2012 Reds / Reds - General

Chapman back to bullpen? and more

From Today’s Enquirer:

Chapman back to the bullpen?

Left-hander Bill Bray’s groin injury could lead to Aroldis Chapman being shifted back to the bullpen.

With pitchers, groin injuries take time to heal and can lead to serious problems.

Bray missed two weeks of throwing immediately after the injury. He had to shut it down Wednesday after feeling pain in a live bullpen session.

“We thought we gave him enough time last time,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “There comes a point when we’ve got to decide if there’s enough time or not to get ready. We’ve got the luxury of three lefties in the bullpen – or potentially three lefties.”

That includes Chapman.

“That’s a pretty good backup plan,” Baker said. “As it is, we’ve got six starters anyway.”

This just makes me crazy. They invest big money in this kid based on his potential and then seem to constantly do everything in their power to undermine his potential effectiveness and value. They’ve said all along he has the potential to be a #1 starter. I don’t know if he can or can’t, but if he can be a good/great #2 or #3 starter, that’s a lot more valuable to this organization than a left handed middle relief guy or even set up guy. Hell, even than a closer. Ugh…

Brandon Phillips

Phillips has seen other Reds get theirs. Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto. He noted the signing of Ryan Madson. Phillips doesn’t begrudge his peers their “respect.” He just wonders why he hasn’t gotten his. “A slap in the face,” Phillips calls it.

“I’ve been here longer than anybody, and I’m one of the best players in this game. I feel that I should come before many other people.”

This is a whisper of what I was afraid of…and it could be Daugherty trying to ignite controversy, but it also could be that Phillips is going to be a problem if the contract issue isn’t settled, and it doesn’t sound to me like it’s going to be settled.

Jocketty says the Reds appreciate Phillips’ popularity and willingness to be a team ambassador. They’re not going to pay him any more for it, though: “We’re not going to overpay a guy just because he does all those great things.”

Jocketty and Phillips met a week ago. Jocketty says Phillips felt better about things afterward. Phillips says he’s still in the dark. “I don’t know anything,” he says. “If a team wants you, they’ll make you happy. They’ll at least talk to you, let you know what’s going on.”

“There’s going to have to be some give and take to get this done,” says Jocketty, who will meet again with Phillips’ representatives later this month. “We’ve made a proposal. It was shot down. We’ll revisit it. There’s only so much we can do.”

So what do you think? Will the Reds extend Phillips? Should they? Who’s right and who’s wrong here (or more right and more wrong)? My feelings are well known. I like Phillips, I think he’s a very good player, but I don’t think this franchise can afford to pay him $12M for the next 3 years. They cannot afford to pay players for what they HAVE done, they must pay players for what they WILL do.

Nick Masset

I talked to Nick Masset this morning. He was feeling soreness in shoulder toward the end of his appearance yesterday.

“It’s surprising because I came in really strong,” he said. “It’s something a lot of guys here go through in spring. I’ll take a couple steps back and build up my arm strength again.”

Masset said he has no history of shoulder problems.

I know it’s me just worrying and always looking for patterns, but Madson (now off the injury list) and Bray, now Masset. I don’t like the trend.

Zack Cozart

Cozart, a rookie, is the projected starter for Opening Day. The Reds haven’t had a rookie start at shortstop on Opening Day in more than 40 years (For trivia buffs: It was Darrel Chaney in 1971. Dave Concepcion started as a rookie in 1970).

Cozart has heard about the Opening Day hoopla in Cincinnati.

“I’ve heard there’s a good buzz about the Reds with the acquisitions we’ve made,” Cozart said. “Obviously, Opening Day is big, especially in Cincinnati. It’s going to be fun.”

Nice article about Zack.

Opening Day

The Cincinnati Reds announce that 1,500 tickets for Opening Day will go on sale Saturday, March 10 at 9 a.m. at the Great American Ball Park ticket windows on Crosley Terrace.

Opening Day tickets available include 1,000 View Level and 500 Standing Room Only to the April 5, 2012 regular season opener vs. the Miami Marlins.

Ticket prices are $35 for View Level and $25 for Standing Room Only.

