We now know that Brandon Phillips vetoed not one, but two separate trades so far this off season. We also know that the Reds organization is being very frank about why the trades didn’t go through – he wants more money. That’s what we know for absolute certain. We can certainly infer from that the Reds want someone else (Jose Peraza) at second base this season but that Phillips is blocking him.

Here are some other facts for you. Brandon Phillips is about to enter his age-35 season and last year he defied father time to post 2.6 WAR. How many second basemen have had seasons of at least 2.6 WAR from age-35 on? Not many. Since 1950, here is the complete list: Randy Velarde, Joe Morgan, Cahse Utley, Lou Whitaker, Frank White, Jeff Kent, Toby Harrah, Willie Randolph, Bobby Grich, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grudzielanke, Craig Biggio, and Marco Scutaro. That’s all. Since 1950.

The point here is that Phillips is unlikely to ever have trade value as high as he has it right now. And the Reds still can’t get rid of him because of his 10/5 rights. Further, let’s assume they aren’t going to re-sign Phillips and are unlikely to have a competitive team before his contract expires at the end of the 2017 season. Both safe assumptions, I think.

So, the Reds have a player they don’t and can’t trade who will be gone before they have a chance of being good again. This, my friends, is called sunk cost. You know what you do with sunk cost? Let it sink.

If I am the Reds, I sit Brandon Phillips down and have a talk with him. I give him three options: 1. Accept a trade to a team that has a chance to contend. 2. Be prepared to sit on the bench while Peraza is broken in and be happy about it. 3. Get cut.

I know people are going to lose their minds about that last one, but consider the alternatives the Reds have. If they really want Peraza out there, they should put him out there. He’s part of the future and Phillips isn’t. Further, having a grumpy Phillips on the bench isn’t going to be good for a young team. And finally, they need to do everything they can to coerce him to accept a trade.

Because, let’s face it, Phillips is unlikely to be a happy bench player and he would likely be offended by the indignity of being cut loose. If you were him, what would you choose? His contract is sunk cost and the sooner the Reds realize this and treat it as such, the sooner they can move on.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 182 Comments

  1. Reds could keep team control of Peraza (assuming he’s at AAA) for another year if they wait until mid-season to get rid of BP

    • I agree with this. Assuming Peraza has options, keep him at AAA another year and play Philips at 2nd. If Peraza forces his way onto the Reds with fantastic play during 2015, all the better.

    • Very first comment and it mirrors my own thoughts on the subject.

    • Peraza’s service time clock has already begun. He played in 8 games for the Dodgers last year.

      • Service time is a function of being in the Majors so if he’s sent to AAA, the clock pauses. Or at least that’s my understanding of it all.

    • Peraza will only get so far in AAA he needs the everyday grind of the Bigs to reach the level of playing in the Bigs

  2. the problem with 1 and 3 is why would he accept a trade? if he’s cut, with his contract no team out of reasonable contention would pick him up before clearing waivers. which means he would have control over the situation with likely a few options to choose from.

    and as stated option 2 would be a disaster and cause more harm than playing a prospect.

    unfortunately i think the only option is to play him every day (he still should be able to justify his contract even if the money would ideally be better spent elsewhere) and see what kind of value is available in the summer and hope it’s with a team he’d like to play for.

    • It’s not an issue of finding a team he wants to play for….it’s the money

      • This is most definitely the point. It is about the Benjamins and he isn’t going to go anywhere without it. Therefore, sit him or cut him

  3. I don’t consider it a sunk cost. A sunk cost implies he’s not doing his job. What we’re worried about is him doing his job, playing 2b, and doing it well enough that he doesn’t get benched when we’d rather see someone else. If and when he loses a starting job, then I’d consider him a sunk cost.

    It’s unfortunate that Phillips is intent on sticking with the team, but that’s not your typical sunk cost, like some guy being paid to rehab. Unlike a typical sunk cost Brandon Phillips is hard to release because he’s not a terrible player – clearly he and his contract were desirable to the Nationals and DBacks. They only can’t release him because they’d look foolish paying a decent player market value to go away, knowing he’d get paid a lot to start elsewhere.

    • A sunk cost does not carry that implication.

      BP is a sunk cost because his cost (ie-his contract) has already been agreed to, therefore, his cost (and the playing time his cost implies) should not be considered in future decision making.

      For example, if the Reds were to say “Well, we tried to trade him and couldn’t, so we have to play him since we pay him” that is in opposition to the economic theory of avoiding sunk costs in decision making. The possibility that he might produce more WAR that Peraza is inconsequential. If Phillips doesn’t figure in the future (as Jason so expertly asserts), then playing him is nothing more than a waste of PT for someone who might play a part in the Reds’ future (Peraza).

  4. I go with option #4. Play Philips four days a week at second base. He is still the Reds best option at that position. Plus, the fans still love him. We aren’t going to have much to root for. Let us enjoy watching him!

    • I agree. BP still flashes a gold glove, there has been no let down with the leather. Yes, he’s become a singles hitter but is still valuable to the team and one of the best 2B in the NL. I predict Peraza will still get playing time in 2016 with the Reds (either due to health of Cozart, or a DL stint from BP, or some other unforeseen development).

      • Brandon’s WAR ranked amongst 2B the last several years: (copied from redsminorleagues.com)
        2015: 8th
        2014: 14th
        2013: 14th
        2012: 6th
        2011: 4th
        2010: 7th

        It’s hard to say he’s still one of the better 2B. The 2011 season was a bit of an outlier and likely his best season as a professional. To say he’s firmly in the top half of 2B is a more accurate description.

        Brian – Phillips is certainly loved by some fans. There are others that can’t wait for him to go and are tired of his antics. I’d say he’s the most polarizing player on the Reds team by far. That’s why every Brandon Phillips post will garner a huge amount of comments.

        • In 2013 he was having a great year before being hit on the wrist.
          In 2014 he injured his thumb diving for a ball, and wasn’t the same the rest of the year.

          So he has pretty much been a top 8 2B out of 30 over the last 5 years.

        • Right, injuries happen, they’re part of the game. I’m not saying the injuries you mentioned didn’t affect him or his overall production, but I’m sure the other 29 starting 2B during those two years also had to deal with nagging injuries. Almost every player does during the course of the year. Especially at a position where there is a lot of wear and tear when people are sliding into you and you’re diving on the ground a lot. If you want to disregard the injuries other players deal with on a regular basis, and call him top 8, cool. To me, saying he’s firmly in the top half and he’s top 8 isn’t too much of a difference anyway. Being top 8 still isn’t the same as being one of the best, unless we have very different definitions of what “one of” means.

        • 8th best at a position in the major leagues is considerably better than just in the top half. It is clearly in the top third and just short of the top fourth. As I calculate it, 7th would be the last ranking within the top fourth with 8 first in the second fourth.

          The major leagues are not the place for developing players when better players are on the roster. Unless Phillips tanked before being benched or Peraza came out of the chute playing like Chris Bryant did last year, I wouldn’t want to be the Reds trying to explain to the public or MLB why Phillips was benched for Peraza.

