In this case, I’m talking about Brandon Phillips.

As we all know, he’s got an option year left on his contact for $12M. It’s a foregone conclusion that the Reds will pick up that option. Walt Jocketty has said that Phillips will be back.

Of course, Brandon has been complaining for weeks that the team hasn’t talked to him at all about an extension (which seems to have changed according to recent reports), but when asked about some type of “hometown discount” because he’s been so vocal about wanting to stay here, he said, “”This is my last contract. There’s no homeboy hookup. That ain’t going to work. I want to be paid what I’m worth.”

Going by OPS+, Brandon is having a career year. He’s also been very, very good since being moved to the leadoff spot (.343/.408/.577). According to John Fay, he’s leading NL 2nd baseman with a WAR of 5.3.

But he’s also 30 years old and is looking for, according to his words above, big money. (For example, Dan Uggla signed a 5 year / $62 M deal with Atlanta last off season. Uggla is 5th in WAR among NL second baseman.)

So, what do the Reds do about Phillips?

I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

Join the conversation! 74 Comments

  1. The way I look at is that you won’t reach a World Series in the next 3 years without Brandon Phillips. If you extend him by 5 years, you’re basically paying for 3-4 years where he will help you to a World Series and in return, he’s asking you to guarantee him money when his skills decline when he reaches age 34-36. If you don’t extend him and you don’t win a World Series next year, you basically set your hopes of winning a championship back 2 years at least and then you have to hope that Valaika can perform or that you can find a replacement. With Votto’s probable exit looming (and possible trade before 2013), you can’t afford to lose a productive bat after you let the best hitter in baseball walk. Otherwise, the rebuilding project begins anew.

  2. I would re-sign him if he’d be willing to take five years at less than $60 million (preferably in the $50m-$55m range), and particularly if he was willing to defer some of that. The Reds have to accept that they’d be paying for his past performance, but it’s not like they’re paying for past performance for another team, as they would in free agency.

    But this team’s window is this past season (sigh) through about 2013, and like shinsnake said, they’re going to need Phillips if they hope to win it all. They’re not going to do that with Frazier’s defense or Valaika’s bat.

  3. If he’s set on his next contract being his last, then let him walk after next year. Longer contracts for players over the age of 30 are very rarely a good idea, especially as a goodly amount of his value comes from the defensive side of the ball, which deteriorates more quickly than offensive prowess. If he wants a two year extension at 12-13 per after his option, I’d likely give that to him, but DO NOT realistically consider a contract longer than that.

  4. I love BP but you guys are nuts. Whenever WJ is pondering a personnel question, I want him to ask, what would Tampa Bay do? Tampa Bay would squeeze every ounce of value out of BP’s current contract, then let BP walk and find a younger/cheaper 2B. You guys are seriously undervaluing how rapidly and nonlinearly a players’ skills can decline.

  5. @CP: Jocketty has never even thought of doing that.

  6. The problem for Phillips (and the Reds) is that 2nd baseman with Phillips’ skill set, aren’t all that common in free agency. As I set out to write my take, without looking at the numbers, I just didn’t think Dan Uggla as a comp passed the smell test. Mostly because of the offensive production of each player.

    Obviously the numbers bear that out. Uggla’s career OPS+ is 116 and was 137 right before the deal. Phillips’ career OPS+ is 96, but has only been below 100 once since joining the Reds.

    However, both Uggla and Phillips have posted 22 WAR for their career, although Phillips has about half 300 more PAs.

    Given that a players’ defense falls off slower than his offense, I’d imagine that Phillips will probably equal Uggla’s WAR over the course of the contract. I would imagine Phillips could get a 4-5 year deal worth 45-55 million. The question is whether the Reds should pay it, and I don’t think they should.

    By the end of the contract, you could expect Phillips to be a below average offensive player with above average defense. However, despite the trend toward defensive statistics, I would have a hard time paying a premium for defense when you can buy a pretty good defender with modest offensive skills on the cheap (that goes for prospects as well).

    • The problem for Phillips (and the Reds) is that 2nd baseman with Phillips’ skill set, aren’t all that common in free agency. As I set out to write my take, without looking at the numbers, I just didn’t think Dan Uggla as a comp passed the smell test.