New this year, all Opening Day tickets purchased on Saturday will include a ticket to the Spring Showcase Reds vs. Futures Game on April 3.

54 thoughts on “Chapman back to bullpen? and more

  1. Completely ridiculous comments from Baker on Chapman. I thought the purpose of Marshall and bringing in Mahay & Zavada was for LH bullpen depth. It was completely ridiculous that the team traded LH reliever Jeremy Horst to the Phillies for Valdez.

    There are still a couple of notable LH free agents: Arthur Rhodes & Mike Gonzalez.

  2. My brain exploded last night when I read that Chapman article. It’s unbelievable.

  3. Another lefty option: Jeff Francis. He’s not terrible. Probably would be more effective out of the bullpen.

    • Another lefty option: Jeff Francis. He’s not terrible. Probably would be more effective out of the bullpen.

      I think that’s a great idea. There’s a risk he walks at the end of ST if he doesn’t make the major league roster.

  4. I shut down my emotions last season at about the 100 game mark, and i’m already feeling frustrated this season, i don’t have a “fresh” feeling about this team. aroldis chapman NEEDS to be a starter either in triple a or double a or wherever! very frustrating! it’s like buying a 30 million dollar home and visiting it once a year. I don’t understand the mentality of this FO (including dusty). the Ludwick signing was questionable at best this offseason, the Latos deal i wouldn’t have minded had he not have already shown arm problems in his early career. Geeze and Brandon Phillips, i would tell him we can’t afford that, so u go out and go 30/3o this year and go get a fat contract from the mets or something in 2013. and the big market teams off the top of my head already have established 2b….yankees (cano) bosox (pedroia) rangers (kinsler) phillies (utley). I just don’t understand why phillips has to run his mouth like he is joe morgan or something, dude is a 270 lifetime BA. jeeze, i love my reds and really feel like the only chance they have this season is for another mvp-type season from votto again (it’s the most likely upgrade) if votto goes 45/130 i think the reds can make playoffs

  5. I thought that the Reds needed to begin stretching Chapman out toward the end of last year. But they didn’t and as a practical matter Chapman can’t throw more than about 125 innings this year, anyway. So . . . plowing a bunch of innings in him early in the year, or in AAA as a starter, would pretty much make him unavailable in September and October. He still needs a lot of refinement with his command before he’s going to be an effective starter. As I’ve said before, if he was polished and a sure thing, as some want to believe now, then the Reds couldn’t have afforded him. If he can give the Reds 8-10 solid starts at the end of the year, when the Reds will need him, then I’m OK with it.

    I’m guessing that the Reds are hoping, with some justification, that Gregorius will be ready by next year, and that they won’t extend Phillips with a contract he wants. Phillips would be stupid to let him self become a distraction, because coming across as a selfish pain in the rear can’t help his free agent value. And if he becomes a distraction, trade him.

    I’ll be in Goodyear next week; can’t wait.

  6. I think Phillips is worth $30 million over 3 years. I am not on top of what they are paying him this year, but I do know if it’s less than 10 million, then he is going to want more than that for the following years. Probably a little too rich for us…unless we sell out the stadium all year.

  7. If the Reds are behind 6-7 games at the deadline, I’m pretty certain guys like Chapman, Madson, Phillips, Rolen, etc. are going to be moved to other teams. Heck, even if the Reds win the World Series Chapman, Madson, Phillips, Rolen could be moved – maybe even Votto.

  8. I pray that it’s just Dusty talking nonsense about Chapman to the bullpen. Like others have already said, there are other options if you have to replace Bray.

  9. Dusty is in a contract year so he really wants to win THIS year more than anybody. So Chapman would make the pen better THIS year. I don’t think he is thinking about next year or any future year. In fairness, that is not his job. That is Jockety’s job and hopefully he sees that Chapman is much more valuable in years 3 thru 6 that the Reds control if he shows he can be a starter. Whether that is with the Reds or in a trade. Hopefully, he acts accordingly. I think the pen will be just fine with or without Bray. I expect Bray to be fine anyway. That is what spring is for to get all these kinks out.