        • Right, but still top 8 is not “one of” the best. And he’s only top 8 if you disregard under the scenario that you disregard everyone other 2B that played with nagging injuries.

        • OhioJim, I should apologize for reiterating what I already said. Sorry, it was early when I responded earlier. You can view Phillips how you want, and I don’t think there’s we’re really disagreeing much. He had a good season in 2015. The original post said one of the best in the NL and that is likely true. Off the top of my head, only Gordon is truly better, and whoever the Cubs play at 2B (Baez/Reed) and Rendon are likely to be better moving forward. If defense wasn’t involved you could probably argue Murphy or Walker are better offensively. But he’s a good 2B. But I think that’s true if we say top 8 or top half.

          Semantics being what they are, firmly in top half vs top 8, it’s a small difference to me. By firmly I mean to say well within. So in that 8-12 range. If you average all six seasons, he’s ranks about 9th overall. If you drop the highest and lowest seasons it’s still about 9. (Rounded to about 8.8 on both averages). Of course if you take his last 3 years he’s averages 12. We can parse this any way we want. We can take injuries into consideration to mitigate his poorer seasons, or we can look at trends and say he’s clearly declining. In the end it’s likely to come down to how one person feels about Phillips in the way we chose to represent him.

          But him moving on, isn’t about not being a good 2B, or even worth his contract. Clearly there is interest in him out there. He has value. Him moving on is what’s best for the future of the Reds. If we want to compete in 2017/2018 the guys who are the future need to start getting reps. Votto, Bruce, Cueto, and Bailey all played at least two full seasons before the Reds made the playoffs. The 2008-2009 seasons were valuable for those guys in their development. Peraza is ready, the Reds see him as the 2B of the future. By keeping Phillips around, his development is being delayed.

    • Well, there aren’t a whole lot of reasons for people to come to the ballpark for this team. Phillips is one reason and I know that my dad for one will actually pay money to watch him play defense. He can’t be the only one.

      • Certainly true. There are many folks who will pay to watch BP play. The job of the Reds’ FO is to find if that near-term revenue is worth more than potential long-term revenue that might be realized if the Reds put a competitive team on the field in the future. One way to achieve that is to give young players playing time, which BP takes away.

        It’s always the ‘ol risk-reward scenario.

    • Totally agree, Brian. He’s still fun to watch. What type of discussions will we have in 6 or 7 years about Joey V.? Hmmm.

      • Probably the ones saying things like “If he can just hit .275/.380/.400 this year and play passable defense, he’ll be a lock for the HOF with 70 career WAR!”

        😉

  5. I agree.

  6. Cutting Brandon Phillips is the dumbest idea ever even on a losing team is that provides entertainment. If He finishes his career in Cincinnati he stands to gain millionsin endorsement deals. He took a discount to stay and now you’re kicking him out the door

    • Though I consider cutting Phillips a bad idea (at this time), he certainly didn’t take a discount to stay here. At least no one else thought is was a discount except Phillips.

    • Brandon Phillips is not going to make millions from endorsement deals in Cincinnati.

    • 1. Let’s assume he is able to secure multi million dollar endorsements. Why would he get millions in endorsements by staying with the Reds as opposed to another team?

      2. Discount is not in Phillips vocabulary. He got what many thought was an over pay, but was probably similar to what he could have gotten as a free agent

    • Giving playing time to a young player who might be a mainstay in the Reds next division winner is the dumbest idea ever? Pretty harsh.

      • No, it really is one of the dumbest ideas ever. Give me an example of another team sitting their starting 2nd baseman who is among the top 8 in the game. It doesn’t happen, nor should it, under any circumstances. If you want to get rid of BP, cough up the money, and get something back for him.

        • Give me an example of a well-run franchise that has given playing time to an aging vet who won’t be around for the next good team when they’ve had a good, young option on the bench that could do well given playing time.

          And Phillips really isn’t a “top 8” 2nd baseman anymore. He might have been in th e past. He wont’ be going forward.

          Also, I was merely commenting on the hyperbole. I can think of dozens of worse ideas, thus making this one not the “dumbest idea ever.”

        • RE: “well run franchise..” that’s the key. A well run franchise wouldn’t paint itself into these kinds of corners; and when, per chance they do, they aren’t too cheap to pay the piper to make the problem go away.

          It’s standard operating procedure for teams to sweeten the pot to help 5 and 10 guys or other folks with no trade clauses make the decision to move on. We shouldn’t be enabling inept management by taking their side when a player stands up for the provisions he is entitled to by his personal contract or the CBA. The team offered and signed the contract. Live up to it or pay what it costs to get out of it.

        • I really thinking that cutting him would be a dumb, dumb, dumb idea. If the Reds know what kind of money he’s talking about, it would probably be prudent to send along some of that cash to the trading partner in order to move BP. If they want him gone, that’s how they should do it. That way they get something for him. Just letting him go for nothing while he is still a productive player and paying his full salary to go away makes no sense and further alienates an already unhappy fan-base. This is especially true with the young player he’s blocking could easily spend more time at AAA, especially if there are any plans at all for him playing SS.

        • We don’t know if the Reds are too cheap to pay the piper, or if Brandon is making outrageous demands. None of the “negotiations” have been leaked other than a rumor about asking for extra year(s). And, to both their credit it’s good that the negotiations haven’t been leaked, as that seems like poor form. But, as we don’t know, there could very well be fault on both sides.

          If Brandon asked for his deferred money and a bonus to accept a trade, then yes, the Reds owe him that, as long as the bonus money isn’t ridiculous. The Reds should absolutely try to sweeten the pot to move him. Walt expressed his opinion that Brandon was asking for too much. But that could just be public relations speak, saving face, or negotiation tactic. Without a number attached we can only speculate.

          Now if Brandon is asking for more years, the Reds likely won’t be able to trade him because I don’t see any team taking on an aging second baseman for three years at the rate he will likely request. At this point he sort of forces their hand. I’m not blaming him, or saying he’s a bad person for doing such, but if he’s going to essentially make himself untradeable, then the Reds need to take equal measures in these negotiations.

          Ultimately, for me, it comes down to the fact that I’m a Reds fan. That goes beyond any player. I want to see this franchise do well. For this franchise to return to competitive play we need to begin moving forward on the rebuild in full measures. Brandon Phillips is not part of the future or the rebuild. Dick Williams was discussing this very point a week or two ago. Just because things become difficult, the Reds can’t stop halfway. Moving on from Brandon and playing the guys that will be here in the future is the direction the Reds are heading. The question is will they begin heading that way now or within the next two years.

          I don’t think anyone is flat out saying cut him to cut him. I think everyone that would like see the Reds move forward would like to see a trade worked out. The Reds appeared to find a great landing spot for him even in Washington, a contender where his buddy is the manager. The problem is, Brandon doesn’t appear to want a trade to happen and has on (at least) three occasions (NNY, AZ, Wash) blocked a trade from happening. Twice it’s been reported that he was asking for more years.

          I don’t often defend the organization, and not sure I can offer much without further information. But on the outside looking in, it looks like the Reds have attempted to find a good spot for him, and offered some compensation to accept a trade, and Phillips still says no. And you can say it’s his right. And you’d be correct. But at the same time, it’s the organization’s right to play who they play. Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that.

