillips leave the team. I have full faith in Jocketty at receiving quality for quality; a fair trade, if you will. I suspect Bailey will be traded as well, and if that is the case, a number of lingering problem positions can be addressed.

Phillips straight up for Gardner, not going to get anything more than that.
I only trade phillips if it means resigning Choo or you get a leadoff hitter back in the deal.
That said
Phillips for Weeks and Aoki

forgot to add also do it for the chance to get a legit 4 hole hitter

Report: Anonymous exec says Brandon Phillips is ‘gone’
11/06/13 at 6:07pm by Dave Clark
Cincinnati.com
Brandon Phillips
Have we seen Brandon Phillips play his final game as a Red? (The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger)
Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is the subject of much of this column by Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.
Passan examines the possibility of the Reds signing Bruce to a pre-emptive extension (despite the fact that they control him through 2017). In so doing, Passan mentions that the Reds have “a decent amount of payroll flexibility” – in part because they’re about to deal second baseman Brandon Phillips:
Passan’s words:
With $50 million freed up from an upcoming Brandon Phillips trade – “He’s gone,” one executive said Tuesday – and the departure of Bronson Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo, the Reds have a decent amount of payroll flexibility, even if they extend Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto or Mat Latos, all of whom will hit free agency within the next two years.
The column includes much more about Bruce as well.
More from Passan:
While Bruce’s agent, Matt Sosnick, said “an extension never has been broached,” he didn’t quash the idea. “Obviously, Jay loves playing in Cincinnati. He’s made it clear in the past that all things equal, he’d like to finish his career there and certainly would be open to anything.”
There is creativity, and there is risk, and great baseball teams emerge where the two meet with success. Bruce does not play a premium position like Longoria and Tulowitzki, doesn’t have the all-around offensive game like Votto, but his glove is excellent, his baserunning solid and his power unimpeachable. The strikeouts are frightening, but teams treat that as collateral damage for home run hitters, and the prospect of Bruce hitting the free agent market at 30 – an age after which Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Alfonso Soriano, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard signed contracts totaling $1.06 billion – may indeed concern Cincinnati, even if it does have him locked up through his prime.
The Reds understand Bruce represents a rare breed today. In history, 18 players have hit at least 20 home runs every season from ages 21-26. The first 11 to do it are in the Hall of Fame. Tom Brunansky was the 12th. The others are Darryl Strawberry, A-Rod, Andruw Jones, Pujols, Cabrera and Bruce.
The question as far as Phillips is concerned, of course, is who will trade for him, if not the Yankees? As John Fay pointed out earlier, the list of teams that would be willing to trade for his huge contract is short.
“Very short. In fact, if the Yankees sign Robinson Cano, there may be no list at all,” added Fay.

Gardner wouldn’t be all that bad. He is a quality lead off hitter with a decent OBP (.352), and stole 24 bases last season. He is 30 years old and bats left – throws left. He had a WAR of 4.2 in 2013. Arbitration eligible 2014 and FA in 2015. He made $2.85m this last season. Over his career (6 seasons) his line is .268/.352/.381/.733. When he swings at first pitch his line is .356/.387/.567/.955. Against righties, his line is .285/.357/.410/.767, and against lefties, .247/.317/.427/.744. If traded for Phillips I would think the Reds would ask for a bit more.

Lets just say we can get a CF for Phillips or whatever. Why cant Billy Hamilton replace Phillips at 2B. He is a freak athlete and can play where ever they want him to.

My thought was, if the Reds chose to go after Gardner, play him in CF this season and move him to LF in 2015; Hamilton in CF thereafter. Not much space for a ball to drop in with those two out there. Also, it looks really good having them available for #1 and #2 in the lineup; they would be nothing but blurs on the base pads…get on base, steal, score on base hit. Reminds me of Maury Wills and the Dodgers many years ago.

As far as “on the field” talent and results, I don’t see any reasonable scenario involving the trading of Phillips resulting in an improved team for 2014. I don’t think trading Phillips would mean that we’d be sure to resign Choo. (I think the money required to resign Choo would simply mean that we’d never be able to resign two out of the three of Cueto, Latos, and Bailey.) I don’ think that we could get anywhere near the defense at 2nd and probably wouldn’t match offensive production, whatever move we could make. Who in the world would you get to play 2nd? Assuming Choo is gone, who would you bat in the first four spots of the lineup? The possibilities are a bit worrying to me.
Is he really that much of a problem in the clubhouse? Cleveland thought he wasn’t worth keeping either and for the last 8 seasons we’ve been rubbing their noses in it. I can’t imagine that a seasoned businessman like Castellini would let hurt feelings cloud his judgement about what should essentially be a business decision. If it would make the team ON THE FIELD look better next season (and for seasons to come) trade Phillips. Trade anybody you want! Just be sure that it makes sense on the field.
Either I’m really underestimating the problems that Phillips is causing off the field or really undervaluing the players mentioned in trade scenarios. Something doesn’t make sense to me.

There is no question that Choo is gone. We made him a qualifying offer ($14.1m) for one year, only to get a ‘pick’ from whichever team he goes to. So now we are void of a lead off hitter, and I don’t think we have anyone that could fill that void. So, here we are again…lacking a CF, a lead off hitter and a power hitter; the latter may again be filled by Ludwick or maybe Mesoraco or Frazier, if one of those two could take a huge leap from last year to this coming season; hard to think that will happen. To be honest, the Phillips talk caught me by surprise as well. It is hard to think of replacing his leather, and his spunkiness. As I have said a number of times, up the middle (2nd, SS, CF) is what saves pitchers. But, there is enough smoke to validate that there is a fire burning in the Red’s hierarchy when it comes to Phillips and a future trade; now validated by an anonymous exec.

Ok defensively we cant replace Phillips, but offensively his numbers were average. He has a very low OBP, which is odd looking at his ability to put the ball in play. That would be the offensive factor I would miss the most. If their was a runner on third, phillips had the ability to not strike out all the time and make an attempt to get the runner in which he could do consistantly. Other than that it can be replaced. I think Hamilton can get on base as much as Phillips. Choo will hurt more and be more difficult to find a replacement for. I would love to see Hamilton batting leadoff playing either CF or 2B then the other would be our two hole hitter. All I want is someone that can get on base. Is Scutaro or Infante available? Great 2 hole hitters. After that Votto, Bruce, Frazier, Ludwich, Mez, Cozart. That works for me. Get that money to the pitching…

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