    • Dusty is in a contract year so he really wants to win THIS year more than anybody. So Chapman would make the pen better THIS year. I don’t think he is thinking about next year or any future year. In fairness, that is not his job. That is Jockety’s job and hopefully he sees that Chapman is much more valuable in years 3 thru 6 that the Reds control if he shows he can be a starter. Whether that is with the Reds or in a trade. Hopefully, he acts accordingly. I think the pen will be just fine with or without Bray. I expect Bray to be fine anyway. That is what spring is for to get all these kinks out.

      I think you’ve describe the situation perfectly. It is what I was thinking as I was reading the earlier comments. I agree with everything you said here.

  10. The last Reds rookie SS to start the season as starting SS was NOT Darrel Chaney in 1971. It was in 1971 – but it was Frank Duffy. I double-checked it on baseball-reference.com (pulled up the box score, as a matter of fact. And as another matter of fact, looking through decades-old box scores is a wonderful way to spend some time if you’re a baseball fanatic.)

    The whole Chapman-to-the-bullpen crap from Baker is maddening. That’s all he ever talks about when it comes to Aroldis. If Walt intends for him to start – as he has repeatedly stated – & Baker keeps this nonsense up, then Dusty isn’t winning any points with his boss if he wants a contract extension. As much as I love the Redlegs, I almost hope they struggle coming out of the gate & Baker gets the boot – then Bell, Sweet or Riggleman get the promotion & leads the team to the pennant.

    As far as Phillips goes – with Gregorius & Hamilton coming up through the pipeline, I wouldn’t be surprised if they let BP walk at the end of the year, & then take the $$ they offered him & throw it at Votto. They can stop-gap 2B for a year if need be with a journeyman or even Frazier.

    • @concepcion13:

      The last Reds rookie SS to start the season as starting SS was NOT Darrel Chaney in 1971. It was in 1971 – but it was Frank Duffy. I double-checked it on baseball-reference.com (pulled up the box score, as a matter of fact. And as another matter of fact, looking through decades-old box scores is a wonderful way to spend some time if you’re a baseball fanatic.)

      That’s funny because John Fay (that article’s author) asked the question and gave the answer yesterday on twitter. He gave the answer as Frank Duffy yesterday, but printed the article with “Darrel Chaney”.

  11. It’s not Dusty’s job to decide who is on the 25 man roster. He can provide input, but if Chapman starts the season in the bullpen, it’s 100% on Walt Jocketty. Finding a LOOGY is ******* easy so this would be insane.

    I try not to get too worried about spring training games/managerial decisions. Who knows what Dusty is thinking during these interviews. In all likelihood, Dusty just flies by the seat of his pants when he speaks.

    • In all likelihood, Dusty just flies by the seat of his pants when he speaks.

      I think that’s abundantly clear. That’s why I don’t get too worked up over what he says; it’s what he does that concerns me.

      If Bray’s going to be out three or four weeks into the regular season, I don’t have a problem with Chapman filling his roster spot, so long as he’s sent to Louisville to stretch out as a starter until mid-season or so. I don’t think that would set him back in his development.

  12. ESPN is projecting Zack Cozart will have a .290 OBP this year. Which seems beyond all belief, but isn’t too far from what ZiPS (.304) and Bill James (.306) are projecting.

    Naturally he’ll most likely be hitting in the #2 slot. That’s where the worst hitter on the Reds hits after all.

    None of these projection systems are infallible so lets hope they are all dramatically wrong. Poor Joey (and poor us).

  13. Re: Brandon Phillips. I was wondering when the sour grapes would start hitting the fans.

    This is the “face of the franchise”?

    I feel that I should come before many other people.

    Jocketty seems to get it.

    I’m hopeful that Henry Rodriguez is ready to start games at 2B next year.

  14. They invest big money in this kid based on his potential and then seem to constantly do everything in their power to undermine his potential effectiveness and value.

    I don’t know where Chapman would provide the most value (though like everyone else I believe it would be as a starter), but every time I hear this I have to wonder. What were you saying when Danny Graves was starting?

