As we’ve mentioned once or twice, the Cincinnati Reds aren’t done trying to deal their more expensive players. While it seems difficult because of his no-trade clause, they’re still trying to move Brandon Phillips, this time to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This isn’t the first time the two teams names have come up in regards to Phillips. The Diamondbacks and the Reds have already discussed this deal, with Aaron Hill supposed to go in the opposite direction. While the Reds don’t want to take on additional contracts and salary, Hill does become a free agent at the end of 2016, so it doesn’t sound too bad.Phillips makes $27 million over the next two seasons which is part of why the deal fell apart in the first place.
But beyond all the money and team needs, there’s Phillips himself who is at the key of this deal. He invoked the no-trade clause on the trade that should have sent him to the Washington Nationals, although the Reds and Nationals were having trouble agreeing on the compensation anyway. Phillips has played in Cincinnati since 2006, and his entire Major League career has been with the Ohio teams (with the Indians from 2002-2005, although he didn’t play much).
He has a house in Cincinnati he doesn’t plan on leaving and is very involved in the community there. Who knows, maybe with the Diamondbacks planning on doing a lot better this season (shown that by signing Zack Greinke) he can be convinced to leave, but right now, the issue is less about the players Arizona send in the other direction and more about whether moving West is appealing enough to Phillips, 34, to not use his veto power once again.
Phillips hit .294 last season, his best batting average since 2011, when he made the All-Star game for the second time (three overall). He hasn’t been an All-Star or a gold glove winner in a couple of years and probably the days of these awards and recognitions are behind him, but he’s still a very good defensive player at second base and someone you can plug into almost any spot in the lineup and get immediate contribution, which is why despite his no-trade clause and the salary, we’re going to keep seeing the Reds shopping him, knowing there’s a market for him.