Multiple news sources are reporting on the story…

From the NY Post:

The Yankees have decided they will only trade Brett Gardner if it returns a starting pitcher they value highly or else they simply will hold him and play him in conjunction with a Jacoby Ellsbury in the outfield.

Nevertheless, when the Reds called and asked if the Yankees would be interested in swapping Gardner for Brandon Phillips, there was some discussion before the Yankees rejected it.

The Yankees were not attracted to Phillips because he has four years at $50 million left on his contract, has had declining offense and has had some public skirmishes with Reds ownership. Also, anticipating that Robinson Cano might leave, Phillips and his reps put the Yankees on what is believed to be a 12-team no-trade list. It was possibly intimated to the Yankees that for Phillips to even consider a deal, he would have to have his contract extended.

If the talks weren’t dead before that, they were at that point.

And from CBSSports:

Heyman reports the Reds offered Phillips to the Yankees for Brett Gardner, but were rejected. At some point before the offer was made, Phillips asked the Reds to open up his contract to add more money. Phillips does have a no-trade clause.

My feelings on Brandon Phillips are pretty well known on this blog. I’ve always considered him a “me guy”. He’s been a great defensive second baseman, but generally over-rated by the fans and media offensively. I felt the deal they signed him to last year would be an albatross around the franchise’s neck (though didn’t expect it to be one this soon). Some of the analytic arguments made me a little less negative on the deal than my initial feelings, but that was before he called the owner a liar in print, humiliated the manager by verbally berating a reporter in the manager’s office, and rumors started to circulate of his dressing away from his teammates and being happier if he went 2-4 and the team lost, than going 0-4 with a win.

I felt that the Yankees were the only place the Reds would be able to unload Phillips to and had hoped that Gardner would come back in return. I felt it was worthwhile, even for a rental player (especially one that fills a big need on the ’14 Reds and can act as a bridge to Hamilton), to get Phillips off the ballclub.

Now it appears to me (unless these are all negotiating ploys by each actor in this sad drama (Phillips, Yankees, Reds)) that the Reds are stuck with Phillips.

I don’t see another avenue for trading Phillips (though it’s tough to say without know what teams are on his 12 team “no trade” list).

Does anyone see this playing out any differently? Will Brandon Phillips be the Reds 2B on Opening Day or does Walt still have a trick up his sleeve?

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 189 Comments

  1. Call me crazy, but I think all that talk last week about Phillips no longer being on the block, Rosenthal’s tweets, and heck, maybe even the whole RedsFest charade was an effort to reverse the leverage on BP. Up until now, the Reds have had no leverage because it appears we’d be willing to jettison him at all costs. Now, we’re showing a “We’ll take him or leave him… but if you’ve got something interesting, let’s talk” approach.

    The 12-team no trade list worries me because it gives BP the chance to scuttle the whole thing, and if something doesn’t get worked out with one of those 12 teams, the jig is up that we’re not only shopping him but quite actively. That could get real awkward down the line.

    One way or the other, it’s hard to see this team having the necessary flexibility without moving him. Other players (Chapmna, Bailey, Leake, Marshall, etc.) are pieces that can be moved, but the critical one — both now and over the next few years — would have to be BP. I wonder if the Reds could offer to take some percentage of money on the back end of his contract and hope like hell the 2016 TV revenues make it absorbable.

  2. I’m not going to sit here and bash the guy off of rumors. Who knows what’s accurate and what’s not. But if he is asking for more money to be traded, then that says something to me. It would suggest that he is going to make it difficult for the Reds to trade him. Now, that could be out of a genuine desire to stay here. Or that could be (and what I suspect) sour grapes. Likely it’s a bit of both. But tactfully putting on teams that might have needs at 2B and asking for more money (on a contract that is already a hinderance to the Reds and other teams) certainly seems to fall in the sour grapes category if these rumors are true.

    In my opinion, he still upset about his contract (compared to Votto’s) and he’s upset about the trade rumors, etc. He may feel he has the right to be upset. But from a baseball perspective and as an employee of the Reds perspective he doesn’t really have the right to be upset. He’s being paid fair value for his skills and as an employee who has a few negative marks due to his behavior through/in the media. Honestly, in other sports he would be fined for his behaviors.

    I agree Bill, I fear we are stuck with him. And I also fear that he’s going to be lightning rod for fans this upcoming season and probably beyond. There are some fans that are emotionally attached to him to an obscenely loyal degree and others that are tired of his antics and as you put “me guy” attitude. I predict he will be the new “Dusty” as far a dividing fans.

    Maybe the Royals or Orioles would be interested. Maybe the Braves still are. Who knows. But this situation is a cluster.

  3. I believe that Phillips must be moved now or he will be a cancer and a distraction in 2014.

  4. I’m on the side that doesn’t think BP is a “character” concern. I think a couple things that happened last year have been blown out of proportion – I also think his offensive numbers last year were a bit of an aberration and not a sign that he’s in the nosedive of his career. I expect him to have a bounce back season and help the club if he’s around.

    That being said, the contract is definitely a problem. Even if he puts up the numbers I expect him to, he still would barely be worth what he’ll make and that will only get worse with each passing year. What I really don’t understand here is him asking for the “contract to be opened up to add more money.” What on earth is that about? He doesn’t seriously think that the Reds, who are publicly shopping him almost entirely because of the size of his contract, would actually be willing to pay him MORE? And why would he think anyone would offer him an extension when it is clear that 30 out of 30 MLB teams feel he’s at least somewhat overpaid right now if not grossly overpaid? And why would the YANKEES be on his no trade list? They’re the YANKEES. I thought every player wanted to play for the Yankees – they’re a perennial contender with deep pockets who are known for dishing out ludicrous contracts and extensions. He would immediately slide into the starting job and the top of the batting order. What on earth does he not like about that scenario?

    • The Yankees were probably on his no trade list because he and his agent knew there was a good chance they would have a need for a 2B. If teams with a need for a 2B are on the no trade list it gives the player more leverage in the event that the teams want to complete a trade.

      I’m on the side that doesn’t think BP is a “character” concern. I think a couple things that happened last year have been blown out of proportion – I also think his offensive numbers last year were a bit of an aberration and not a sign that he’s in the nosedive of his career. I expect him to have a bounce back season and help the club if he’s around.

      That being said, the contract is definitely a problem. Even if he puts up the numbers I expect him to, he still would barely be worth what he’ll make and that will only get worse with each passing year. What I really don’t understand here is him asking for the “contract to be opened up to add more money.” What on earth is that about? He doesn’t seriously think that the Reds, who are publicly shopping him almost entirely because of the size of his contract, would actually be willing to pay him MORE? And why would he think anyone would offer him an extension when it is clear that 30 out of 30 MLB teams feel he’s at least somewhat overpaid right now if not grossly overpaid? And why would the YANKEES be on his no trade list? They’re the YANKEES. I thought every player wanted to play for the Yankees – they’re a perennial contender with deep pockets who are known for dishing out ludicrous contracts and extensions. He would immediately slide into the starting job and the top of the batting order. What on earth does he not like about that scenario?

    • @eric nyc: You said it. What ML player in his right mind would not want to be a starter for the N.Y. Yankees? The team with deep pockets.

  5. I see no reason he would be a cancer, I think having him off the team unless it brings a quality return is worse then him on the team. I think this whole thing has been blown WAY out of porportion by the media and fans to a degree. Brandon is a professional and quality second basemen. I have faith that with the new manager and leadership from Votto and others, this whole Brandon thing isn’t an issue and the Reds will be fine with him at second base this coming season.

    I personally have more issue with Chapman’s attitude and the lack of Walt to do his job and get his manager of the past to use him correctly over anything surrounding Brandon.

  6. I never liked the Phillips contract. They should have let his old contract play out, give a qualifying offer, and take the extra draft pick with glee.

    Young players are better than old players.

    The one and only way for the Reds to compete in the long run is to have a first-rate farm system that drafts well and develops even better. That $12mm/year they’ve wasted on Phillips sure would come in handy for signing amateur players and paying top-rate coaches for their minor leaguers. The ability that separates good GMs from bad ones is knowing when to not re-sign players with bad contracts into their declining years. WJ is not good at that.

    • @Big Ed: I agree. As a life-long Reds fan who now lives near Tampa and follows the Rays pretty closely, it is amazing how well the Rays can compete with their budget. But actually, it is not amazing: they simply refuse to sign contracts that will cripple their team, no matter who the player. James Shields was adored in Tampa, and although we miss him, no one thinks the trade for Myers was a bad idea. Likewise with David Price: he is well-liked, and everyone here would love to have him back, but in all honesty, most fans look forward to the haul Friedman will get for him, rather than beg the Rays to sign him to an exorbitant contract.