      I think Orlando Hudson is better comp. His recent seasons may very well illustrate the offensive fall off you could see with Phillips. Pretty similar offensive stats through age 31 and he is an outstanding fielder also. Yet he hasn’t been able to get more than a $5M – $6M single season contract the last few years in FA. Pray the Reds take notice and don’t spend $12M on Phillips next season.

  7. I don’t think he’s worth any more than $8M per year. At this point I pick up his option and deal him so I get something out of him and do not pay him $12M next season. I’d have to think a bit more about not taking his option and letting him go FA and taking the draft picks. But he might accept arbitration and we’d be stuck with paying him too much. He’s a nice player, but not a leader and not going to carry a team. He’s a complementary player to Joey Votto.

  8. Not a lot of comps right now for the contract Phillips is searching for (outside of Uggla). I actually think the size of Uggla’s contract is about right. While Uggla is superior offensively, Brandon has him on the defensive side in spades. Phillips is a rare breed of a player, he brings publicity (80% of which is good), he has personality (90% of bball players don’t), and he’s helped this team turn around its luck. If you’re willing to extend a 33 yr old junkballer, you damn well better be willing to extend a gold glove power hitting 2B. 5 yr, 55 mil +opt. for 6th. Pay the man.

    • If you’re willing to extend a 33 yr old junkballer, you damn well better be willing to extend a gold glove power hitting 2B. 5 yr, 55 mil +opt. for 6th. Pay the man.

      And I would respond to this point with, hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes.

  9. @Tom Diesman:

    phillips made $11 mil this year w/ a $12 mil opt on the table. You think you’re going to tell him he’s Orlando Hudson and thus deserves $6 mil? He was well worth 11 mil this year. You wont get him for less than that the next 5. Don’t be naive.

    • phillips made $11 mil this year w/ a $12 mil opt on the table. You think you’re going to tell him he’s Orlando Hudson and thus deserves $6 mil? He was well worth 11 mil this year. You wont get him for less than that the next 5. Don’t be naive.

      I’m saying they overpaid for him this season, so don’t continue overpaying him, let someone else who can afford it do it. Bye Bye Brandon. Thanks it was fun while it lasted.

  10. @tberger87: What’s your point? Everyone agrees that the Reds got good value this year (and probably next). And?

  11. Borrowed from Lance McAlister’s blog:

    2B contracts of note

    Dan Uggla, 5 years, $62 M (’11)
    ’11 $9M
    ’12 $13M
    ’13 $13M
    ’14 $13M
    ’15 $13M
    Chase Utley, 4 years, $85M (’09)
    ’11 $15M
    ’12 $15M
    ’13 $15M
    Dustin Pedroia, 6 years, $40.5M (’09)
    ’11 $5.5M
    ’12 $8M
    ’13 $10M
    ’14 $10M
    ’15 $11M
    Rickie Weeks, 4 years, $38.5M (’11)
    ’11 $3.5M
    ’12 $10M
    ’13 $10M
    ’14 $11M
    ’15 $11.5M (option)
    Ian Kinsler, 5 years, $22M (’08)
    ’11 $6M
    ’12 $7M
    ’13 $10M

  12. It seems to me picking up the option is a no brainer. He is the best defender on the team. It is worth the price of admission just to see what amazing thing he will do in the field next. And he is the second best offensive player on the team. He will be difficult to replace. Extending him is another question. Ideally it should be for his option year plus 2. I don’t think he will go for that. If you go 5 (4 plus option year) it would have to be reasonable. I think the figures thrown out above are in the right ballpark. You might be able to get away cheaper. I wouldn’t go any higher than what has been suggested. I have no problem exercising his option and offering him arbitration the next year. Worst case scenario he accepts arbitration and you have him that year at or near his peak and paying him what he would be worth (all things being relative in the crazy world of baseball salaries) You also still have the option of trading him. If he declines arbitration and signs with someone else you get an extra first round pick. Works for me.

  13. All I will say is that I wish he were the shortstop of this team and then this would be an easier decision.

    • All I will say is that I wish he were the shortstop of this team and then this would be an easier decision.

      Amen, brother Reds fan. We can put any ole warm body with a mitt out in LF, but move a gold glove 2B back to his original position of SS, that’s crazy talk. What misguided organization.