  15. @Jared: EVERY pitcher is more valuable as a starter than as a reliever if a) he can be roughly equally effective and b) he can stay healthy.

    Graves was good as a reliever and absolutely stunk as a starter. It was worth trying, but it didn’t work. So he was better as a reliever.

    We have GOOD reason to believe Chapman can start. (He’s started in Louisville, and he started in Cuba – and Cuban baseball is no slouch.) We need to give him that chance!

  16. Another interesting thing is to look back at past year’s Reds rosters and see how many names you have no recollection of…. I just looked at the ’71 roster..and see a Willie Smith? No memory of him at all.

  17. Most top pitcher from American colleges start somewhere at High A, or AA. We gave Chapman 3 months is Louisville then brought him to the bigs. That was a huge mistake. He should have been given the two years to develop like every other pitcher. He should be in camp this year trying to make the big league team for the first time. He could have been a brilliant starting pitcher for a long time like fellow Cuban Livan Hernandez. Now? Who the heck knows?

  18. @Big Ed: Chapman needs to work at AA or AAA on control of all of his pitches. He has a devastating slider when he can throw it close to the strike zone. I don’t know if this guy will ever have the control to pitch as a starter at the major league level, but he certainly is not going to progress throwing one inning at a time out of the bullpen. In fact, he is likely to end up on the DL again if that is the plan. The Reds had the right plan for him initially starting him at AAA. I assume they put him in the bullpen to protect his arm his second year in the big leagues- it did not work. Time now to move on and develop him as a starter or if he can’t make the transition, trade him to someone who wants to take a chance on him and get something in return. DON’T put him back in the bullpen again this year. He won’t be of any help at the end of the season if he has not been prepared to be a starter.

  19. The Reds have been undecided on how to use Chapman since they signed him. With the bullpen the Reds have, they should not waste him there. With Aroldis speed , he should be a starter. Keep Chapman at Louisville until he has the strength and pitches to go at least six innings, at least, as a starting pitcher.

  20. @TC: A short-term move to the bullpen for 2010 was not a mistake. The move to the bullpen at AAA helped him focus on success in short bursts, and the promotion to the majors proved (to him and everyone else) that he could pitch in the majors.

    The huge mistake was not advancing the long-term plan last year. He should have been making this transition to starter last year, not spent a full season of major league service to in a relief role in what ended up being a lost season.

    So far this year, I’ll hold onto the belief that this headline is “Baker willing to move Chapman to pen” not “Reds considering Chapman for pen role.”

  21. @72middie: Yeah, but the problem with putting Chapman in Louisville (i.e., making him a starter in April) is that he will hit his 125-150 IP limit by about August, and will be no help to the Reds later in the year. I agree with Greg that the mistake was not advancing the long-term plan last year.

    I’m with most everybody else, in that I certainly wish he could start. But he walked 41 guys in 50 innings last year. He’s still raw as he can be, so like it or not, they will probably have to baby him again this year. By the time he gets good, his contract will be up, but that’s why the Reds were able to sign him in the first place.

  22. I’m on record here saying the Reds should not resign Phillips and instead use that money to extend Votto.

    The Baker-Jocketty disagreement over Chapman has been ongoing since the Reds signed Chapman. Baker insists on two lefties in the bullpen because of the way he (over)manages. The Reds development of Chapman has been poor, to say the least.

    There’s a good chance that Bray will be ready anyhow, but if it looks like he won’t, there are several other ways to address the second lefty issue (Francis, free agent etc.) other than once again interrupting Chapman’s progress to becoming a starter.

  23. First of all, THANK YOU for the work of compiling the information. Now the managers job is on the line, management seems to be all in with some restraint. I never really thought Alonso and Grandal were made for a Reds uniform. I see a longer term look at things due to Latos being under control for a few years and my question is who will make the same leap Cueto made last year? Pitchers and position players are all loaded to move forward- Leake, Bailey, Heisey, Stubbs,Mesoraco, Francisco, Cozart. Do we have the coaching to make it happen?

  24. Agreed with the above posts that Baker is going to use Chapman in the pen if he gets the chance. Walt must not give him that chance, keep him in AAA to stretch out and realize his potential as a starter.