      The Phillips contract was a mistake from the beginning (and probably the Votto contract as well, if we are being completely honest). The Reds should never be giving big, long-term contracts to players who have already reached (or passed) their peak. If someone wants to sign a Longo-type team-friendly contract, fine, but otherwise cut them loose and get something valuable in return, even if it just an extra draft pick.

  7. Ugh. . . This whole situation has been a complete mess from the outset. From BP’s complaints about his contract and yelling at a reporter to Bob’s/Walt’s (who knows?) attempts to move him, this whole situation is poisonous. The way I see it, there are essentially three options that are better than the Reds and B having to stick it out in a bad marriage:

    1. Infante signs with KC, the Yankees get Tanaka, and Cashman figures that someone has to play second base. However, this is contingent on BP biting the bullet and determining that his stay in Cincy will be extremely awkward from this point forward.

    2. Infante signs with NYY and KC decides to move on BP. At this point (probably January), I am sure that Walt would probably take prospects (or perhaps a three team deal that brings a 2B or OF) to move him.

    3. Seattle, who from actions and reports of dysfunction, appear to be a train wreck waiting to happen, aren’t too confident in Franklin moving forward and swap him for the more “proven” BP.

    Now, I know that winning will “cure what ails ya,” but I’m thinking that this situation is so toxic (and mismanaged) that something drastic will ultimately be done.

    • @Drew Mac: Did I miss something on Seattle? I’m pretty sure they have a guy named Robinson Cano.

    • @Drew Mac: I think that the only way BP gets moved, is if Infante signs elsewhere. MLBTR is saying Yankee’s have a 3 year deal on table for Infante, but he’s looking for 4 years. If KC gives him the 4th year, then I think NY comes back to the table with Walt.

  8. Honestly the only team I see him going to is Atlanta because that is his hometown.

    Is there anything the Braves have that we would want in a fair deal?

  9. It is cold and flu season. Maybe WJ will pull a trick from up his sleeve. A Choo deal. Gesundheit.

  10. I still would like to know:

    If we trade BP, how would we replace his defensive and offensive production?

    Bad enough we already have to replace Choo. Subtract BP from our already weak offense as well as give up his still above average defense and the Reds might just be shooting themselves in the foot.

    If they had a ready replacement, ok, I’d be on board. But they don’t.

    • @CI3J: Phillips’ offensive production is pretty weak and easy to replace, even Henry Rodriguez would likely be an offensive upgrade. I think his defense is overrated because he tends to turn routine plays into flashy ones, but there would definitely be a hit since he’s a top 5 defensive 2b. After LF, Phillips’ offensive production is probably the easiest on the team to upgrade from 2013.

      • @Jason1972: You assert the Hen-Rod would be an upgrade offensively. I can’t find much evidence to support that.

        But I would like to see 3 or 4 names of players who are adequate options. Guys we don’t have to unload a starting pitcher to get.

        • @Johnu1: As far as offensive production there is Michael Young (FA) 279/335/395, Justin Turner (FA) 280/319/385, Mark Ellis (FA) 270/323/351, Brian Roberts (FA) 249/312/392. Those are their slash lines from last year. Young and Roberts have higher career averages than they showed last year. Ellis has a higher career average in OBP and SLG than he showed last year.

          Turner and Young (to a lesser extent) can play around the IF. Roberts can play SS as well. Ellis is still very good defensively. They could also be paired with Schumaker in a platoon situation. So, there are some options.

        • @Johnu1: There is no way that I think Rodriguez would be an offensive improvement over Phillips. I have looked at some MLE’s on Rodriguez and I am not seeing the hitter that some people here seem to be seeing. Oliver and Steamer would seem to agree.

          Rodriguez (Oliver): .248/.284/.333
          Rodriguez (Steamer): .261/.300/.359

          On the other hand both Oliver and Steamer seem to project BP to bounce-back some.

          Phillips (Oliver): .271/.321/.418
          Phillips (Steamer): .266/.317/.408

          Those projections won’t wow you but they are above MLB average for a 2B.

      • @Jason1972: I really disagree with you about BP turning “routine plays” into flashy ones: I don’t see that at all. I see flashy plays, but they involve long runs, dives and improbably good off-balance throws. On offense: I understand the metrics argument about BP’s hitting. However, he was playing hurt when his hitting declined. And, though so far nobody will respond, I ask again: List the bad hitters who have driven in 100 runs. I know, I know: rbi is a dependent stat and, I say again, so are all stats in one way or another.

      • @Jason1972: Agreed. BP’s offense wouldn’t be that difficult to replace. And, he has been some making simpler plays seem much harder. Not all of them at all. And, I’m not talking about simple grounders directly to him. But, trying to consider one, vaguely remember, he did have a long run to the ball, to the first base side of his position. But, he has plenty of time to get to it and get rid of it. So, does he glove it, grab it, and thrown it? Nope, he has to shovel over to Votto. So, instead of beating the runner by 2-4 steps, he beats the runner by 4-6 steps.

      • @CI3J: Phillips’ offensive production is pretty weak and easy to replace, even Henry Rodriguez would likely be an offensive upgrade. I think his defense is overrated because he tends to turn routine plays into flashy ones, but there would definitely be a hit since he’s a top 5 defensive 2b. After LF, Phillips’ offensive production is probably the easiest on the team to upgrade from 2013.

        @Jason1972:

        No, HRod wouldn’t. not even close.

    • @CI3J: See, I agree with you here and also feel that he’s due to bounce-back some in 2014. Aging curves are guides but they don’t necessarily predict the future, they only give an idea of probable outcomes. Early in the season last year, BP sure didn’t look to be declining. I agree with a handful of people that say that his HBP last year was devastating.

      I just don’t see how the Reds are going to get much value out of him because their position is poor. Teams know they are dying to move him and that gives the Reds a bad negotiating position. If he’s moved, the Reds need to get value. If he’s moved just to get rid of him, then it’s an emotional move on the part of the ownership and a BAD baseball move.

  11. Sometimes, it’s as if Walt Jocketty has no idea what he’s doing.

    • Sometimes, it’s as if Walt Jocketty has no idea what he’s doing.

      How is that? You are going off of what information? That provided by a lack luster media?

    • @John: well said (sarcasm noted)

  12. There’s just too much smoke here for there not to be a fire. Phillips WILL get dealt. The only question for me is whether Homer is a necessary addition to facilitate the trade and bring back the cost controlled high upside position player (LF, 2B, CF) we’ll demand. For me, it’s a deal I’d make because 1. we’d unload BP’s contract, and 2. we’d replace Homer with a quality major leaguer rather than a draft pick that may or may not pan out 4 years from now.

    • There’s just too much smoke here for there not to be a fire. Phillips WILL get dealt. The only question for me is whether Homer is a necessary addition to facilitate the trade and bring back the cost controlled high upside position player (LF, 2B, CF) we’ll demand. For me, it’s a deal I’d make because 1. we’d unload BP’s contract, and 2. we’d replace Homer with a quality major leaguer rather than a draft pick that may or may not pan out 4 years from now.

      The Reds may “want” to trade Phillps in the worse way, but I don’t think Walt is going to give him up for little to no value return and if there is not a willing trading partner out there to get value in return and I don’t think there is, Brandon will be at 2nd come opening day.

  13. Phillips-for-Gardner lets the Reds say they traded BP for “something that helped the club in 2014” – whether it’s a net improvement or not would be up for debate. But Gardner fills the centerfield and leadoff hole.

    Hard to imagine that BP will be on the team on Opening Day, but I don’t think Walt will make a bad deal just to accomplish that.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I agree with you, Steve. The trade-BP frenzy ignores a real concern: The 2014 Reds, minus Choo, Arroyo, BP and possibly Bailey would very likely not equal the 2013 version, or even come close to it. One year of Gardner in center probably doesn’t fully compensate for losing Choo, and the options at second besides BP probably won’t hit better than he does and certainly won’t field nearly as well. And we’ll have less depth on the pitching staff.

      • @greenmtred: greemmtred: Cant agree with the Reds not being as good as last year. They have a power upgrade at C, Votto a year farther away from knee surgery will have better hitting numbers. Cozart seemed to settle in once he was moved away from the 2, Frazier and Ludwick will hit better and i would expect Bruce will continue to progress so if there is a 250 hitter at 2b and another in CF, they should be comparable. AS far as pitching depth. Last year they had nothing in the minors to help the starters. This year there are two guys with ML experience that Walt has added and Rogers, Stephenson, and possibly Corcino, among others, will be available. This is a new manager and coaching staff, so we do not know what the effect of the change will be on the club.

        • @redmountain: I hope that you are right, Redmountain, but you are basing your optimistic projections on speculation, mostly. Of course, so am I.

  14. Wonder if there is a dynamic regarding the Choo and Phillips negotiations.

    Can’t make Choo a competitive offer until Reds know for sure they have unloaded Phillips’ contract.