  14. @Bill Lack: Pedroia’s, Week’s and Kinsler’s contracts include the buying out of arbitration years, which is not at issue here. Utley 7* year 85 million dollar contract bought out 3 of his arbitration years. However, healthy, Utley is one of the 10 best players in the National League, and his salary per year never went past $15 mil. $15 is far too much for phillips, who is not an MVP candidate and wont be. His value is between $10 and $12 mil. plain and simple.

  15. @Tom Diesman: Tom, in fairness to the organization, I think they broached a return to short to him a couple of years ago, but Phillips wanted to stay at second.

    Looking at it from BP’s point of view, he has to evaluate what contract he could get as a free agent going into 2013 as a 32-year-old. The Red Sox (Pedroia), Yanks (Cano) and Phillies (Utley) all will have second basemen, and who knows what the situations with the Mets, Dodgers and Cubs will be. No other team would likely outbid the Reds. So, the wise thing for Phillips may be to take a 2-year extension at about $12mm, then have to take a reduction as a FA at age 35. Think the Cardinals would want him?

    I personally think that the economy is going to wreak havoc with baseball finances over the next couple of years, and the Reds will be well advised not to enter into any long-run deals, period.

  16. Phillips has always been ok with moving back to SS publicly, the Reds didn’t want to, they chose to go with 30 something SS. I have no hard feelings with Phillips moving on and getting what he can, and I think he should. I just don’t think the Reds, with their budget, can afford to spend that much on what Phillips will provide when it can be better spent on the SP that we need to get us back into the playoffs.

  17. @Tom Diesman: I’m pretty much on the same page with you, but I’d rather them spend some $$ moving the right field fence back about 8 feet. I have no evidence to support it, but my sense is that the Reds give up more cheap homers than they get, and maybe the fence wouldn’t scare away a potential pitcher from signing/accepting a trade here.

    But like Dave said about extracting every dollar of value they can out of the Phillips contract, it likely hasn’t occurred to the Reds to do that.

  18. @Big Ed: The Reds are like a child. They cannot think like Tom, or like David’s well thought out post above. They think in bursts of 2 seconds, as in “hmm, let’s re-sign Cordero, maybe for a bit less than this year”.

  19. Everyone has been talking about uggla, utley, and Hudson. No one has mentioned Henry Rodriguez. I have little doubt that what he does in spring training and at Louisville next year will have some bearing on what the Reds do with Brandon Phillips

    • No one has mentioned Henry Rodriguez.

      But will he be able to hold off Ronald Torreyes?

    • Everyone has been talking about uggla, utley, and Hudson. No one has mentioned Henry Rodriguez. I have little doubt that what he does in spring training and at Louisville next year will have some bearing on what the Reds do with Brandon Phillips

      Henry Rodriguez? You are already assuming that Jocketty has picked up Phillips’ option for 2012, which he hasn’t. As for me, I’m not going to rely or think about relying on a player with a half-season worth of AA experience. The issue at present is what to do with Phillips NOW. But hey, you might be right and Jocketty is already considered H-Rod as Phillips’ eventual replacement.

  20. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts here is what the Reds payroll looks like heading into 2012.

    $62.5 mil for 10 players (Arroyo, Phillips, Rolen, Cueto, Chapman, Votto, Bruce, Cairo, Hanigan, Alonso)

    7 players eligible for arbitration (Masset, Volquez, Burton, Bray, Aredondo, Bailey, Janish)

    Talk from both the front office and Cordero that they hope to work something out for next season.

    $81 mil payroll for 2011. With no indication from the higher ups that they were ever willing to go above that. I foresee difficult times ahead, Reds fans.

    • According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts here is what the Reds payroll looks like heading into 2012.

      $62.5 mil for 10 players (Arroyo, Phillips, Rolen, Cueto, Chapman, Votto, Bruce, Cairo, Hanigan, Alonso)

      7 players eligible for arbitration (Masset, Volquez, Burton, Bray, Aredondo, Bailey, Janish)

      Talk from both the front office and Cordero that they hope to work something out for next season.

      $81 mil payroll for 2011. With no indication from the higher ups that they were ever willing to go above that. I foresee difficult times ahead, Reds fans.