  25. C’mon, is anyone really suprised with Dusty’s response about Chapman? Really? I always knew that Chap was one Bill Bray injury away from being back in the pen. Thing is, it’s so unnecessary. With Francis and Arrondondo (whose splits have made him look like a lefty his whole pro career, though I don’t think anyone in the dugout has noticed)alongside Marshall, we are covered pretty well until Bray is ready to return for his few weeks of work before re-injuring himself.

    Even if we didn’t have those options, I would rather have a hole at the LOOGY position than hinder a possible top of the rotation starter. On the other hand, maybe Big Ed has a point: give Chappy some LOOGY innings now, send him down mid-season for some starts and hopefully you will have him available with a full complement of pitches for the playoff stretch.

    The sin in all this is that no plan developed or was followed for your $30 mil investment. We are just trying things and hoping. Makes no sense.

  26. Phillips is worth a $30 million deal for the next 3 years. He’s right about the team vaccilating around his situation. Jay Bruce got money and he hasn’t lived up to jack in five years. Phillips has played 151 games a year on average. He is the glue that holds the Reds’ infield together and has been since he arrived. He has embraced Cincinnati. Jocketty may say he doesn’t value that, but Phillips’ off-field presence during RedsFest and other things has made the Reds millions. Walt knows that better than anybody short of the Reds’ accountants and their financial officer.

    Not reading too much into Baker’s comments about Chapman. I don’t think Baker is as desperate to save his job as many believe. It’s not as if the Reds have done him a ton of favors roster-wise during his time in Cincinnati. Other than 2010 and this coming season, the rosters were nowhere near reasonably capable of reaching the postseason. That diminishes a manager’s legacy, even though managers don’t make roster decisions. I think he likes managing the Reds, a historic franchise he obviously has memories about from his playing days, but if he got the chance to manage a team that wanted to win more consistently after a few years of vacation and working as an analyst, I don’t think he would be mad about it.

    Walt has to make up his mind about Chapman. The fact that Jocketty didn’t have his mind made up when he paid Aroldis $30 million to defect from his homeland is the most alarming fact of this saga.

  27. Sure, Phillips is worth $10M. Jocketty has said that they made an offer to BP that has been rejected. I’m guessing Phillips wants more than the $12M he’s making this year. He’s on record saying that he won’t take a hometown discount,

    As for Chapman, I think Jocketty did have a plan from day 1. But as thing change, and Chapman needed a temporary move to the bullpen in 2010 to work things out, Jocketty’s been slow to move back to that plan.

  28. It’s easy to say you support resigning Brandon Phillips when we don’t know the numbers, or if we assume numbers that are considerably lower than what Phillips wants.

    Would anyone support resigning him at $12 million for four years?

    I’m not sure Brandon would sign for even that amount plus years.

  29. The Reds have a record of lowballing and presenting players “hometown discount or bust” offers. I just don’t see the offer that the Phillips camp shot down being $12 mil a year, or even $11.

  30. @secondguessingfanbase: You might be right about the lowballing of Phillips. The Reds might have decided to go in another direction. But pulling the plug on negotiations now risks souring Phillips for 2012. Tricky spot for the Reds if that’s their view.

  31. Maybe the Reds could offer a one or two year deal to Phillips that was above market for $$. Say $14 million. They’d hope he turns it down and they could save face with him in negotiations, possibly keeping him happy in 2012. If Phillips said yes to such an offer, the Reds wouldn’t be on the hook for the out-years, which is the main concern with him.

    I really enjoy watching Brandon Phillips play baseball. But the Reds can’t afford $12m+ for four years. Given their other priorities (Votto) and that there may be capable replacements soon, I say the Reds pass.

  32. @secondguessingfanbase: lol @ BP 3 years for $30 million. Reds would SNAP accept that. But why would BP accept it? He knows this is probably his last shot at a big payday. He saw what happened to Orlando Hudson. 30 years old + 1 year removed from a career year sounds significantly better than 34 years old, 4 years removed from a career year. All indications are that BP wants a contract around Dan Uggla’s contract so 5 years @ $62 million. I don’t think he’ll get that but if he has another good season, he’ll stand to get at least $40-50 million unless the market for 2nd basemen completely collapses.