    Can’t unload Phillips unless they feel like they can sign Choo, otherwise in a hole at two spots.

    If BP gets us Gardner, do we still go for Choo? I say yes. Gardner is a one year deal. Choo could play LF and would be a multiyear contract. Could try to unload Ludwick’s contract.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Would we really want the 7-8 years that Choo is asking for? I figured we wouldn’t go over 4-5. From now til 2016 he would be great, but we would have an old, below average defensive outfielder for 4 more years.

      • @ArkansasRedsFan: Probably not 7-8 years, no. But 5-6, yes. If the Choo market takes off, the Reds will likely be priced out. But if it contracts just a little, with all the teams meeting their needs other ways, the Reds could sneak in. The long term mega contracts are almost never worth it the last year or two. But often the early years of the contract make up for that. Joey Votto has been averaging just above 6 WAR per season. That’s valued anywhere from $30 to $42 million and even moreso for a team right on the cusp of making the post-season.

  15. I’ve seen zero realistic alternatives to Phillips at 2B. We churn the same complaints about him and figure that trading a GG infielder for a 1-year rental in CF is going to improve the team.

    From a fan’s point of view, and probably all of us ought to consider that, I couldn’t care less about the contract. I want to see the team win a pennant.

    Trade Phillips and … what? Put Skip Schumaker at 2B? OK, that works. Hamilton at 2B? If Hamilton is ready to play, he should go to CF and then the discussion about Choo is in the back room.

    Until somebody gives me a realistic option at 2B (Hen-Rod) … I am willing to embrace whatever Phillips brings. Going on and on about the same talking points isn’t working here.

    • @Johnu1: Trading Phillips isn’t move that has to be made in a vacuum. He’s not even a 2 win player, his production isn’t that hard to replace.

      • @Jason1972: His offense isn’t an issue. Upgrade the outfield offense. Get a hitting coach to teach Frazier and Cozart how to hit.

        You trade defense for offense and I will introduce you to the 2007 Reds.

        • @Johnu1: Agree, wholeheartedly.

        • @Johnu1:Give me a team that is not really very good defensively, but that can hit and I will give you the Cardinals. Their pitching and hitting were outstanding last year, but that team wore lead gloves. If you expect they will be better with Peralta at SS, you are dreaming. They are going to lose Beltran from that offense and no one knows if Wong can play 2b or exactly how good they will be at 3b.

          Try this scenario-purely conjecture: you trade a pitcher and Ludwick or Heisey for Gardner, then trade Phillips to Atlanta for a pitcher, then go for a second baseman either by trade or FA.

          • @redmountain: A few things… Yes, the Cards didn’t have a very good defense last year. I also agree that hitting the cover off the ball makes up for a certain amount of defensive deficiencies. Paralta isn’t going to be a world-beater at SS either. Wong at 2B however, I think is going to be a huge improvement over Carpenter there from a defensive standpoint. I also think moving Carpenter to 3B makes the defense about even or perhaps a little better there than with Freese. Carpenter is much more comfortable at 3B.

            I like your trade scenario but I am almost positive that if the Reds wanted a decent P back, they are going to have to take Uggla or send some cash. On the other hand, I think if you moved a pitcher then you could easily get Gardner. I’m not sure I’d want to give up someone from the rotation at the moment though with Chapman staying in the pen.

      • @Johnu1: Trading Phillips isn’t move that has to be made in a vacuum. He’s not even a 2 win player, his production isn’t that hard to replace.

        2 win? How about who replaces his 100 RBI’s?

    • @Johnu1: Why not Howie Kendrick? He’s available. He’s a very good player under team control for four more years through his age 33 season at 18 million less than Phillips, and he would be an offensive improvement no question.

      He wouldn’t come cheap, but the Angels would like to move him and won’t ask for the world. I bet a good deal could be struck there.

      • @Johnu1: Why not Howie Kendrick? He’s available. He’s a very good player under team control for four more years through his age 33 season at 18 million less than Phillips, and he would be an offensive improvement no question.He wouldn’t come cheap, but the Angels would like to move him and won’t ask for the world. I bet a good deal could be struck there.

        I like Kendrick, so why would the Angels want a more expensive version of what they already had? Wow …too late now…but Bailey/BP for Trumbo and Kendrick would have worked for me.

  16. Maybe a little off topic, but Blue Jays are apparently shopping Colby Rasmus. I don’t know if we would be able to unload Phillips to the Jays, but what do you guys think about Rasmus in CF next year? He hit .276/.338/.501 with 22 HR and 66 RBI last year.

  17. Given the ever growing revunue stream for all MLB teams and with the Reds on the verge of a new and improved and better paying TV contract locally, I am continuelly amazed at how people continue to buy into this “limted” financial resources for the Reds. The Reds have monies to spend, and are not in any kind of “bind” by Brandon’s contract. Bob want’s him gone due to his off the field behavior, nothing more nothing less.

  18. Maybe I am an idiot to think this but Choo and Arroyo status leads me too believe something is up I am kind of thinking they might be going with the addition by subtraction method. As much as it pains me to say it I think Homer and Phillips we eventually be paired together to correspond with us signing Choo and Bronson unfortunately to make this happen I think we better prepare to get fleeced when it comes too value I expect a return of a major league prospect and a few mid level prospects. Of course it will stink but I ask myself would I trade Choo for Brandon (overwhelming yes) Homer for Bronson (no, but contract concerns makes it hurt a little worse) throw in some prospects hopefully one pans out I would be OK with this, but this is what I am holding my hopes for although Cosby Rasmus wouldn’t surprise me, because we all know how Walt likes that other color of red

    • @hits56:

      Interesting thoughts. I don’t think you need to be that pessimistic, though. If this scenario plays out, I will bet that Walt ends up with at least one and maybe several very good prospects. I’ve loved Brandon as much as anyone else, but the reality is that he is a 2 win player that his teammates seemingly don’t respect. Homer will cost a boatload to keep in Cincy (If he wants to stay) and we can use Bronson to bridge to Stephenson (and maybe one of the prospects we trade for). What about something with Arizona (we know Walt and Towers like to work together) that sends BP and Homer and we get back Archie Bradley and Martin Prado? Just spitballing and we’d probably have to add something, but there are possibilities out there.

      I actually like this.

  19. Brandon plays with passion and is GREAT to fans, but wants the respect he deserves. The only reason the guy here at Redlegnation is mad at Brandon is because he sent him a crappy twitter message…

    Brandon has called the front office liars.

    Less than a week ago Jockertty told Brandon there were NO TRADE TALKS regarding him. More than likely they just wanted him at Reds Fest.

    Now we see that they WERE LIARS and were in trade talks about him.

    If we should be mad at anyone it is the front office who has been disrespectful to Brandon!

    • @joeypop:

      First, I’ve been critical of Brandon Phillips for YEARS…look it up. The tweet had nothing to do with my opinion of Brandon Phillips.

      Second, I believe the front office said “at this time” which you can interpret any way you want, up to that very second.

    • @joeypop: I think if you call the owner a liar in print media, then curse out a beat reporter on video, you basically forfeit any “respect” you think you deserve.

  20. There are places that you could send Phillips, but it is doubtful that they will get equal value. I think those who are blaming Jocketty for messing this up, do not take into consideration Phillips’ value in the community. Simply put, he puts fannies in the seats. I expect that a trade will happen, but it may entail trading other pieces and multiple teams. It may also entail trading some other pieces to get it done. The record shows Jocketty is a skilled man and I have faith in his experience. However, this is a mess and it does make me nervous.

    • @redmountain:

      I really don’t think that ANYONE really “puts fannies in the seats” any longer, except maybe a super star from another team(Bonds and McGuire back in their PED/HR days for example) on swing through town on a road trip, or a stud starting pitcher on their specific turn(Red or visitor). WINNING puts fannies in the seats! It’s that simple

      I really just don’t think that people say “let’s go to the game tonight and see if BP can make a great defensive play, or knock in 2 in the 5th inning.”

      • @Bob Purkey: I think when people go watch a competitive team, they hope to see those things.

        Chapman striking out the side
        Hamilton stealing second
        BP making a play

        I do think a dull 2B would be fine with the fans if the team wins 16 games every month.

        • @Johnu1: I remember as a kid going to see Barry Larkin, and later (and perhaps to a lesser extent) stars like Griffey, Dunn, etc. I think that’s more important, though, with a bad team. With a good team, there’s higher expectations, and, ironically, you don’t care if BP goes 0-4 if the Reds come away with a win.

  21. December 5th, 2013:

    “We had a nice long talk (Tuesday), we talked about his place on the club and I told him I don’t really have any talks going with any clubs right now, not that that couldn’t change, but as of right now you’re part of this club and Redsfest is an important part of our program,” Jocketty said. “(I told him) you love the fans, the fans love you and I think it’d be disappointing if you weren’t there. I think he might end up showing up.”