      Jocketty is quoted in today’s Enquirer that the payroll will increase, but no reason to believe it will be anything dramatic.

  21. @tberger87: Once upon a time the Reds gave up their first round pick to sign Damon Berryhill. You can therefore make any stupid move you want based on that really idiotic move.

  22. @Dave Lowenthal: i’m not making the same logical leap you are i’m afraid.

  23. @tberger87: You said: pay Phillips because they stupidly paid Arroyo. Why does that make sense, is what I’m asking?

  24. Not only will he get an extension, he will get well paid by the Reds with a 5-6 year deal and it won’t hurt the budget. Brandon is a crowd favorite and teams don’t let those guys walk, especially if they produce. Our owner will poney up the money and the deal will get done this off season and Brandon will be here through the 2016 season at second base all smiles and a nice fat contract.

    • Not only will he get an extension, he will get well paid by the Reds with a 5-6 year deal and it won’t hurt the budget. Brandon is a crowd favorite and teams don’t let those guys walk, especially if they produce. Our owner will poney up the money and the deal will get done this off season and Brandon will be here through the 2016 season at second base all smiles and a nice fat contract.

      Whether he is a fan favorite isn’t what matters. Fans care about winning. The question is if re-signing Phillips to a multiyear extension helps the team win beyond 2012.

      I’m for declining Cordero’s option, exercising Phillips’ option, but not re-signing him to a multiyear deal and trading Votto. But, that’s just me.

      • I’m for declining Cordero’s option, exercising Phillips’ option, but not re-signing him to a multiyear deal and trading Votto.But, that’s just me.

        I’d only trade Votto for a very good deal but I basically agree with all of this. Instead, the Reds will end up extending Cordero (a disaster waiting to happen), extending Phillips (not a disaster, but it will be a major financial hit for less than adequate production after the first year or two), and ignoring the Votto situation (which, in some ways, I’m not opposed to- Alonso has a lot to prove).

    • Brandon is a crowd favorite and teams don’t let those guys walk, especially if they produce.

      Sure they do… see Cleveland for a clinic on how to turn fan favs into prospects.

  25. As an aside, Berkman just re-upped with the Cards for 12M for 2012. One year deal, just as I predicted yesterday. And they will re-sign Pujols. They’re just going to bump the budget. Think of the enormous pressure after their miracle run with this team this month. They can pay.

  26. @Dave Lowenthal: Because Phillips is more valuable to the franchise now than Arroyo was a year ago when he was extended. To not alienate a premiere player? Arroyo was not my focus, the focus is the thought process that Jocketty and ownership is going through. If they thought extending Arroyo was a good idea, they damn better well think extending Phillips is, because if not, they are off their rockers. i.e. if they don’t extend phillips, they will lose a TON of credibility.

  27. @David:

    Sorry David but it does matter, especially in Bob’s view. Yes how he can play and play well over the coming years is a major factor, but you also have to look at it from a marketing view point. Brandon is basically the face of this franchise right now. He is fan friendly and out there in the limelight with his highlights showing up on ESPN weekly. Sometimes sports teams do things for other reasons besides the talent of the player. The Yankees didn’t resign Jeter because it was a smart baseball move talent wise, they did it because it was a smart move fan wise. Same goes here for Brandon.

    • @David: Sorry David but it does matter, especially in Bob’s view. Yes how he can play and play well over the coming years is a major factor, but you also have to look at it from a marketing view point. Brandon is basically the face of this franchise right now. He is fan friendly and out there in the limelight with his highlights showing up on ESPN weekly. Sometimes sports teams do things for other reasons besides the talent of the player. The Yankees didn’t resign Jeter because it was a smart baseball move talent wise, they did it because it was a smart move fan wise. Same goes here for Brandon.

      And what’s goodwill worth? In 1999, the Reds won 96 games and lost a play-in game to the Mets. That year the Reds’ home attendance was 2,061,324. The following February, the Reds added Ken Griffey, Jr. Following a 96 win season and acquiring the best player in baseball, attendance jumped more than 6,000 per game, finishing at 2,577,371. The Reds never had a winning record during Griffey’s tenure and the average attendance during the same span was 2,071,369. The year after Griffey and Dunn were traded, attendance dropped less than 310,000.