  33. Rickie Weeks signed a contract paying him $10 – $11 million per year for 3 years with a 4th year guaranteed at $11.5 million if he has 600 PA’s the year before or 1200 PA’s in the previous 2 years. Would the Reds be out of line to make a similar offer to Phillips? It doesn’t make sense to offer him Uggla money for 5 years.

  34. It didn’t make sense to offer Uggla Uggla money, IMO, and I’m higher on him than most.

    I think an incentive laden contract that would richly reward performance might be the way to go. I would like to keep Brandon around, and I think he’s better than Weeks every day of the week. Bump those figures up a little, give him some nice incentives to work toward, and get it done. If the incentives don’t inspire his camp, it’s been nice knowing you and thank you for your hard work. Don’t forget to clean out your locker.

  35. @MikeC: Reds would love that type of contract (rightfully or wrongfully), but no way way would BP’s agent agree to that deal without taking him to the open market first. Plus, I think that contract needs some context. Prior to 2010, Weeks had never even played a full season in his entire career. Weeks is a better offensive second baseman, but he’s kind of a butcher in the field, and injury have pretty much plagued him. BP has been extremely durable. BP is just in another tier of second basemen. I actually hopes he plays himself out of a contract this season anyway.

  36. The quickest way to lose the respect and devotion of the Cincinnati fan is to start talking contract. He HAS a contract through the rest of the year.

    Phillips keeps saying Bruce/Cueto got paid. But not what HE wants. He is in my opinion the best 2nd baseman in baseball right now. I get it. If he’s the best then he should make the most. But if that happens nothing else that makes the team good in the future does. Phillips is starting to equal Chad Johnson in my mind.

    • The quickest way to lose the respect and devotion of the Cincinnati fan is to start talking contract.He HAS a contract through the rest of the year.

      Phillips keeps saying Bruce/Cueto got paid.But not what HE wants.He is in my opinion the best 2nd baseman in baseball right now.I get it.If he’s the best then he should make the most.But if that happens nothing else that makes the team good in the future does.Phillips is starting to equal Chad Johnson in my mind.

      You called Phillips the best in the game at his position and Chad the Complainer at the same time. Chad wasn’t the best WR in the game in 2007 when he started to tail off along with Palmer due to his toxic relationship with Marvin Lewis, which started halfway through ’06. Phillips has never been any of that to any Reds manager or teammate.

      If you’re Phillips, you’re wondering why it was okay to ink Arroyo and Rolen on the back ends but not me when I’m younger than both those guys.

      • If you’re Phillips, you’re wondering why it was okay to ink Arroyo and Rolen on the back ends but not me when I’m younger than both those guys.

        Yes. I’ve got no problem with Phillips looking to get paid. I don’t know why anybody does. That doesn’t mean it should be the Reds that pay him, but it’s not that far out of line to be noticing your co-workers getting deals and want some of the same. This is how the system has been set up in baseball… the big money tends to come at the end, even when common sense says the talent should be fading.

        I love that Phillips is at the same the considered the most fan friendly and yet somehow the most polarizing. I can concede that BP could keep this out of the media, but Walt saying that his off the field contributions to the team won’t rate much at contract time wasn’t all that helpful either. The guy has played really well for this team. It’s frustrating to see fans taking steps back to “oh, that arrogant Phillips who doesn’t do X and Y”

        • Yes. I’ve got no problem with Phillips looking to get paid. I don’t know why anybody does. That doesn’t mean it should be the Reds that pay him, but it’s not that far out of line to be noticing your co-workers getting deals and want some of the same. This is how the system has been set up in baseball… the big money tends to come at the end, even when common sense says the talent should be fading.

          I love that Phillips is at the same the considered the most fan friendly and yet somehow the most polarizing. I can concede that BP could keep this out of the media, but Walt saying that his off the field contributions to the team won’t rate much at contract time wasn’t all that helpful either. The guy has played really well for this team. It’s frustrating to see fans taking steps back to “oh, that arrogant Phillips who doesn’t do X and Y”

          You make a nice point about how the system is designed for aging players to make the most money. That tells me that track record does count at least as much as career projection to Major League GMs and owners. I guess Moneyball hasn’t changed roster-building that much.