    • @joeypop: how does that make the front office liars then? Outside of the comment being ambiguous, I did not see a lie in that statement.

    • @joeypop: “AS OF RIGHT NOW”

      One could argue that it was a bit disingenuous to lure BP back into RedsFest(even if he thoroughly enjoyed the ego stroking) after all the talks about him being traded. But that’s no different from asking Chapman to come to RedsFest, on the pretense that he’s an important part of the club in 2014, and then trading him before spring training in a deal that improves the team.

      AS OF RIGHT NOW, there are no active trade talks… |but also AS OF RIGHT NOW, we’ll do whatever it takes to improve the team|

      Just read between the lines. I don’t see where the logic fails.

  22. I hated when they signed the Phillips contract-always thought that it would come back to haunt. Additionally, I still feel that the easiest position to fill is closer. Aroldis is NOT going to be extended beyond this year and next. He will diffinitely want a huge contract and it appears, the limelight too! I think that he’d love going to a larger market. . .

    The Yankkes lost their closer of 19 years, give them Chapman and Phillips for Gardner and Robertson. Robertson or Hoover can be your closer. Choo wants 7-8 years? Sorry no thanks, but now you can package something like a starter and some kids for an outfield or 3B stick(moving Frazier to LF), with Stanton or Headley.

    Sounds easy, right????

    • @Bob Purkey: I still think Chapman for Giancarlo Stanton straight up makes all the sense in the world. The Marlins need to drive up attendance to increase payroll. Chapman would instantly be the most famous athlete in Miami not named LeBron thanks to the Cuban community. Stick Stanton can play CF or LF.

      • @Bob Purkey: I still think Chapman for Giancarlo Stanton straight up makes all the sense in the world. The Marlins need to drive up attendance to increase payroll. Chapman would instantly be the most famous athlete in Miami not named LeBron thanks to the Cuban community. Stick Stanton can play CF or LF.

        Chapman would barely be a starting point to getting Stanton. In my opinion you need Chapman and three to four prospects, at least 2 of them in the system top 10.

        • @Jason1972: I’m just gonna refer back to my first post ever on this site:

          I’ve prepared a simple chart on how I feel Chapman and Stanton’s worth compares.

          Chapman<Stanton.

          • @rhayex: I should qualify this by saying Miami would trade for Chapman with the intention of extending him and making him a starter. As a starter, Chapman at least has the potential to be of equal worth as Stanton and COULD be far more valuable if locked up long term.

          • @eric nyc:

            You know they already have one of the best pitchers in baseball, who is 20, and Cuban, right? Do they need another? I’m with the others. It would take a lot more.

      • @eric nyc: Makes sense to me. The Miami team definitely needs a jolt and Chapman in a Marlins uniform would get Cuban-Americans out to the new ballpark. And Stanton would look real good as the Reds cleanup hitter.

  23. I can’t understand all the euphoria to trade Phillips. Now all of sudden he’s a cancer. Fans always complain about non-fan friendly athletes, you get a fan friendly GG, All-star 2nd basemen, with a reasonable contract for his status, & you guys can’t wait to send him off, because he hurt a reporter & management feelings, are you serious.

    • @skatedog: To be fair, it’s not a reasonable contract given his WAR and what that number is projected to do over the life of the contract. Teams like the Yankees can afford to pay people for their star power (see: Jeter, Derek), but teams like the Reds can’t. And this is coming from one of the biggest BP fans out there. He’s one of my all time favorite Reds.

      • @eric nyc: BP critics reference his low WAR ranking as justification for his contract not being worth the money, which in turn serves as justification for unloading him on another team. FUN FACT TIME: BP’s WAR has ranked in the top 7 among all 2B in 3 out of the last 4 seasons (not that I am endorsing the use of that stat as the only one required to evaluate a player’s value as so many others seem to do). The low ranking last year was therefore an aberration, not the norm.

      • @eric nyc: I understand your assertion in regards to his WAR this year, but with the escalating baseball salaries, & what others are making or about to make, 50 million for 4 years seems reasonable to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe he’s on the decline like most on here believe. I think the injury, & all the batting order changes affected his hitting approach, which led to declining numbers. And I don’t believe he gets enough credit for defense & how valuable it is to our pitchers & the team success. I really believe his next two years will be a lot more consistent & better than last year.

        • @eric nyc: I understand your assertion in regards to his WAR this year, but with the escalating baseball salaries, & what others are making or about to make, 50 million for 4 years seems reasonable to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe he’s on the decline like most on here believe. I think the injury, & all the batting order changes affected his hitting approach, which led to declining numbers. And I don’t believe he gets enough credit for defense & how valuable it is to our pitchers & the team success. I really believe his next two years will be a lot more consistent & better than last year.

          I’m with you skate…all he did was what his manager asked…drive in runs…He probably sacrificed some walks and what not. He was having a career year until the HBP.

    • @skatedog: First, its not a reasonable contract at all anymore unless you believe his days as a 4-5 win player are coming back.

      Second, people don’t want him around because he isn’t worth the money he is going to be paid, not because of the Rosencrans incident or the owner comment. That stuff is just further evidence to make it easier to swallow.

      This is the most frustrating part about Cincinnati fans. They are more fiercely loyal to one player or coach than the team or to winning. I don’t care if BP mows your grass and landscapes your yard, if it makes the team better, you do it.

      • @BearcatNation: Wow just leave out the fact that he’s probably the best defensive 2nd baseman in the game & All-Star to boot. I just want him on the team because he signs some autographs. Getting rid of BP will not make the team better.

    • @skatedog:

      First, I agree with you 100%. Could not agree more.

      Second, BP didn’t just hurt the feelings of a reporter and management. He hurt the feelings of the people who run this blog. Not sure which one specifically runs the Redleg Nation twitter account, but they tweeted something less than flattering about Phillips, and Phillips responded with some “colorful language”.

      Flash forward a week or two, and this place has a post titled “the only way forward is to trade Phillips” or something like that.

      Many people here decided to follow the leader, and you get what we have here now.

      That should provide all the insight you need to explain why the attitude here is so skewed from what you may hear elsewhere, or why it doesn’t seem to add up.

      A handful of people in local media got their feelings hurt and decided to try to run BP out of town.

      I hope it doesn’t work.

  24. Reds got a bit more SP depth today, taking Mikey O’Brien in the AAA Rule 5 Draft from the Yankees.

  25. I’m not necessarily in one camp or the other with regards to trading BP or keeping him. However, I do think that his days of being a very good player are not over. I think all the stuff with the media has been blown way out of proportion. Everyone knows BP has a very loud personality, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Most Reds fans love him, and like it or not, he brings fans to GABP.

    As for his hitting, I believe that there are a few reasons for last seasons poor performance at the plate. Obviously he is getting older, and a drop in production happens for everyone not named Barry Bonds. But I think the bigger reason for his lack of production in 2013 was being miscast as the #4 hitter. BP was on record saying that all he wanted to do in 2013 is drive in 100 runs. When that is your primary objective, other things are going to suffer because of it. In BP’s mind, getting 100 RBI’s was his job and duty as the cleanup hitter. We have seen him change his approach to hitting when he is placed in different spots in the order. Drop him down to the number 6 spot and I think his AVG and OBP go up by 15 to 20 points.

    He is still going to be an above average defender for the next few years, and I see his WAR going back up to about 2.5 to 3 wins. I really thought all season that his mindset while hitting cleanup was the reason for his poor offensive year. Phillips is a smart ball player, and knows that different lineup spots require a different approach. If BP is taken out of the 4 hole and put somewhere else, he comes back up to his career norms.

  26. I wouldn’t give up hope on a Yankees-Reds trade happening. Yankees don’t want to give up Gardner but who is going to take Wells or Ichiro? They may not want to give up Gardner but they have too many needs elsewhere and too many outfielders and Gardner is the only outfielder they have that can get them anything in return. I think the Reds are a natural trade partner. I don’t think that the reds are comfortable with Hamilton in center fulltime and any statements from the Reds FO is posturing. It all comes down to price and I think the free agent market will determine that. Will the Reds have to give up Phillips or Bailey? That is largely dependent on who signs Omar Infante and what happens with Tanaka from the NBL(?). I’m sure WaltJ thinks that the Yanks will lose out on Tanaka or Infante, or both, and he’ll get Gardner at a price he’s comfortable with, and Brian Cashman thinks that he’ll get Infante and Tanaka and then the Reds will have to cough up Bailey. Will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

  27. Jerry Hairston Jr. retired. He played every position in the majors except the battery.

  28. I have no idea how this will play out, but I will say this – I sure do hope the whole idea of trading Sean Marshall goes away fast. That one I don’t like at all.