      So, while losing a “face of a franchise” may have a slight impact on attendance in the short term, it is winning that draws fans.

  28. I love Brandon Phillips and would miss seeing him in a Reds uniform. With that said, the Reds are not in a position to pay fair market value (or overpay) for their players. Unfortunately, they are also not a smart organization so they will probably extend him as well and hope a magical solution falls in their lap in the next year or two so they can extend their window.

    @Dave Lowenthal: Everyone obviously hate the Cardinals but they are such a well run organization. They’ve signed Berkman and Carpenter to incredibly team-friendly deals and it seems like they always have a solid plan. This is the one year they shouldn’t have been competitive and everything still came together for them. Meanwhile, the Reds pissed away an important year in a small window and appear to being fine with the status quo for next year.

  29. I am wondering…why do people think the Reds have such a short window?

    • I am wondering…why do people think the Reds have such a short window?

      Votto. After his deal runs out, it’s hard for me to say what type of team they’ll be.

  30. This team as constructed has not really won with Phillips or Votto, They could do the same without either. Why???

    This team needs pitching. Badly. If I was running this team ( and I’m not ) I’m picking up the Phillip’s option (for now).

    Then I’m shopping anyone I got outside of the quality pitching I already have.

    I’m making a deal for the other team’s best pitcher(s) in exchange for anyone the other team wants within reason. No Cueto, Leake . In my mind Votto and Phillips are too expensive for the Reds and are now more valuable as trading chips for stud pitching. Who such a partner remains to be seen but I would make it be known that they are available for starting pitching.

    When the runs allowed come down the winning percentage will go up.

    • This team as constructed has not really won with Phillips or Votto, They could do the same without either. Why??? This team needs pitching. Badly. If I was running this team ( and I’m not ) I’m picking up the Phillip’s option (for now). Then I’m shopping anyone I got outside of the quality pitching I already have. I’m making a deal for the other team’s best pitcher(s) in exchange for anyone the other team wants within reason. No Cueto, Leake . In my mind Votto and Phillips are too expensive for the Reds and are now more valuable as trading chips for stud pitching. Who such a partner remains to be seen but I would make it be known that they are available for starting pitching.When the runs allowed come down the winning percentage will go up.

      I am baffled at how people think teams will just hand over high quality pitching when pitching is the most needed thing in baseball. Also as per seen over this homestand and by what the Yankees have done this season, give me a team of mashers and are present pitching staff and I like our chances.

      • give me a team of mashers and are present pitching staff and I like our chances.
        ReplyRepl

        Really?

        We’re currently 2nd in the league in runs scored, lead the NL in HRs, and have the 4th best team OPS in the NL. We’re 4th in the league in defense. Our pitching staff has the 12th best ERA in the league. Still like your chances with that formula?

  31. Oh, and I don’t pick up Cordero’s option. Too expensive. If he would re-sign at a cheaper rate then maybe. Not at $12 million. NO.

  32. First off Jocketty has said more than once unequivocally on the public record that they will exercise BP’s option. I believe his statement yesterday went a bit further and was something like he will be a Red (next year). So debating the wisdom of such a decision is one thing; trying to sketch scenarios based on the contrary is quite another at this point. The issue would seem to be are they going to pay him $12m for one year or try to flatten the annual cost a bit by attempting to sign him to a multi year deal.

    If they are committed to paying the freight to keep BP around then that most likely also means they won’t be moving Votto since it wouldn’t make much sense to pay for the one and dump the other (unless something like the Votto for Bautista deal really is out there to be done).

    So, I think you go all in next year just like the Brewers did this year and then quite possibly say good bye to BP and Joey both after 2012. Does this mean MrC is going to have to pony up for the season, quite possibly beyond what he wants or can afford to year in and year out? Maybe so; but, it is his money. Let’s just sit back and hopefully enjoy the results if that is what he does.

  33. @OhioJim: Paying Votto or Phillips or anyone else is moot unless they upgrade the pitching. If not, they will lose the same as they did this year for the same reasons. The better question is: How you gonna do it?

  34. As of now it’s almost ” Cueto and Leake then pray the rest of the week.”

  35. Fay reports today:

    ==========
    With that as the back drop, the Reds go about trying to fix a club that is destined to finish third in the National League Central — somewhere around the .500 mark.