          • The only thing I’ve heard is that the issue isn’t the deferred payments. Amount not that significant.

    • He specifically said it himself when negotiating his contract that he would NOT take any home town discount. Depending on how you view his contract he was either paid resonably or was a slight over pay. In no way is that money for a 2B a discount.

  7. I can put the whole thing into 3 words…
    Designated For Assignment.
    That gives the Reds 10 days to trade him or he becomes a free agent. The Reds would still be on the hook for his salary, but that is a given.

    Peraza needs to play every day and that ain’t happening with Phillips.

    • why play Peraza before he’s ready and lose a year of eligibility? put him at AAA, and if he forces his way onto the Reds, DFA Brandon then.

      • Exactly. Peraza is 21 years old and has bounced around from team to team. I hope Peraza is as good as everyone thinks he is or can be, but he is definitely no guarantee to have as good as career as Phillips has had let alone be the Reds 2B of the future.

        • Having a career as good as Phillips is completely irrelevant to the question at hand.

      • I like the idea of making Peraza force his way onto the roster.. Though I have heard that he can play CF also.. Maybe he plays CF and 2B on days Phillips needs a breather.

        I say keep him and play him most of each week’s games Hamilton has only proven to me Defense and Speed… Maybe Peraza can do more there.

  8. Both sides know what the situation is, so I’m for the sit down talk and see what can be worked out that is agreeable to both parties. Dissension in the clubhouse in a rebuild year would not be good. If it’s still a stalemate, then go with option 3.

  9. He isn’t going anywhere so the Reds should probably run him out there everyday unless he is injured. If he becomes a cancer to the clubhouse send him packing and the contract becomes a sunk cost.

    • The contract is already a sunk cost. It’s been signed. The Reds are on the hook. They pay BP whether they play him or not, therefore, the fact that he is being payed should not factor into the decision to play him or not.

      • A sunk cost is something that has been paid that can not be recovered. Cutting him is sunk cost. Allowing him to play, especially if he plays well and changes his mind about a trade makes that value recoverable

        • Google tells you that, yes. Economic theory is more nuanced, however.

          The “value” is recoverable in a micro-sense, yes, if Phillips puts up a few WAR the next 2 years. But what is the true value of being a 93 loss team versus a 95 loss team? I’d wager exactly $0.

          The amount of money they owe Phillips is a sunk cost, by definition (unless someone else agrees to pay it), and should not be used to determine whether or not he should play. The team is in a mode to rebuild/retool for the next 2 seasons or so. That lens is what they need to be looking through.

        • Thanks for your economics class, but I have already completed those. If he is cut from the team it is a sunk cost, if he plays well and changes his mind about the trade he could return value to the team. If he plays everyday and never accepts a trade he is a sunk cost

        • Patrick, I understand sunk cost to a point. Basically EVERY contract is a sunk cost, so Brandon Phillips contract is a sunk cost, true, but so is every player’s contract that is signed with the Reds (and every other team and every sport with guaranteed contracts).

          So really, we’re all arguing/discussing something that has no value to us or the board. Yes, every Red that has already been paid for future seasons is a sunk cost piece. Let’s move on…

        • Seems like what the article is arguing is that the cost only becomes sunken if there is truly no way to trade him. In that case, sitting him on the bench or cutting him is just as good as playing him, if you value the opportunity for Peraza. However, the only way I can see there being no way to ever trade him is if he plays poorly over the first half.

  10. I don’t disagree with your logic at all but its a conversation I would probably have with BP next November not now. If I thought the Reds would be competitive in ’17 then I would want Peraza up here in ’16 playing everyday. But they aren’t going to compete in ’17, so in my view the best thing is to let Peraza play the year out in Louisville, save the year of eligibility and then move him into the everyday starting lineup in ’17 so he’s for ’18 when hopefully this club is once again competitive.

  11. You have to respect the fact that BP has earned the right to veto those trades, but you are spot on, Jason — why on earth should we let him impede the organization from developing our 2nd baseman of the future? The Reds have made a public commitment to the fans to be competitive again within a 2 to 3 year window and that entails finding out if the future 2nd baseman is on the team or if we need to keep looking. Same with SS and 3rd. This insane notion that we have to start BP because of his paycheck, or because he will be a bad clubhouse influence if he has to rides the pines, is pure insanity. There is absolutely zero chance that BP will be on this team in two years so tell me again why we need to start him every day? So we only lose 92 games instead of 95? One of the most critical parts of becoming a competitive team again is developing the defense up the middle. If BP and Cozart are going to be the the every day 2nd baseman and shortstop, and we are not going to develop those positions for the next two years, then the organization needs to be honest and tell the fans that this rebuild is more in the 4 to 5 year time frame.

  12. Brandon Phillips on the Reds 2016 Opening Day roster exemplifies just what is wrong with the Reds front office. Waited too long to trade BP until he got his 10/5 rights and now he is the proverbial thorn in the side. Just stupid roster management from our resident knucklehead Walt Jocketty.
    The LA Angels and D-backs are still in the market for a second baseman. Both expected to be contenders. Have that conversation when they get back from the Reds Caravan trips.
    If Phillips doesn’t accept a trade then dump Phillips before the team reports to spring training. The salary hit is spread rather evenly over two years. Don’t want Phillips’ attitude anywhere near the younger players.

    • Apparently, he had limited no-trade rights before as well and that’s why they were unable to move him before his 10/5 rights kicked in.

      • True, and as we just found out the rumored Yankee trade a few years ago was in fact a done deal and he nixed it unless he got more money. At the time, everyone was mum on what happened and we just thought that the Reds and Yankees couldn’t agree on the players. Gardner was most likely the key piece coming back to us.

  13. see how spring training shakes out. Injuries to a contending club could make him attractive again. If he’s still around after that, cut him.

    • This is a good point. If an injury occurs to a contender’s 2Bman, BP may be first in line and that team may be willing to give Phillips the extra cash he so badly desires.

    • I would be onboard with this if it played out.

    • Yeah, holding him and seeing if a market for him percolates enough to have the OTHER team pay him his sweetener works for me.

      All that said, if kicking in a few million with BP in a trade so the other team can add a year and only pay half of it or something, will enable a trade for a solid prospect, just freaking do it now. The Reds lowered payroll substantially, so paying $4 – $6 million now is (or shouldn’t be) a big deal if they want to move forward without BP.

  14. I agree. He’s a sunk cost. At some point, the Reds FO has to ask themselves, who is steering this ship (the ship is the rebuild/reboot in this scenario)? Will they let a player, who has been vocal about being disgruntled with the FO and at least one of his teammates, decide what rate development can take place? Or will they take charge, make a stand, and stick with it.

    Dick Williams was just talking about sticking with the rebuild all the way and the dangers of getting stuck halfway because it’s difficult. Don’t go halfway. Sit Brandon in favor of the players that will be part of the future. Let their development be the priority. If he becomes a locker room cancer, then cut him.

    I also agree, Brandon will not handle being benched well. Hopefully he’ll see getting traded as a better alternative and allow one to happen. But the Reds need to let him know that they will take charge of their future.