    Trade Phillips and I’m okay. Trade Homer and I’m happy to see him go. But, there’s no way you get equal value for Marshall – especially since he was so horribly misused by Dusty and hurt last year.*

    *All this is void if he’s really just the second coming of Nick Masset. Which is why Uncle Walt makes the big bucks.

  29. Yanks can keep their over valued players. Gardner couldn’t carry Brandon’s jock strap. If this trade is made someone needs to be fired because it will only be about money dumping.

  30. The Yankees won’t trade 1 year of a surplus 30 year old base stealing outfielder for 4 years of Brandon Phillips, which shows you that teams out there understand player value more than fans.

    • @Jason1972: Yankees want pitching also so it’s not going to be a 1 for 1 trade. The Reds have the pieces to make a deal but do the Yankees. I don’t know the Yankees farm system. They drafted a ss a few year ago in the first round but he isn’t progressing as fast as they had hoped to replace Jeter. Reds need to get Gardner and prospects for Philips + pitching (1 starter 1 pen)

    • The Yankees won’t trade 1 year of a surplus 30 year old base stealing outfielder for 4 years of Brandon Phillips, which shows you that teams out there understand player value more than fans.

      Or it could be the Yankees want to see how the FA market plays out and how desperate the Reds might get in dealing Brandon. There is no reason on Dec 12th for the Yankees to make this deal with so much time left before spring training.

  31. I like BP, but some things about him I don’t. So, there are pluses and minuses to each side of the trading BP issue.
    The thing that really concerns me the most in this issue, is the report that many players went to management at Redsfest and supported trading BP or requested they trade BP. If true, that speaks volumes.
    The Reds can hardly go into 2014 with a fractured clubhouse, not under a new coaching staff and promises to improve upon the last 4 years.
    If the players were that adamant to management about removing BP from the clubhouse, and the Reds didn’t, any friction next season betwen BP and another player could spark an incident. All the Reds need next year is for a Lou Pinella-Rob Dibble donnybrook break out between BP and someone. Remember, the Reds host the all-star game in 2015. They can’t risk 2014 going into circus mode and embarrass themselves and MLB going into the 2015 season and hosting the all-star game. And 2015 is the 40th anniversary of the big BRM 1975 World Series victory. I think that might also be part of the tiperope the front office is walking with this BP issue. 2015 is going to be a very very important year for Big Bob C.

    • @WVRedlegs:

      *tightrope, not tiperope. frozen fingers today.

    • @WVRedlegs:

      The thing that really concerns me the most in this issue, is the report that many players went to management at Redsfest and supported trading BP or requested they trade BP. If true, that speaks volumes.

      Where did you see/read this? I’ve heard nothing like this in the local media and would like to read it.

      • @Bill Lack:

        The twitter dude was the second time I read it. He was adamant about that. I take his accounts with many many grains of salt, though. Others have mentioned it on here. I am racking my brain to remember the first account I read. It struck me when I read it on twitter dude’s account because it was the second time hearing it from a different place. I gave a little credence to the information then. It’s pretty obvious now, that there were some clubhouse issues under Dusty Baker and BP was at the root of some of them. We may never know the extent of it all. If I am a Reds player with some clout, and I have seriously tired of the BP act, and if the Reds planned on keeping BP, I would also go to management, and if they didn’t act, I would ask to be traded.
        Preferential treatment of a select few in a locker room can kill team chemistry.

  32. I have been an avid supporter of BP as a player and do not find arguments against him based on his stats very convincing when you look at them altogether over the course of his career as opposed to selecting a particular stat last year, or a projected stat next year. IF, however, he is actually a cancer and others on the team want him gone as some are suggesting, I could not possibly endorse keeping him. Does anybody have anything to support this?

    • @EinSteve: I am specifically referring to the claims that other PLAYERS want him to go and that his presence is having a negative impact on team chemistry.

      • @EinSteve: I am specifically referring to the claims that other PLAYERS want him to go and that his presence is having a negative impact on team chemistry.

        When/where and which players have said this? I have not read anything on this.

  33. I just wonder what we would be thinking about acquiring a RH hitter from another club who had hit 30 HRs in a season, was coming off another gold glove year in the field and had 103 RBIs last year. What would we be willing to trade for that player?

    Leave the name out of it. If Old Cossack had those numbers, we would be talking about trading Chapman for him? Or Mike Leake and Marshall?

    On this board, we are not always privy to what a guy might be in another clubhouse

    Granted we know this player very well. I am just curious what would happen on this board if we traded for this problem, not knowing what clubhouse issues were to come

    • @reaganspad: If we were trading for that player because of 103 RBI, we’d be idiots, for one thing.

      Are you talking about Brandon Phillips? Because he hasn’t hit 30 home runs since before Dusty Baker was the manager (2007). He hasn’t hit 20 home runs since 2009. His stolen base total was down to five this year.

      The only player on the Reds now like you’re describing is Jay Bruce.

      • @Steve Mancuso: I’d trade for Bruce in a heartbeat, if the price was right.

      • @reaganspad: If we were trading for that player because of 103 RBI, we’d be idiots, for one thing.

        Are you talking about Brandon Phillips? Because he hasn’t hit 30 home runs since before Dusty Baker was the manager (2007). He hasn’t hit 20 home runs since 2009. His stolen base total was down to five this year.

        The only player on the Reds now like you’re describing is Jay Bruce.

        And he was caught stealing three times. So net two stolen bases.

  34. Reds must extend our window and that means trading Phillips and Bailey. That’ll unload 60 M in payroll and help us acquire some young cost controlled players. We almost will be rebuilding in some ways, while still competing.

    Trade Phillips for Gardner
    Trade Bailey for A Bradley and Owings
    Resign Arroyo
    Let Choo walk, take the pick
    Reds will have 3 picks in the Top 50

    • @Josh: Good thought but I don’t think Arizona will get rid of Bradley for 1 year of a pitcher hesitant to sign an extension

  35. Honestly, and I’m not trying to be funny, but why is the oldest professional baseball team, one with a fantastic winning tradition steeped in historical relevance, and one that has a newer stadium, the best HOF this side of Cooperstown, a new TV deal, a recent boost in attendance have to unload contracts in order to add quality parts? Are we really that cash starved? I’m not saying try to be the Yankees, but c’mon. I don’t get it.

    • @preach: The Reds aren’t cash starved right now. My hunch is that if it were simply a matter of raising the 2014 payroll to $115-120 million, they would do it. They certainly can afford it.

      The bigger question is the out-years. Paying Bailey and/or Latos market value for starting pitching will be expensive. The Reds missed their chance to sign Bailey last off season when he might have been more amenable to discounting a bit in exchange for security. Now he’s only one year away and it sounds like he’s willing to roll the dice on 2014.

      The Reds should be focusing soon on Matt Latos, otherwise they’ll find themselves in the same situation in a year from now.

    • Honestly, and I’m not trying to be funny, but why is the oldest professional baseball team, one with a fantastic winning tradition steeped in historical relevance, and one that has a newer stadium, the best HOF this side of Cooperstown, a new TV deal, a recent boost in attendance have to unload contracts in order to add quality parts? Are we really that cash starved? I’m not saying try to be the Yankees, but c’mon. I don’t get it.

      They have the monies, if they didn’t they woulnd’t have paid out what they did already. It’s just not wanting the players/fans know they can afford it.

    • @preach: Right on Preach…I’ve been asking that same question for weeks now.

      Honestly, and I’m not trying to be funny, but why is the oldest professional baseball team, one with a fantastic winning tradition steeped in historical relevance, and one that has a newer stadium, the best HOF this side of Cooperstown, a new TV deal, a recent boost in attendance have to unload contracts in order to add quality parts? Are we really that cash starved? I’m not saying try to be the Yankees, but c’mon. I don’t get it.

  36. I’ve checked out on the Phillips drama. Just realized today that I really don’t care.

  37. The Reds are trying to sign Omar Infante now? I mean, that’s what I thought they’d do if they were going to trade BP, but then the M’s signed Cano…

    Now I’m conflicted on Infante.

  38. The latest news about Phillips is definitely disheartening. The team and he had seemed to come to some sort of detente around redsfest, but now that it’s clear the Reds are actively trying to trade him, and that he and his agent are trying to squeeze more money out of the deal, and that clearly no one has that much interest in him anyway… it’s all just looking more and more like a mess.

    If the Reds still have him come spring, I hope Price is able to use a heavy hand with him. It’s time for Phillips to come back to reality about his skills and his role on the team. Bat him 6th or 7th, fine him for not hustling, and just generally treat him like a player on probation.

  39. Is there no MLB version of the NFL’s “Conduct Detrimental to the Team” penalty? I know in the NFL if you go to a magazine and talk about how your team’s owner is a liar. Then you interrupt your manager’s press conference to curse out a local reporter on camera. That’d get your pay withheld under Conduct Detrimental.