    Jocketty promises that this offseason will be busier that last.

    “Oh yeah, definitely,” he said.
    ==========

    Believe it when I see it Walt. One year down the tubes already while you were busy putting arse prints on your hands.

    • Fay reports today:==========With that as the back drop, the Reds go about trying to fix a club that is destined to finish third in the National League Central — somewhere around the .500 mark.Jocketty promises that this offseason will be busier that last.“Oh yeah, definitely,” he said.==========Believe it when I see it Walt. One year down the tubes already while you were busy putting arse prints on your hands.

      Just wondering, what moves should Walt have done? Of those players traded since the end of the 2010 season, whom should the Reds gotten and what should they have given up? And where should the monies have come from?

  36. @Tom Diesman:

    Where do the Yankees pitching staff rank? I would be shocked if they are any higher? And those offensive numbers are flawed. This team was notorius for having games where they scored tons of runs then going games only scoring a couple here and there. Yes give me a couple great bats added to this line up produce in the clutch (something right now only Votto and Phillips do) and I will take this team as is with the pitching staff and like my chances to win the division next year.

    • Where do the Yankees pitching staff rank?

      Don’t know, feel free to go look it up and report back.

    • @Tom Diesman: Where do the Yankees pitching staff rank? I would be shocked if they are any higher?

      3rd in the AL actually. The Rays are No. 1 in team ERA, 7th in runs, 8th in OPS and are 2.5 out in the wild card. SO, yeah, pitching matters.

    • @dn4192:

      Where do the Yankees pitching staff rank?

      We just covered this: The Yankees have the 3rd best ERA in the AL. 3rd. Not 12th. You make the assumption the Yankees are only mashing and not pitching too. They are. And note that they’ve given up less runs than the Reds in the AL, which is geared for a higher level of offense with the DH. They’ve given up 67 less runs than the Reds.

      So yeah, they are scoring boatloads of runs, but preventing them too. A very nice spot to be in.

      Boston, the team who has scored the most runs in MLB, have given up the 6th most runs in the AL. They are also scuffling to the finish line with problems.

  37. @George Culver: I figure JV and BP are already in the budget. Pitching is what MrC is going to have to pony extra for then recoup somewhat if they move JV and BP both after 2012

  38. Yankees starters era this season:

    5.28
    3.81
    3.77
    6.00
    3.62
    3.00

    CC is their stud, but what other pitchers there really stand out as game changers and dominate? Give me an offense that puts up 800+ runs, has a team batting avg over .260, a OBP of over .340 and a slg of over .445 and our maturing pitching staff and I like our chances.

  39. I think Bronson will bounce back and have a low 4 era next year. I think Cueto can be as dominate as just about any other pitcher in the league next year and Mike Leake can continue to improve and have a mid level 3 era next year. If Homer can ever max out his ability we have a good base 4 to build off of. I will match those 4 up agains any other 4 in our division next year.

  40. @Travis G.:

    votto is an incredible player, but I think if other present players continue to mature and improve and Walt can add another bat and you Yonder at first, I see no reason to think this team can’t be competive for a long time.

  41. I love BP but I’m afraid he’s going to ask for 5-6 years of big money. If we can satisfy him with 3 years of big money (including 2012), do it.

  42. The Mets have scored 4 in the 9th to tie the Cardinals !

  43. Make that 6 runs in the 9th for the Mets !

  44. “I love BP but I’m afraid he’s going to ask for 5-6 years of big money. If we can satisfy him with 3 years of big money (including 2012), do it.”

    This seems spot on. I’d like to keep BP and Votto around, but don’t mortgage the farm to make it happen.

    I think the extended contracts that MLB has gotten into is pretty nuts. Look at stuff like that Barry Zito 7 year/$126 million deal. Same goes for the nutty deal the Cubs gave Soriano.

  45. That said, BP has been pretty resilient and I like players that are out there every day, which he has been for six years.

    I’d bet on Brandon Phillips for five years being there and delivering more than say Jose Reyes, who will probably sign for bigger money. Reyes might have more offensive upside, but I think the odds he will have a season or two where he misses a ton of games is pretty high.