    • I agree Hotto.

      Isn’t sitting Brandon the only leverage the team has?

      Can you sit him and not have him in the clubhouse? Pay him, keep him on the roster but do not allow him near the team.

      That way he could not play the game he loves for 2 years unless he is traded.

      I think he would change his mind about being traded in that scenario

  15. My guess is Washington was the best hope due to Dusty Baker being there. If he denied that trade where it is a contending team with a manager he is familiar with, he isn’t going anywhere.

    • Another good observation…. Like Heyman at CBS said, turning down the Washington trade clearly showed that BP is way more concerned about money rather than winning. Ironically, that probably gives us a better shot at moving him because he most likely would accept a trade to any wining or losing team if they are willing to pay him for another year.

      • Good points – but the clueless , rudderless , incompetent Red’s front office is way more concerned about money than winning also . I don’t feel sorry for the Reds one single bit in this scenario. This situation is the product of Walt Jocketty, hired and RETAINED by the owner. Not gonna blame Phillips at all.

  16. I agree with Jason 100%. Phillips can not be a part of a rebuild. Give him the respect of a sit down. he deserves that. But those options make sense for the team. And if you have to eat the salary, it is no worse than having him sit there and pout and still get the salary anyway.

    • But if you’re you’re going to eat salary anyway for him NOT to play for you then you may as well try to send that cash (perhaps less than his full salary) to a trading team and get something back for him in.

      • That certainly seems like the right play.

        I wonder if the Reds tried that the BP basically just wants to make the Reds pay, since he had so much animosity towards the FO after his contract and then Votto’s.

      • Agree LW

  17. On a side note, there is a fun article about Raisel Iglesias that just went up over at FG.

  18. With all due respect, this is an absolutely HORRIBLE idea. And I base this on the idea that he’s playing at a 2.5 WAR, or similar.
    1. Benching a player who is close to All Star level would be foolish if you are trying to be competitive, and at the very least want to make your fans believe that you are.
    2. If you ever want to sign another player of any true worth, and a no-trade clause comes up, you will be hard pressed to get that done, because you will have lost all credibility as a team/organization.
    3. You need to understand that MLB Baseball teams also have this thing called PR, which is closely related to marketing. BP is one of the favorites, especially after the trades of many, if not most fans, and treating a very good player who has played his A$$ off for this team over the last decade would be just a horrible, horrible PR move.

    If you want to do any of 2nd or 3rd options that you mentioned, then the Reds better make sure Phillips is either hurt, or not playing worth a damn.

    • 1. You may have missed the memo…they’re not trying to be competitive.

      2. I think most players are smart enough to understand that a rebuilding team trades veterans. If the Reds offer the most money no one will care about BP

      3. The team just lost 98 games and traded 2 of the most popular players. Do you really think sitting BP is a worse PR move than what has already occurred?

      • LOL. You clearly missed the memo. I’ve not once read from anyone in the organization that the Red’s are not trying to be competitive. And, I also stated if they want to make their fans believe that they are trying to be competitive. Tell me Chuck, do you think they are selling season tickets by starting out saying they have no expectations to be competitive?

        I mentioned in another post, please show me any references where a team benched a star player because they didn’t want to be traded, and had a contract that gives them that right.

        And yes, benching BP for no reason would be among the worst PR moves in baseball history, and it would be front and center all over the place, painting the Reds in a horrible, horrible light.

        The fact is, we are all baseball fans, and specifically Reds fans, but sometimes you have to put your “white collar” on, and realize that there is a lot more at stake than just the simple game of baseball. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle this. Smart way is simple. You keep negotiating with him, you play him and you hope to deal him if possible, and you also keep in mind that he’s older and could get hurt. The rookie can continue in AAA, or he can play around the diamond on the big club.

        • The Reds actions….trading established players for prospects…and words ” Building for the future” ….” Watch the young players develop” should be enough for anyone with an IQ above 7 to surmise that being immediately competitive is not the priority. Are you aware of anyone not institutionalized or riding a unicorn who believes the Reds are aiming for a stellar 2016?

          Attendance is going to go down because they’re coming off a 98 loss season and there were 3-4k season ticket packages sold last year that were tied to getting ASG tickets. Before the 1979 season, they fired Sparky Anderson and let Pete Rose leave and amazingly people showed up the next year. Whether they play, bench, trade or DFA Brandon Phillips is irrelevant….they will draw between 2.0-2.250 million next year.

          The Reds “traded” BP to a contending team with a manager he respects and he said no. They did all they could to respect a very fine player.

    • 1) We are not trying to be competitive as stated countless times by the entire FO. We are rebuilding to be competitive in 2 to 3 years — again as clearly stated numerous times by the front office. You don’t wait two years to develop your “up the middle defense” because you are trying to satisfy someone’s ego that has virtually zero future on your team. Soooo…. play BP, ignore our future for two years all so we can lose 92 games this year instead of 95.

      2) If you watch MLB at all you would know that virtually all of the players, analysts, reporters, etc. are baffled that BP wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to play for a major contender. As evidenced, you will lose no respect at all because most of them have already publicly stated that the Reds are rebuilding and BP better understand what it means for his playing time.

      3) Good point… PR is very important and the FO loses virtually all credibility with the fans when they lie to us by telling us we are putting a team together to contend in two years and then ignore developing our “up the middle” defense to satisfy an egomaniac that has insulted ownership, the FO, and our beat reporters multiple times through the years. Look at all these posts… Sorry, but the sheen is coming off Mr. Phillips….

      • Pretty good reply here, Coastman.

      • “We are not trying to be competitive as stated countless times by the entire FO”.

        I’d be interested to see a quote where anyone in the front office specifically said this even once on the record, let alone “countless times”.

        I think what they have done is acknowledge the obvious, that the team has not been competitive the last couple of years; and, then followed on by saying they hope to be competitive again within 2 to 3 years at the longest. That is a world of difference from saying they aren’t trying to be competitive this year.

        • Also, cutting your still productive 2B and paying him several million dollars not to play for you and also not getting anything back for him smells an awful lot like what most would call tanking. The tanking as rebuilding effort and not even trying to field a semi-competitive team is bad for the game. Heck, there will be fans that hate if he gets traded. If he is outright cut? Nothing back for him? Yeah, won’t go well.

          Then there’s the simple fact that the Reds really don’t need to play Peraza in MLB this year. He is very young and didn’t exactly light up AAA. He wasn’t bad but wasn’t great either.

        • Absolutely right. In fact, I’ve heard most people suggesting that this 2016 team will have a better record than the 2015 team. That to me doesn’t sound like NOT trying to be competitive. If you notice, Chuck above, he chose not to answer my questions, but instead decided to go with satire and sarcasm. The fact is, cutting BP before the season starts would be extremely stupid, and very unprofessional. A smart organization, and individual finds options to make this whole thing work; giving up, and cutting the guy is just silly.

  19. Could he be demoted to AAA as a way to leverage him to accept a trade?

    • No. He has the service time to refuse that without forfeiting his guaranteed pay.