    Is there no MLB equivalent?

  40. Hmmm, interesting. I would have to say I would take Infante for BP, especially at the cost I am seeing for Infante. Then, maybe we let BP go for some prospects to stock our minors if we can’t directly fill a hole we have to a team Bp can’t block. We don’t lose much offense at all. We can’t use Infante as a 4 hole hitter necessarily. And, Infante isn’t exactly chopped liver on defense.

    Not saying I want BP to go. Just saying that is one way I could see it happening that I could agree with.

    The only thing, if anything, not too good with this is, even if BP approves of the Yankees and we get Gardner as well as sign Infante, we may have our 1-3 hole hitters ready (Gardner, Infante, Votto), but we still don’t have the stick in the 4 hole we need. After all, Ludwick will be almost 2 years removed from having his last “great year”. Can he find spark in a bat one more time? Like I said last season, with who we had in the 2 hole (BP), I said last year’s success was going to be from how much production we get from the 4 hole. It may very well be the same thing again. Maybe Devin can step up to it. He was it in the minors. Could this be “the breakout year”?

  41. Apparently, the Reds are considering using Infante as a 3b, rather than a 2b. That would let the Reds move Frazier to the OF and keep Phillips if they can’t find a trade they like.

    • Apparently, the Reds are considering using Infante as a 3b, rather than a 2b. That would let the Reds move Frazier to the OF and keep Phillips if they can’t find a trade they like.

      where did you see/here this?
      I don’t mind that idea.. but would rather just get an actual 3B if they were going to do that

    • @rfay00:

      only if there was a prospect or a LOT of $ coming back to Cincy

    • @rfay00: I don’t know, that’s about as good of a trade as I could hope for. Sure I would love some money coming back to the Reds.. but still.

      Hamilton, 2B
      Votto, 1B
      Kemp, CF
      Bruce, RF
      Frazier 3B
      Ludwick, LF
      Mesoraco, C
      Cozart, SS
      P

      That’s one heck of a start to improving the team. Now they just need to send a couple prospects over to the Phillies and pick up Domonic Brown to replace Ludwick and honestly, I think it’d become easily one of the most fearsome lineups in baseball.

    • @rfay00: I just hope that’s a legit thing, and not just someone messing about. Any reliability report on him?

      • @ToddAlmighty: Maybe some truth to it then…
        http://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-rumors-dodgers-reds-talked-framework-of-matt-kemp-deal/2013/12/12

        Maybe that framework then got filled out with the Dodgers also wanting Bailey?

      • @ToddAlmighty: He appeared to be on top of all trade rumors the past few days and they ended up being right. He knew about the Rockies and Reds talks before MLBTR reported their interest in Marshall.

        If it is true and Matt Kemp plays in 150 games, then I am happy too. The injury history scares the crap out of me though.

        If true, this also proves that Homer Bailey really didn’t want to play in Cincy.

        • @rfay00: Get rid of all the possible clubhouse issues with Phillips (and the $50m he’s owed), trade 1 year of a pitcher who it didn’t seem like was interested in staying here (or of being the #3 pitcher here), and pick up a right handed 29-year-old who if healthy (admittedly a decent sized if) has MVP ability?

          He doesn’t even need to be in 2011 form for me to like this trade. Just needs to play at least 140 games of 2012 form. Not to say I wouldn’t be thrilled if we could get some 2011 Kemp. Don’t forget that the only reason Kemp didn’t win MVP in 2011 was because Braun was juicing at the facility in Florida.

  42. If true, then let’s bring back Arroyo, and sign Infante and get to work. Maybe we don’t have the money to do all of the above, and obviously the rotation would take priority. But Kemp, when healthy, is an impact bat.

  43. Guys, we cannot have it both ways. It was only several years ago that fans was banging the drum about the Reds not holding on to their talent. They signed Bruce to a fairly long extension and then put up that huge Votto deal. Everyone last winter was clamoring for Mr. C to step up to the plate.

    One thing that we have to consider is how much did Dusty create this situation? If he dressed away from the rest of the team then that was on Dusty. He had a reputation in both Chicago and San Francisco for allowing preferential treatment to the stars. Remember the recliner in front of Barry Bonds’ locker and only Bonds was allowed to sit in it. That was on Dusty’s watch. We know that he did not try to rein in BP with the magazine article and we saw and heard that he did nothing with the confrontation with C. Trent Rosecrans. Let’s give Bryan Price an opportunity to rein him in. Yes he declined last year but how much was attributed to that HBP? He was one of ONLY two 100 RBI men in the lineup. As anemic as our offense was last summer, how can we afford to cough up one of the two main men in the lineup? If the Reds can come out of the gate hard beginning the season, winning solves all issues and everything will be forgotten. If we stumble and fumble out of the gate, all of these issues that are festering are going to slowly ooze out and here we go.

    • @icee82: Sorry, I was skimming over your post, saw “100 RBI men”, and stopped. Any half decent hitter would get 100+ RBI as the #4 hitter behind the #1 and #2 OBP in the NL.

      Not even from being good, just from being average.

  44. If accurrate, this is great news. That would be 3 MVP caliber candidates in the middle of the lineup. Kemp will probably play LF, to ease on those injuries. If they also get Infante, it is all set.
    Hamilton CF
    Infante 2B
    Votto 1B
    Kemp LF
    Bruce RF
    Mesoraco C
    Frazier 3B
    Cozart SS
    Those two moves make this offense better. The key will be for those 6-8 hitters to contribute more than last year.

  45. I noticed that Boston DFA’d OF Alex Castellanos. He is 27. He was drafted in 2008 by STL. I don’t know if WJ was still with STL at that time. Castellanos played at AAA for LAD the last two years. He has had a solid minor league career, 6 years. But his Batting average dipped to .257 in 2013, but he is a high OBP guy.
    I can WJ sending a mid-level player to Boston to pick him up. He could compete for a bench spot and/or be some good AAA depth if needed if Heisey might have his annual hammy blowout.

    • @WVRedlegs: They traded a player and cash for him, so I don’t know if they’d want to trade him right after paying money to get him.

      • @ToddAlmighty:

        I know. But now Boston has 10 days to do something with him.
        1. return him to the 40-man roster, which they just removed him from.
        2. he must clear waivers before Boston can assign him to a minor league team.
        3. they can trade him and get something in return.

        This guy will not clear waivers. If he were to clear then Boston could then outright him to one of their minor league teams. But he won’t clear waivers.
        Its a typical WJ move. He has ties to STL and maybe back to when WJ was still there. The Reds can pick him up before he goes through waivers.

  46. Ankle, shoulder, knee….is there any joint Kemp hasn’t had major surgery on? He would have to be shifted to a corner spot and then I’m still thinking 120 games tops.

    I have to admit, putting Infante and Kemp in the lineup sure looks appealing. I guess Infante and Schumacher can work out some of those days Kemp isn’t available. I also like an order that has Mes, Super Todd, and Cozy 6,7,8. That should be a productive bottom third. I’m not sure if Hamilton will be ready to leadoff at season’s start. I’m just not sold yet.

    With Guerrero and Ramirez already on the roster, I’m not sure how Phillips would look unless those other guys shifted one step to the right, and they blow off Uribe. That would be a nice infield. If anyone could pull it off, it’s the Dodgers.

    Adding Bailey to the Dodger rotation would make them quite dangerous. I would definately want a prospect and some money coming back.

    • @preach: I don’t know about Infante, Preach. I’m always iffy about 32-year-olds coming off a career year. He went from..

      2011: .276/.315/.382 (148 games)
      2012: .274/.300/.419 (149 games)
      to
      2013: .318/.345/.450 (118 games)

      and his career numbers are .279/.319/.402, so I feel like the 2011 and 2012 season are more what you can expect since they’re pretty in line with his career numbers rather than last year’s numbers. Players don’t suddenly become significantly better than they were once they get on the wrong side of 30. Combine that with….
      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24373433/yankees-offered-omar-infante-three-years-but-he-wants-four

      No way do I offer a 32-year-old a 4 year contract. He turned down 3yr/$24m. I wouldn’t even feel okay about giving him that because it’d almost be the same as keeping Phillip’s payroll on the books. I am still beating the drum for the Reds to ship some prospects over to the Phillies for Domonic Brown. I trust 25-year-old career years as a promising future more than 31-year-old ones. Plus Brown will be nice and cheap for 2014 as a pre-arbitration eligible player.

  47. The Phillips/Bailey for Kemp talk is probably 98% smoke and 2% reality…But, If it were to happen—
    1. I would hate to see Phillips/Bailey go
    2. The Red’s don’t need pop–they need avg/obp/sb etc..
    3. I would not like to face the Dodgers in a short series with Kershaw/Bailey/Greinke

    If it were to come to fruition, I would be happy the Red’s are no lnger in the west.

