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.