      He is exercising a right granted to him in the MLBPA collective bargaining agreement with MLB. Then onus is on the team to pay the piper if they want him off the team.

  20. CHRIS MILLER’s post says it best. From what I read Phillip’s contract calls for money deferred into the future and what he wants for giving up his 10/5 rights is to have the deferred money paid now rather than later So it is not more money than contracted for. Neither the teams involved (in the proposed trades) nor the Reds want to do this move. Which tells us another thing—the deferred money must be a large sum and/or the future years must me a long way off. If that surmise is correct he is and has been playing for a below market price all along. With the idea that there is no trouble in the clubhouse—let him play and as a regular and if Peraza can hit let him play in the outfield. If a desperate (because of injury) team needs a second baseman –let them assume the financial burden and if the Reds are desperate to get rid of him–let them pay the money –they signed the contract too. This is a player who has played stellar baseball (offence and defense) at all times–played hurt–shifted around the lineup and changed his offence to meet that change—interacted with the fans. He may have a difficult personality (I don’t know if this is correct)–but even if that is correct–I only wish the Reds had eight more just like him and also had a field manager who showed the same type of on the field type of passion for the game.

    • BP wanted Washington and AZ to both tack on a third year before agreeing to waive his no trade clause… that is not in dispute.

      The Reds were supposedly open to restructuring the deferred money, but that part has not been confirmed. Word in the rumor mill has it that it never reached that point because it was not one of his demands. Again, this part is purely speculative.

      • Another point on the deferred money is that both sides would be involved in that… The Reds if they were going to eat some of the salary for better prospects, and the new team that would be paying the majority of it. The possibility also exists that the Reds were going to take lower level prospects rather than pick up any of the salary in which the entire issue of deferred money would have been with Washington, AZ, or even New York a couple of years ago. We may never know the inner workings of those deals, but I have to think it will come out at some point.

        • It was reported out of Washington by several sources that the Nats told the Reds to settle the deferred comp issue on their own and it couldn’t get resolved.

          Yes we are all speculating; so, I’ll throw in that tacking on a 3rd year could be interpreted as a way of settling the deferred comp issue; and, that’s why the Nats told the Reds they wanted it settled between the Reds and Phillips.

          As Victor stated above, all signs point to the fact that there is a very large sum, even for an MLB contract, involved in the deferred payments. Phillips no doubt wants the full future value he signed for, i.e for the contract to eventually pay him $72M or whatever the exact figure is, versus the (lesser) present value.

  21. Start Peraza at AAA. Play Cozart and Phillips. Let cozart rebuild some trade value and trade him midseason. Plug Peraza in at SS for a year and half. If he can’t cut it at short, move him to 2B after Phillips’ contract is up or Suarez back to SS and Peraza to third for a bit. I’d like to see both Peraza and Blandino up the middle though by 2018.

    • There’s probably a far greater chance that Cozart does nothing to increase his value than the converse. I mean… he had a good 1/3 of a season at the plate last year after being one of the worst hitters in the league for 2 full seasons. He’s not exactly a shoe-in for good performance.

      • I’m not saying they’ll get value back, but if he can at least play solid defense again to the tune of 2 WAR, someone will value him, especially if you take him for next to nothing. That opens up the spot for Peraza. The question is, can Peraza play a decent shortstop?

        • He’s gotta be able to play a better short than Suarez did last year, right? 😉

  22. Can’t let him near the field is my opinion.He will do more harm then good on a team in rebuild mode.He is part of the past so let him go and yes it is about the money,always will be about the money and never is about loving the town or the fans until after you get the money.Its a business for both sides which is the way it should be.

  23. BP will be one of the Reds biggest story lines this year, no doubt.

    He has been a Red for 10 years. Here is where he ranks with some of the Reds all-time stats:
    AB: 8th
    G: 10th
    Runs: 12th
    Hits: 10th
    Doubles: 10th
    HR: 13th
    RBI: 12th
    SB: 15th
    PA: 9th
    TB: 10th
    However, if you compare his overall AVG/OBP/OPS with the modern day Reds 2B, BP is in the top five in all 3 categories. These are hitting stats and do not take into consideration his great defense which he is known for. It could be debated BP is the Reds’ best second baseman since Joe Morgan.

    I know he is a headache and will be 35 this year but are you going to replace him with an unproven 21 year old?

    Per Jason: If I am the Reds, I sit Brandon Phillips down and have a talk with him. I give him three options: 1. Accept a trade to a team that has a chance to contend. 2. Be prepared to sit on the bench while Peraza is broken in and be happy about it. 3. Get cut.

    With all that being said do you really want to cut him?

    • Not to mention if they sit him down for that talk and put things in those terms, they are probably violating the CBA/ labor regs and on the way to a big time grievance which as suggested above could damage the team’s ability to deal with players for years into the future.

      So if they want to sit him or cut him, just do it and have it over with.

  24. I think most of us are frustrated with Brandon and we’re frustrated with the poor leadership of the front office. To confound things even more, have we considered the Brian Price factor? Its not inconceivable to think that the Reds have Phillips and Peraza on the 25 man roster at some point. The front office may in no uncertain terms tell Price to play Peraza over Phillips. My question is would he? I mean we all know Price isn’t going to be managing this team when they are good. Could be another situation like in the movie Money ball. What incentive does Price have to play a 21 year old rookie over a guy he has known for many years?

    • I doubt “most of us” are frustrated with Brandon. Front office – absolutely!

      • You’re probably right. From what I can tell, more than 50% of the fan base loves BP regardless of his shenanigans.

  25. BP won’t get cut as long as he can play decently. That would be what $24M? How much does an extra year cost another $12M. It makes more sense to trade him, pay him an extra year, and get a prospect for $12M; then to just eat $24M.

    • Wow, you said what I was trying to say and did so in a way that was much clearer.

    • This seems like a reasonable approach if it could be done. I think it would have to be in bonus as opposed to an extra year, as I don’t see many teams willing to take him on for 3 seasons, even if the last one is paid by the Reds.

    • Yeah, but the difference is that the 24 million is paid *this* year in full that way. If you add a third year, you’re extending how long you pay him. It really depends on what you want out of your budget in the coming years. You could eat the 24 million this year, and have an extra 12 million next year to work with, or you could add the year and lose 12 million for 2018.

      • Actually, if you add a 3rd year, you pay it now, if you want to. If the Red’s dealt BP, they’d eat the new added year of 12 mil, while the new team takes on the rest of the current contract. That’s much cheaper than throwing away 24 mil. And make no mistake, whatever costs the Reds absorbed, they could absorb them on the books this year, if they wanted to.

  26. Regardless of the Phillips situation, it is bad baseball philosophy to hand an everyday MLB job to somebody like Peraza who is largely untested at the MLB level and has been less than overwhelming in the minors. That’s the first step on the slope to ending up with another B.Ham or Cozart situation.

    The preferred way to force the guy to grow into the majors and win the job competitively. Remember that Joey Votto had to beat out an aging Scott Hattenburg? Or that Hanigan had to win playing time from Hernandez then in turn Mesoraco had to best Hanigan? That’s the way things are supposed to work unless your a Chris Bryant etc which no one is claiming he is.