    Also, isn’t it amazing how Cingrani can emerge and instantly we are willing to part with Bailey/Arroyo. Cueto/Cingrani and Leake in the same rotation with no back-up plan scares the hell out of me.

    • @seadog: Even with a down year last year, Kemp has a career .293 AVG and .350 OBP, so done and done on that front.

      Besides, Cueto/Latos/Cingrani isn’t exactly a pushover short series rotation either. Maybe they think Stephenson is closer to the major leagues than they let on. Maybe they think that LHP they got for Hanigan is close too. Also there’s still been whispers about Arroyo possibly coming back, so who knows.

      • @ToddAlmighty:

        LOL I feel your pain

        I would take Kershaw/Bailey/Greinke all day. They would win 8 out of 10 against the above, no matter who is in the field. Cueto/Latos/Cingrani proved it last year. I love all three but,–THEY ARE JUST A GLASS HOUSE. Beware..

        And I hope Arroyo is back also…

  48. The BP for Gardner trade seems like a loser for the Reds without any additional players involved. A one year rental CF for a GG 2B doesn’t help the team much. HRod hasn’t really demonstrated he can hit much and he will be well short of BP’s fielding capabilities.

    If a bat like Kemp’s is added to the line-up, having HRod & Schumaker fill in at 2nd would be okay because Kemp is providing the big jump in offense over BP. There is some risk with Kemp’s injury history. Bailey’s and Phillip’s contracts for 2014 will be about equal to Kemp’s $21 million, so it’s a wash for the payroll next year. And probably a net savings going forward because Bailey is likely to get a decent raise and multiple years when he becomes a FA.

    • @MikeC: I would have to think that as part of that deal, some of the endless supply of Dodger cash would be coming to Cincy along with Kemp.

      • @Kyle Farmer:
        The Reds might get some money from the Dodgers. The extra 2 years of Kemp will cost $43 million, so maybe they can get $10-12 million there. The Reds have to replace Bailey with somebody, so they could maybe get another $5 million there, making the total in the $15 million range.

        The Reds will probably want a prospect to make up for losing the draft pick when Bailey leaves. I have no idea who the Dodgers have in their farm system that would be of interest. If it is a infielder that is a couple of years away from the bigs, that would make the most sense because the Dodgers infield would be set for years and that is a need for the Reds.

  49. Wow, the Brandon Phillips saga is a complete mess. Good luck to WJ getting anything positive out of the situation. The one detail that really bothers the Old Cossack is the revelation that Phillips’ contract has a limited no-trade clause for 12 teams. That’s the firt mention of any no-trade clause associated with Phillips’ contract. I’m not sure that WJ is completely, or even significantly, responsible for the contract. The contract evolution has BC’s involvement and mandate written all over it. BC signs the checks, so BC can certainly have any input into the baseball operations he wants. He has been responsible for bringing baseball in Cincinnati back from the brink and he should be applauded for those efforts. I just wonder if he has to much input into the baseball operations sometimes.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Amen. See Baker, Dusty

    • @Shchi Cossack: I’m not saying WJ is perfect. There have been goofs. The farm has been scorched a bit. But I believe it is WJ that turned the club around. Not DB. Not BC.

      BC was here a few years with no improvement. DB had been here a year and 2 months with little improvement, but much of that was attributable with the players we was getting from AAA (Votto, Bruce, Cueto, et al). WJ comes in, makes a few trades (most of which seemed like nothing at the time, one [Rolen] was huge) and the Reds are contenders the next year.

      I will never forget this and consequently you will NEVER see me ever saying anything bad about WJ. Ever. Even when I think he’s really screwed up.

  50. Now that guy is saying we signed Infante and he is heading to Cincy for a physical now…starting to not believe it.

    • @rfay00: If it is…here is the opening day lineup (another reason it is not believable):

      Hamilton
      Infante
      Votto
      Kemp
      Bruce
      Ludwick
      Frazier
      Mesoraco

      Notice Cozart is missing? Where does Hamilton fit in or is he in AAA again and Infante leads off?

      Unless a Frazier trade (which has been rumored slightly) to bring back pitching and send Infante to 3rd…I don’t see this working. Too much movement by the Reds to be believable.

    • @rfay00: Also, why would the Dodgers want BP when they signed that Cuban defector in the early portion of the offseason? I just find it a bit odd they would want that many middle infielders but are also looking to offload an extra OF.

      • @cgramanFC: I heard the Cuban guy can play SS and the Dodgers might have trouble signing Uribe back so move Ramirez to 3rd, Cuban at SS and Phillips at 2nd?

      • @cgramanFC:

        hanley Ramirez moves from SS to 3B, Guererro plays SS, Phillips 2B

        • @JoshG: i dont think that makes sense. I would believe Dodgers more likely to re-sign for one or two years mark ellis in that scenario, which saves them future $$$ for Kershaw vs the $$$ on Brandon.

          • @doctor: I don’t think the word “save” and “money” will be in the same sentence for the Dodgers.

          • @rfay00: sure but even they have limits, otherwise they would not be worrying about moving one of the pricey OFs.

  51. I would really have liked to have seen Bailey and Phillips go to the AL, but I guess you can’t have everything.

  52. The Old Cossack just doesn’t understand the rationalization that Phillips’ performance is not regressing. Phillips had 2 superb seasons (2007 & 2011) during his 12 year career with a good 5 year run (2007-2011) with a 104 OPS+, a 0.911 Fld%, a cumulative 18.7 WAR and an average 3.7 WAR.

    The league average Fld% is 0.984. During the past 4 seasons, Phillips’ Fld% has declined:

    2010 0.996
    2011 0.992
    2012 0.992
    2013 0.987

    The league average OPS+ is 100 (by definition). During the past 3 seasons, Phillips’ OPS+ has declined:

    2011 118
    2012 099
    2013 092

    During the past 3 seasons, Phillips’ BA and OBP has declined:

    2011 .300 .353
    2012 .281 .321
    2013 .261 .310

    Last season Phillips’ SB and SB% dropped off the cliff (5 & 62.5%). Phillips did maintain consistent HR power (18) over the past four seasons, but that’s about all that has not regressed over the past 3-4 seasons.

    The issue is not IF Phillips’ performance is regressing, but how steep will the regression curve continue over the next 4 seasons and how ugly will that contract get over the next 4 seasons. I really see Phillips upside as league average (+1.0 WAR) over the next 2 seasons and falling to below replacement level WAR over the last two seasons. The Reds should never have signed Phillips to an albatross contract, especially with any no-trade clause included.

    Over the past 2 seasons (2012-2013), Henry Rodriguez produced a 0.988 Fld% at AAA. Over 2 seasons (2011-2012) HenRod produced an OBP% of .367 & .385 at AA with an OPS of .799 & .824. Although he struggled early at AAA, his final 2 months produced a .338 OBP at AAA and he has produced a winter league slash line of .272/.339/.344 during this off season. The Reds will lose nothing by replacing Phillips at 2B. HenRod should produce league average performance at 2B (offensively and defensively) at league minimum salary, even if the Reds do not bring in a replacement 2B.

    • @Shchi Cossack: And notice how Phillips career year in 2011 happens to be the year the Reds missed the playoffs of the past four. Not saying the two have correlation, but for some one who has been rumored to care more about going 2-4 in a losing effort than caring if the team wins while putting up an O-fer, its just amusing.

      I agree, it’s obvious that he’s going into decline. Unfortunately that’s obvious to the rest of the league too. His age (connected directly to his projected decline) is one of the reasons the Dodgers did not want to move further in initial talks. For everyone talking about the GG and All-Star games, realize that both those awards have a large amount of name recognition attached to them. Phillips has a reputation as a great fielder (and one deserved) and he shows up on SC top plays with the occasional flashy play. But his numbers suggest he regressing to the mean in his fielding. And he has been regressing offensively as well the past two years. History says it’s only going to continue. Add into the fact that he’s a poor baserunner among other “personality” issues, and it’s hard to form an argument for keeping him.

    • @Shchi Cossack:
      I think the injury had a LOT to do with Phillips offensive #’s taking a sharp downward turn last year, I’d be willing to bet 2014 Phillips looks a lot more like 2012 phillips.
      At the time of the injury.. he was the Reds most valuable player

      • @JoshG:

        my point being.. the decline appeared more steep than it might really be.
        and how much fielding % means is very debatable..

  53. from outside looking in on Reds org and the Hot Stove league, feels like things have gotten away from Walt. the Choo money/years is to be about 25-35% more than expected or so it seems. the BP rumors coming and going, that ownership and/or front office “dislikes” BP. Homer trade rumors/rift, no known progress on any extention talks for Homer or Latos. only glimmer has been it seems like Choo options are becoming more limited, perhaps providing a chance Reds bring him back.