          I’m disappointed in fans calling Phillips selfish too. Even if Walt foolishly tried to publicly diminish Brandon’s value by saying off-field contributions don’t count, I believe they do. If Phillips at Redfest didn’t mean anything, why have Walt and the Reds asked him to do it every year after Brandon volunteered following his first season as a Red?

          Jocketty actually reminded the public just how much Phillips has embraced the Reds and the city of Cincinnati. Foot to mouth disease all the way.

        • Even if Walt foolishly tried to publicly diminish Brandon’s value by saying off-field contributions don’t count, I believe they do.

          Agreed. And while I’m not saying that one’s off the field endeavours have a concrete translation into “x” dollars, but part of this is getting fans in the seats right? Why would you give players the message that is unimportant? It just seems harsh that someone is being a good company person and providing marketing, but then the message is… oh but we don’t care about that unless you’re not fulfulling contract stipulations. Again, I’m not saying it would justify breaking the bank for Phillips, but don’t just discount it outright.

          Shoot, even if a player is active with fans/media for their own gain (as one could make the arument that perhaps that is why Phillips does what he does… to gain contract leverage), it’s still good for the club. So can what’s good for the goose be good for the gander here?

      • If you’re Phillips, you’re wondering why it was okay to ink Arroyo and Rolen on the back ends but not me when I’m younger than both those guys.

        They extended their current contracts by just two years each, restructured the final year of their previous deals, and agreed to deferred money for the entirety of their deals. Rolen’s contract paid him less per year than his previous contract. Arroyo received less $$ in 2011. Obviously we don’t know what, if any, of these conditions are acceptable or unacceptable to Phillips, but I am assuming that the Reds are trying to create a similar contract structure/extension with Phillips.

  37. @secondguessingfanbase: SO WHAT! According to his silver slugger and golden glove he is the best 2nd basemen and right now a complainer. Are the two points mutually exclusive?

    Your argument (as usual) is unnecessarily combative and irrelevant to the point I was making.

  38. Tough call on BP really. MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” for 2B had Phillips listed as 7th. I’m not so sure he should be that low. I think he’s a better player than Weeks for certain and they had Weeks at 6.

    I don’t know exactly where I’d rank BP. I think he’s behind Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler, and a healthy Utley but there is debate there, especially considering a healthy Utley is a bit of a long-shot.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of value right now. I think BP’s market value is every bit of the $13-million he’s getting this year. That’s why the Reds picked up his option. The biggest issue is going to be years. I don’t really think the Reds should go more than 3 years and honestly, I think there’s a chance that a team will go 5 years on BP. Can the Reds do 5yrs/$70-million? I don’t think they should. Now granted, I think that’s the top-end for BP but I didn’t see Prince getting over $200-million either.

    I think 4yrs/$54-million would be a nice contract for him but I don’t know if he’d take it and I don’t know if the Reds are even going that high. I’m not a GM or agent though. We don’t really know what he’s worth. We’ll find out when the Reds or someone else signs him.

  39. @LWBlogger: Yeah, BP has outperformed Utley in precisely one year, an that was a year Utley was hurt for much of the season. It’s probably a toss up between the two now, but I don’t see how anyone can claim BP is clearly a top 4 2nd baseman. I think its pretty obvious he’s behind Cano, Pedroia, and Kinsler as well (though BP is probably the best defender). I can see the argument that BP is more important to US, but he isn’t the only “star” on this team.

    It’s also important to note that BP is currently making MORE than all but Utley on that list. Does anyone expect him to be asking for less than he’s currently making? I’m sure he’d be flexible if it means additional years but that is precisely the issue with signing a soon-to-be 31 year old second baseman to be 4/5 year deal. Not to mention, we’re talking about giving a guy who turns 31 in June a big contract immediately after his peak career year. Let’s just put it this way…Tampa Bay wouldn’t do the deal.

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