    The fact that the Reds have a guy who as of the end of last year was still a quality player standing in Peraza’s path should be seen as a positive and not a negative. It is up to the manger to find a way to give Peraza opportunities to win the job and up to Peraza to play well enough to win it.

    For instance, folks have been saying for years how much better Phillips would be if they had a quality player to give him a day or two off every week. That’s Peraza’s role and opportunity. And when he isn’t playing for Phillips he can spell Cozart and perhaps even Hamilton. It should be not be hard to get him at least 5 starts a week. if they do and he performs, then as they say, the rest will take care of itself.

    Finally, I think for the most part folks who project BPhillips as some sort of big problem if he isn’t playing are projecting their biases of whatever sort into the situation. Phillips has certainly had his moments with the front office but there has never been an indication that he has caused trouble for a manager or on the field or in the clubhouse.

    • “That’s the way things are supposed to work.”

      Maybe this view from the Reds is why they haven’t won a playoff series in 20+ years? Maybe shaking things up could be positive? Of course it would alienate the fans that are BP fans above Reds fans, but they’ll all come back if there is a playoff-caliber team on the field.

      • I could point out that many think, that Bailey and Bruce have both been less than they might have been because they were brought up and thrown into the deep end to sink or swim. Bailey is on the record as having said the experience set him back a year or two over the long run. Or going back to the Reds last World Championship era that Barry Larkin had to beat out a couple of pretty good players for the shortstop job. But I’m sure there are counters to those assertions too. So, I think we are just going to just have to disagree a bit on this.

        More importantly, on down in my comment I presented a scenario that would get Peraza nearly as much playing time by using him at SS and perhaps even CF as well as 2B. Why do I think this is more important? Because there are strong indications that the Reds want and need Peraza to be their SS versus their 2B. Looking at the pool of talent they have, there are any number of viable solutions to try and come up with another 2B. However, they don’t really have another viable SS candidate on the horizon.

        So to that end, this entire thread seems somewhat contrived to me. If one doesn’t like the 10 and 5 rule, take on. If one doesn’t like Brandon Phillips, spell out the reasons. Don’t set up a quite possibly false situation to attack both.

    • “but there has never been an indication that he has caused trouble for a manager or on the field or in the clubhouse.”

      No memory of the infamous interuption of Dusty Baker’s interview with the press when BP verbally assaulted The Enquirer’s CTrent in the clubhouse?? No memory of the “Fat-F***” barrage??
      That certainly caused many a headache for Baker, and the front office . It sullied the Reds brand. His bellyaching of his recently signed contract after Votto’s contract caused a stir in the Reds clubhouse and front office.
      His tweeting about going out for Krispy Kreme donuts during a short rain delay a few minutes before the game started caused some problems last year.
      BP’s Me-Me-Me attitude is not respected by many Reds players and has caused some ripples of discontent with him.
      I could keep going, as the list is long and distinguished as to BP’s “shenanigans”.
      The Reds are a better team and organization without BP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • BP’s Me-Me-Me attitude is not respected by many Reds players and has caused some ripples of discontent with him.

        ******************

        He’s been bounced around the line up and tried to adjust to what he thought he should do in each position (whether or not any of us agreed with those adjustments) with hardly a disparaging comment. How is that me, me, me?

        Who among the players has expressed discontent with his behavior?

        • Who among the players publicly expressed support for BP after the CTrent tirade or any other tirade or shenanigan pulled by BP?? I hear crickets.

      • so we probably do not like Tom Browning sitting it the bleachers of the houses across the street from Wrigley

      • Funny how you only mention negatives. On the flip side he is a huge benefit to the community, and a great advocate for the Reds. The guy has showed up for everything to do with the Reds, more so than probably any other Red. BP has Single-handedly helped the Reds move into Social Media. You also didn’t mention the fact that the so-called beat writer has taken shots at BP since the day he showed up. Does BP go over-board some? You bet. Who cares. He’s a great all-time Red, and the stats eek that out. Disrespecting him is actually what one could expect from this organization these days, since they do so few things right. Remember, Barry Larkin is a HOFer, and he was every bit as bad as BP. The difference is, he stabbed people in the back, and ultimately helped to get McKeon fired. I guess you forget about how he handled his final contract negotiation.

        • I don’t think a reporter accurately stating that BP isn’t good at getting on-base is the same as taking shots, and certainly didn’t warrant a profanity laced tirade, he was just doing his job. He doesn’t own anything to the Reds or BP. He’s there to write news stories. He didn’t take shots or make up falsities. But that discussion has been had on here. People will think what they want to think of Brandon. You ask who cares? in regard to going overboard, there certainly seems to be a good amount of people on this board who care and are tired of it.

      • you give bp a short leash, evidently. remember votto’s audible expletive a few years ago? humans are messy to deal with–all of us, at times. i don’t know the truth about bp’s character, and suspect that most of the comments here that claim to such insights are based on projection and labored extrapolation.

    • I think this is the best solution I’ve read in this very interesting chain of comments. BP knows he won’t be around much longer…let him graciously pass the torch to Peraza or whomever…lots of holes to get Peraza playing time…let him learn some stuff from BP.

      Also it was alluded to above, treat BP poorly now and the team will get a very bad rep…it will hurt the Reds in the long run.

  27. Maybe an analogy will help.

    You have a large veteran mule that has served your purposes for years. This particular mule has plowed your fields with great aptitude and determination. This mule, in service to his owner, has outperformed the expectations of you, his owner. He has been a part of many harvests that were above expectations. Sure, he was temperamental at times, requesting more feed, requiring more strokes on his mane. But as the time to reap the crop came in, the extra effort and investment was worth it. This mule has been afforded all the things that an under performing mule would not.

    Now, the “ole mule” in this analogy is challenged by the new stud in the barn.

    The farmer has a new candidate that has fresh legs and a strong back. He can either stay with a historic overachiever as compared to other mules, or take a chance with the new unproven commodity.

    I think we would all agree that in this scenario, there is absolutely no way that the farmer would shoot the old mule before seeing what the new stud could do.

    The farmer is already committed to the past, like it or not. The future may be bright. There is no reason to make a rash decision without knowing what or what you don’t have.

    Play Brandon. Hope for the best. If he doesn’t plow like he should, bring the next person in. The old mule is not forgotten or unappreciated, just replaced to keep up production.
    He has earned his place in the barn, even the feed that is so valuable. But the next crop is more valuable than anything.

  28. For all those who want to send Peraza to AAA to ‘prove’ himself. AAA success doens’t necessarily indicate MLB performance. Anyone remember Larson? That’s the worst case scenario obviously. They’ve already set the record for starts by rookies last season, so I fail to see what they have to lose by starting him now. As it’s been stated, Phillips is not part of the future, and if he’s not part of the future, they need to move on. I’d rather Peraza get 2 seasons in the bigs to get comfortable and show he can contribute than worry about stroking BP’s ego. Make BP a bench player, if he becomes a problem, DFA him. The Reds owe BP NOTHING, he’s been paid. They cannot let their emotions rule as its a business. The Reds gain NOTHING by playing him on a day to day basis. Whatever PR hit they take from it will be FORGOTTEN if the Reds win in ’17 or ’18. If not, it’ll be the least of their worries.