    Still, seems more likely, Walt will be stuck with minor moves, ie find RH platoon CF with BHam(maybe Stubbs or equiv), LH batter for LF in case Ludwick still not all the way back. Any big moves are seemingly over the cost threshold in terms of $$$$ or trade chips.

    Then Reds go with what they got for 2014, and hope pitching can carry the team in playoffs.

    BHam + righty platoon
    Brandon
    Votto
    Luddy/Todd/Meso
    Bruce
    Luddy/Todd/Meso
    Luddy/Todd/Meso
    Cozart

    Cueto/Latos/Bailey/Leake/Cingrani

    This still seems like a pretty good team. I just hope Walt does not make a trade for sake of a move to show he is doing something and really cost the Reds.

    • @doctor: I’m afraid you’re right and you sum things up well. It’s been a depressing off season, other than the hiring of Price. One additional thing is Chapman’s announcement that “He will not start.” Even if he feels that way, he had no reason to say it, all he had to say was that he doesn’t want to talk about it.

      Brantley has talked for years about Chapman’s adjustment problems and his being complicated, maybe he’s just an immature prima donna. It’s the first time I’ve really wanted him traded, and it might be the only real trade chip the Reds have, other than the short list of obvious people you don’t want to trade.

      And Walt has not only said it’s going to be hard to extend Bailey, he said the same thing about Latos.

      • @pinson343: When there were no extensions for the starting pitchers last off season, I pretty much girded myself for losing every starting pitcher to FA when they are eligible. I’m not concerned about losing any relief pitchers to FA (only over-paying for FA relief pitchers as WJ is prone to do), but losing the starting pitchers leaves a big hole in the roster that must be filled from the minor league system. That’s 4 starters who must be replaced by 2016 and right now the Reds can look to Stephenson as a definite then possibly Holmberg, Travieso, Lorenzen and Corcino followed by a list of low level minor league prospects. That list doesn’t give the Old Cossack a very warm and fuzzy feeling.

        • @Shchi Cossack: You know, the supplemental draft needs to be augmented to help small market teams. If a player is Cano like, there should almost be 2 picks. The same for each of our starter who we will lose in the next 3 years as you state there Cossack.

          In order not to get a pick, you need to trade them before 1 year of control, which means that you have to develop and trade them 2 years prior to get more than one draft pick. I am not sure that you can get a lot of young talent for Homer this year for instance.

          you get to one year and you are in a bidding war already in the free agent market. We are going to have to overpay for Bailey just like we would any other free agent who we want to come to Cincy

      • @pinson343: to be clear, its likely Walt/Reds Org is really hard at work behind the scenes and I do not blame him at all for keeping things under wraps. I would be doing the same in his shoes even though it would be tough keeping quiet since I know I have a fan base thats eager for any sign or news indicating Reds are “in action”.

    • @doctor: It could end up being like that, but I want to believe there are moves that can be made. I think if the reds could get BP off the books then that would open everything up.

      2nd base replacement options
      Omar Infante – Not much cheaper than BP but 5 mil is 5 mil.
      David Murphy – Not sure what prospects it would take. Might even take leake. Not sure.
      Howie Kendrick – Makes 10 mil so he would be like Infante, but you would have to give up Leake for sure.
      Nick Franklin – has a ton of upside, needs more development. Cheap but would probably cost Leake also.

      We can also move Frazier to Second base and trade for a 3b like Headley.

      I would trade Leake but not Homer for these players. Homer need to be resigned. His best years are ahead of him.

      We then go to Chicago and see what it would take to get Alejandro De Aza. Or stick with BH.

  54. Can we get a Twitter guy update thread, too? :mrgreen:

  55. A bit off topic but I didn’t like reading that one of the reasons that the Rockies balked on Marshall was that they some medical concerns.

  56. MLBtraderumors posted this last night:

    Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips have been two of the offseason’s biggest names rumored to be on the trade market, and there was a chance the two could’ve been dealt for each other in a blockbuster. The Dodgers and Reds “briefly spoke about” swapping the two All-Stars earlier this winter, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but the Dodgers didn’t have much interest. L.A. wasn’t keen on adding an older player (Phillips is 32) who is owed $50MM through 2017, plus the Dodgers felt the deal wouldn’t have been a fair swap if Kemp returned to full health.

    • @Greg Dafler: Twitter Guy posted a fake Matt Kemp jersey on his account and then promptly deleted it once he was called out on it by myself and other people. Alas, I wanted to be believe that the Reds were so close and active behind the scenes, but he’s just a lonely guy who spends a lot of time on the blogs and has a borderline pathological “creativity” streak. It’s a shame, but at least I was entertained.

      • @walshjp:

        Twitter Dude was taken off the air. His account was suspended. You may have tripped him up and ID’d just who it was.
        So who really knows now if anything was legit or not. It did entertain through another very weak Winter Meetings for the Reds.

        • @WVRedlegs: I am kind of disappointed. I wanted to believe, but the house of cards came tumbling down once he posted the jersey. But still, I’m pretty sure it was that fake blue check that got him booted. #SeeHearTell2k14

    • @Greg Dafler: I like that the Dodgers think that it would be unfair “if Kemp returns to full health”, since we all know that he’s been the paragon of health over his career. It’s like the Rockies balking on trading for Marshall due to health concerns. It makes sense for both sides to be afraid of trading for damaged goods, but you can’t expect to trade him as if he were completely healthy.

      • @rhayex: *for the same value as if he were completely healthy.

        • @rhayex: I just look at Matt Kemp as too big of a risk. People were so upset because of the Griffey trade and his extension with the club. He signed the extension at a hometown discount and was younger than Kemp at the time of the trade. He also didn’t have Kemp’s injury history. Now, we aren’t talking about the same number of years but the risks seem actually much higher than they were for the Griffey trade and extension.

          I don’t like the idea of Kemp in a Reds’ jersey because of the money, age, injury history, and what it would cost the Reds in players to get it done.

    • @Greg Dafler: let the Dodgers feel that way and keep Kemp. I would not want the Reds to make that trade, its a lose-nuetral type of trade. Too much risk given injury history for $120M+ and even if Kemp did come back healthy, then the $$$ handcuff Reds org on future moves plus the loss of trade chips. I would rather Reds offer that $$$ to Choo in that case.

  57. I think the whole issue was that you look at getting an MVP player at a discount. Kind of like when we floated Ryan Braun a few weeks back.

    Those guys don’t come cheaply, but Braun or Kemp may be had without giving up your house, first born, 401K, 5 top pitching prospects and Hamilton, Cozart and Marty Brenaman to get Gio Stanton.

    If you could get Kemp, prospect and significant cash for Phillips and Bailey, And also sign Bronson for one year, you have improved the team.

    Kemp will not need to steal 40 bases anymore in Cincy. He can just hit 300 and 40 HR’s and circle the bases. Shoot, if he can hit 39 in LA, he can hit 50 in GABP. And he will bat between Votto and Bruce. You could have 3 guys with 140 HR’s

    I am sure there would be a lot of interest in trading Marty though

    • @reaganspad: There is certainly a chance that Kemp can do those things. There is certainly a chance he can even do those things in 2014. When thinking in the long term, I think it would be a bad move for the Reds.

      As for trading Marty, I think the feelings among the fan-base would be… Mixed :mrgreen:

      • @LWBlogger: I think of Kemp the way I think of Dave Parker, only without the weight gain.

        Parker, post MVP and dugout cigarettes in that Pirates jailbirds cap was a monster for the Reds

        • @reaganspad:

          Thats a good comparison. Parker had some mighty fine years as a Red. I always liked the Cobra. He played his AAA ball here before getting promoted to Pittsburgh. I got to see him hit the longest home run in history.
          The home run he hit went way out of RF and landed in a passing coal hopper of a coal train. The train was bound for a power plant near Columbus, OH and didn’t stop until it got there. Around here, it is affectionately called the longest HR in history. If you ever get to meet Parker or get an autograph from him, ask him about that HR. It always brings a big smile to his face.

  58. Anyone else catch the Pirates signing Edinson Volquez this week? 1 year deal.

  59. All I want for Christmas, Reds Lineup:
    2b, Billy Hamilton
    Votto
    Kemp
    Ludwick
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Mesoraco
    Cozart

    • @bwise: why Ludwick ahead of Bruce?

      if that was the personel
      I’d go
      Hamilton
      Ludwick
      Votto
      Kemp
      Bruce
      Frazier
      Mesoraco
      Cozart
      P

      unless you want to try and get Frazier more fastballs then flop him and Ludwick

  60. I think the only place Phillips could be traded now (other than the slight chance to the Yanks) is Toronto.. as PART of a big deal bringing Jose Bautista back this way.

    But I assume Torornto is on his No trade list too.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2014 Reds, Hot Stove

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