  46. Mets 8, Cards 6. A dagger in the heart of the Cardinals, they led 6-1 after 7 and 6-2 after 8. Their bullpen has had some serious meltdowns this season.

  47. I’m worried about the BP situation. WJ is saying that BP will definitely be around in 2012, as he’s under the Reds control thru then, but if he doesn’t get a contract extension he’s happy with, look out. An unhappy, bitter BP on the team would not be pleasant – he’s already talking about how he’s lost sleep over the contract situation.

    In short, if he and the Reds can’t come to terms on an extension, he HAS to be traded. And I say that as a big fan of his who thinks his value to the Reds is generally underestimated.

  48. @earl: You’re right about BP’s resilience. For better and sometimes for worse, he plays hurt. Last September he came back too soon from a nasty hand bruise after getting hit by a pitch in SF. He couldn’t hit and aggravated the injury. Stupid Dusty kept playing him every day. It wasn’t until this year that BP admitted that he’d aggravated the hand injury from playing.

  49. @jrob45601: Right—the money committed for next year seems to almost prevent a deal like Alonso and others for a pitcher because they can’t even pay the pitcher. We went through this last year when the Crew traded for Greinke as we watched and said wow, that’d be nice, but even if they could have traded prospects for him, they couldn’t have fit his salary into the budget. Substitute “Shields” for “Greinke” and now my blood pressure is rising.

    I don’t see how this team thinks they can compete with the Cardinals when the Cards are going to run a payroll 1.5 times the Reds, and also spend their money pretty wisely. I am pretty irritated that they got Carpenter and Berkman for next year at probably a total of 10M under their true market value. You guys can pick at the fact that they are old, but on the open market, Berkman gets a one year deal for between 15 and 20M, and Carpenter gets a 2 year deal for 30M.

    • @jrob45601: Right—the money committed for next year seems to almost prevent a deal like Alonso and others for a pitcher because they can’t even pay the pitcher.We went through this last year when the Crew traded for Greinke as we watched and said wow, that’d be nice, but even if they could have traded prospects for him, they couldn’t have fit his salary into the budget.Substitute “Shields” for “Greinke” and now my blood pressure is rising.

      @Dave Lowenthal: Which means the larger salaried player(s) is the one who has to be dealt like doing an NBA deal / a swap of contracts of close to equal money. To stay under the CAP. That would be Votto and/or Phillips.

  50. @pinson343: Couldn’t believe that one. Furcal made another error—5 in the last 6 games for him.

  51. @Dave Lowenthal: Wow, didn’t know that about Furcal. He’s helped their IF defense with his range and throwing arm, but as they say, you’ve got to make the routine plays.

  52. And how does this makes sense for a team that’s near the bottom of the league in pitching?
    They’re actually pretty far from a World Series in the “Phillips Window”. They don’t have the payroll to get a bunch of established pitchers and the young guys have been massively underwhelming.

  53. @pinson343: See, if you look a little deeper than the Cards media (not accusing you), these trades didn’t really do that much for them. Dotel and Scrabble have ERAs of 3.6 as Cards, and Furcal is fielding like Edwin Encarnacion after attending Happy Hour.

  54. After reading everyone’s thoughts and considering BP’s season/career, I can’t disagree with picking up his option. It’s pricey a million dollar raise for what he put together this season is more than reasonable. Plus it provides some desperately needed stability to a middle infield riddled with injuries and mediocrity.

    I love BP but a contract averaging more than 12 million and longer than 3 years is unrealistic for this club unless they make a run next year and really jump in attendance/revenue.

    I say push it out regarding the contract decisions. Shell out the $$$ for options and try to unseat the Brewers next year (I think the Cards fade). If you squeeze out a 90 win season then projections will be very different.

  55. @Bill Lack: That bump should address the arbitration and Cordero situation for this year but the pot is getting big and the Red’s hand looks pretty weak right now.

    Bailey, Volquez, Bray, and Arrendondo are the others the Reds need to retain, imo. Resigning Willis as a reliever could also be an option for the pen.

    Janish needs to walk with Frazier as the new utlility man to accompany Cairo. Burton is someone who they should only consider taking a flier on to see if he can ever be what he was. Masset is probably not worth the money.

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About Bill Lack

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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2011 Reds, 2012 Reds, The Brandon Phillips Show

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