    If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    • I want to send him to AAA to gain an extra year of eligibility. The Reds have Peraza under contract for 6 years at the major league level. If we’re not expected to be competitive until 2018, let Peraza play another year at AAA so the Reds retain his 6 years. If Peraza forces their hand with outstanding play, all the better.

      • The eligibility argument is a fine one, but generally it really only applies to guy who you expect to warrant large arbitration raises or large FA salaries (ie – Bryant). A guy who projects like Peraza, whose value is mostly derived from defense and base running (two undervalued skills), will likely not get large arbitration raises and certainly won’t get a large FA contract unless he turns into a star, which is probably pretty unlikely.

        I think getting him PT sooner rather than later to see what you have is probably more beneficial than worrying about controlling him for the 2022 season.

        • Well said. The Reds have two of the Top-5 2B prospects in baseball. If Peraza doesn’t work out at 2B, there is Blandino about a year to year-and-a-half behind him. That will be enough time to see what kind of bat Peraza has, at the ML level, not at AAA.
          There is no need for BP on the Reds roster for this year and beyond.
          The suggestion above by LW was probably the best, instead of paying him not to play by releasing him, send much of that cash to the trading team with BP and get something back. But that still takes BP’s approval, whereas releasing him doesn’t.

        • While I do think there is some merit to not starting service time if you don’t have to, I also think there is merit to allowing guys to get acclimated in the big leagues. Like I said above, the younger core of the 2010-2013 run all began full time play two years before their first playoff appearance. Votto, Cueto, Bailey, and Bruce all gained good experience that is not comparable to the AAA experience, and likely allowed them to be ready for the challenges of a pennant race.

          Additionally, some bemoaned the situation the Reds put themselves in when 80% of the rotation was set to become FA’s at the same time. Well if we delay everyone’s service time until we move on from the old guard there will be a significant amount of the next wave that will hit arbitration and free agency at the same time. Sure there’s a long road to go before then, and it’s likely that injuries, stalled development, and extensions will come into play. But if Peraza, Winker, Blandino, Ervin, Jagielo, Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, etc all come up around the same time, that’s going to start to get expensive. A staggered approach is more financially sound. Disco, Iglesias, and Lorenzen last year, Peraza, Shebler, and Yorman this year, followed by Winker, Stephenson and Reed and so on provides better balance in my opinion.

        • I just don’t agree with your premise. The kid is ranked as the 2nd best 2nd basemen prospect in baseball. In other words, I think he’s certainly looked at as having more tools than just defense and base running. If he’s only valued due to those two tools, then I don’t even understand the argument. If this is supposed to be a competitive team in the near future, I would hope we can do better than a 2nd basemen that is better than just a glove and wheels. That would be 25% of your lineup consisting of players with those same tools (Hamilton and Peraza). Yes, let him play AAA, and certainly do it long enough so he isn’t a super two guy.

          • The premise revolves around what teams (and arbitrators) will pay for.

            A 2 WAR player who hits .230/.310/.430 with bad defense, bad base running, but hits 20 homers will make more money in arbitration and in FA than a 2 WAR player who hits something like .250/.320/.390 with 3 homers but plays good D and provides value on the bases.

            It has nothing to do with tools. It has to do with what teams and arbitrators have done historically. Peraza profiles as the kind of guy that will be underpaid relative to his value level when compared to his peers that might hit for more power, but still provide the same overall value.

    • Treat BP poorly and the franchise will get a bad rep….will hurt Reds in long run…its not about stroking his ego.

      • Are fans and other players really that simple minded, though? Anyone can see the circumstances surrounding BP.

        • Of course fans are that simple-minded. Sit back and think about the average fan, who probably see’s 3 games a year, and only knows the names of the 3 or 4 key player on the team. Secondly, you are ignoring the backroom side of the game. You don’t sign someone to a contract, and then sit them on the bench because they elected to use their no trade chip. There would be no benefit to having a no-trade clause in one’s contract if the team could just screw them over at will, with no consequences. If the Reds arbitrarily bench BP for anything other than bad results they will have a black cloud over their head like no other from the Player’s Association. Like it or not, there are other area’s of the game that you have to consider.

          • I get all that… in this theoretical situation, they’d be benching BP because he’s taking PT away from someone who might help the Reds next contending team, not because BP declined to be traded. Two different things. If the Reds didn’t have any prospects at 2B in the pipeline, I don’t think anyone is having this conversation.

  29. I used to love BP, the player. I never did warm up to BP the person. He has done some very good and wonderful things around Cincinnati. However, through some of the negatives I have grown tired of BP’s attitude and antics. There comes a time, when it is time to let go. It is that time.

  30. I know many folks aren’t keen on projection systems, but KATOH is a prospect projection system that aims to get a “most likely” outcome of what a player will do over his first 6 years in the majors. Chris Mitchell is the guy who maintains the system and he just put up a new Top 100 list that incorporates more years of data…

    That particular system puts Jose Peraza and 2nd most valuable prospect in all of baseball. Ahead of uber-prospects like Corey Seager. On the surface, this appears to be because things like defense and base running are much easier to judge and translate more completely to the MLB game; whereas bat-first guys have a much larger variance which hinders their “most likely” outcome.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/katohs-top-100-list-now-incorporating-multiple-years/

  31. Many have implied this: What if Peraza isn’t good? I’m skeptical, rankings be damned. If you can’t trade BP, then don’t release him until you know Peraza is a good player.
    The end.

    • Jesse. Peraza being good is irrelevant to the BP situation. If Peraza busts (which really isn’t possible barring injury, because you don’t forget how to field a grounder or run fast) then they still need to find a new 2Bman. Phillips will not be around for the next competitive Reds team. He’s an expensive stop-gap is the Reds keep him and play him. That’s all he is at this point.

      • Patrick, if he’s a sunk cost, then he’s really not an expensive stop-gap. It’s not like we are discussing going out and paying someone to fill the spot for a year. BP is a fixed cost, and unless you deal him, nothing is going to change. If you want to argue that the Reds should pay him an extra year so they can trade him, then that’s a valid argument, because in doing that, you would actually cut part of that fixed cost, and gain something in return. Cutting him, or sitting him on the bench is unbelievably foolish, and would make absolutely NO sense at all.

      • If BP’s cost is sunk, then they need to find a 2B that is better than BP, before DFA’ing BP.

        Peraza could bust by becoming Billy Hamilton part two. If he can’t hit MLB pitching, then he’s not as good as BP.

        • I certainly agree. If Peraza can’t handle the pitching he won’t sniff anything close to BP’s peak. BP has been a good player for a long time. I don’t think anyone has ever said different.

          Also, I guess we have different definitions of “bust.” I don’t see 2 WAR players as busts. Billy, even being hurt a lot of last year, was on pace for something like a 2.5 WAR season, even being one of the worst hitters in the league.

          Bust to me means no value to a big league club. Great base running and great defense provide value to big league clubs, therefore, not busts. That’s why Peraza has such a low bust probability, in my opinion. You don’t forget how to play defense, and you don’t get slower overnight (barring injury, of course). Those two things are virtual locks to be valuable at the big league level. So even if he hits like Hamilton, he’s a 2 WAR player… which is a fantastic asset to have at league minimum for 3 years and for a few million bucks thereafter.

        • For all the “bust” Hamilton is, he’s still a 2 WAR floor type of guy based on defense and base running. I think most teams drafting in the 2nd round would take a future 2 WAR guy with potential to improve every single time. The draft can be crapshoot with even most of the 1st round guys not making the big leagues. We all would like to see him hit better. But part of me thinks Peraza will hit the way we all wish Hamilton would. He is a contact hitter that has a better career GB/FB than Hamilton. He’s already proven that he can hit better at the AAA than Hamilton. Hamilton’s one year in AAA resulted in a .256/.308/.343/.651 slash line at age 22. Peraza’s slash line in his one year at AAA .293/.316/.378/.694 at age 21.

        • This is actually in response to Patrick and his comments about WAR and busts. I believe in the numbers, but there is more to it than that. Billy Hamilton as a 2 war is a bust, and it’s because of what his WAR is generated by. What if all starting 8 players were 2, or 2.5 WAR, and their WAR was generated the same way as Billy Hamilton’s WAR is generated? You’d have a terrible team. WAR is one of many statistics to analyze, but taking it as a whole is worthless. If Peraza generates a 2 WAr just like BH does, then yes; he’s a bust especially when you realize he was the key part of the Frazier deal.

        • To clarify – If Peraza hits as well as Billy has so far, I would declare him a bust. All the speed and defense would not sway my assessment.

          This team cannot hit, or get on base consistently. To trade Frazier mainly for a prospect that has questions about hitting and getting on base – that’s dumb.

  32. I hated the Phillips contract since the day it was signed. Paraphrasing Bogart, I said that management would come to regret that contract, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of their lives.

    The Reds owe Phillips about $27 million, depending on the deferred money, and if they release him they are out at about $26 million. The Reds, as a business, just aren’t a big enough operation to enter into such stupid contracts that place them at risk for kissing away $26 million. (Especially for second basemen, who are essentially fungible.) The blame for this lies with Castellini, because the deal could not have been agreed to without his OK. He should have not just said “No,” but “Hell, no.”

    The dilemma is that BP’s agent has done the calculus and is calling the Reds’ bluff. He knows that the Reds don’t want to eat $26 mm, nor play him, nor risk him as a bench-riding distraction. BP and the agent, then, are biding time to force the Reds to ante up something of value to BP. The Reds will therefore likely end up giving BP $5 million or so to waive the 10/5 rights, then eat a half or so of the contract when they trade him. Phillips gets extra money, and the Reds eat $18 million instead of $26 million.

    The Red Sox and Cardinals are good at knowing when not to sign a main cog when he is on the verge of free agency. The Reds are not.

    • I’m glad you brought up the fact that this was a Castellini ordered signing — same as Votto. I keep seeing posts that it is Jocketty’s fault, which would go completely against his philosophy of years and money. Yep, this one is on Big Bob and the most mind blowing thing about that contract is that BP thinks he is being grossly underpaid. A lot of people also say that we should have moved him before the 10/5 kicked in — well Jocketty tried to move him, but every GM in baseball thought he was being grossly OVERPAID and didn’t want him around because of his attitude. The only bite came from the Yanks, which BP nixed because he wanted more money and they happened to be one of the teams on his no trade list.

      • Just curious, if BP and Votto’s signings are on Bob, does that mean that Bailey, Schumaker, Cairo, and a whole list of other horrible contracts are also on Bob? And if so, what exactly is Walt’s job in all this. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the GM goes out and builds a team, and in doing so, often gets an approval from the owner. I wasn’t aware that Bob was another George Steinbrenner. I’m not even saying your are wrong; I just think it’s unfair to blame Bob for a couple of contracts, and ignore the huge amount of other terrible contracts.

        • While I obviously didn’t sit on the conversation, it would seem apparent that the owner would have to OK a $72 million contract. He could reasonably be expected to allow the GM to use his judgment on utility infielders and last-man-in-the-bullpen types.

          Ultimately, though, the buck stops at the top.

    • I think when the Reds inked his contract there was no expectation that the team would take a nose dive like it has. Everyone, except maybe Cueto would still be around and doing well.The only reason this contract has put the Reds in a bit of bind is that the team imploded.

  33. Like I said before play him in left field if none of the young guys claim it, otherwise, make a super sub guy out of him. He’s a very talented guy who is quirky. He seems to get hurt on purpose because he wants a rest, he lost a play-off game @ Pittsburgh on a ground ball that barely got to him w/o a hop because he was sulking, etc. He defies all logic and will until he plays his last game at GAP.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Do what the Pirates did with Josh Harrison. I just don’t think this kid has a pedigree that says you just hand over a job to him, especially dumping your future organizational HOFer, while he’s still playing at top 1/3 level at his position, and among the best defensively at his position.

  34. The more I read these posts and revisit all of his attitude issues through the years I am really wondering if we want this guy influencing all the new kids on the team even if we did play him every day and delay the rebuild to massage his ego.

    Just recalling how Dusty had to get on him constantly about not hustling and how other players say that if he has a bad day everyone has to walk on egg shells around him whether or not the team wins. That just isn’t the kind of guy you want around young players. Especially since Price doesn’t seem to be much of a take charge kind of manager.

    This is a real dilemma because if you just bench him this could get ugly with him lodging complaints through the players union that he is being punished for not accepting a trade. Someone earlier said we should have just paid that third year to send him packing to Washington, which I’m beginning to think might have been the best thing to do. I just want to get on with this rebuild and figure out who is playing where. We need to give these kids a couple years to develop in the bigs and have an established line up when these two years are up. I can’t imagine anyone here wants to go through this pain for 4 or 5 years. The FO office promised a competitive team in 2 to 3 years and I for one am holding them to that. This whole BP situation just throws such a monkey wrench into the equation and has the potential to become a major distraction.

  35. I am no Brandon Phillips fan (not the current and future version anyway), but I don’t see a reason to sweeten any pot. Just keep him and play him. If we’re 20 games under .500 at the trade deadline, he might be depressed enough to waive his NTC for no sweeteners…if not, keep playing him. Start him 162 games and keep in for double-header or 20 inning game. Ride him into the ground and let Peraza ripen (hopefully) in AAA.

    BP’s pay isn’t so high that it screws up everything. The payroll is already lowered greatly and I am still sure that Bruce won’t be a Red by 2 August, so that will lower it further. No need to worry about BP’s outlays.

    If BP wants to be here, and won’t work with anyone to leave (makes it impossible) that is his right. I don’t think it helps the club at all, but hey, it IS his right. If he likes losing and playing every inning doing it… then more power to him (maybe he likes playing a game for a living).

    Even if we sweeten the pot and trade him, we aren’t getting anything more than a fringy low A ball prospect for a guy past his prime at a position that doesn’t allow for late career longevity.

  36. BP’s education is limited by being drafted out of high school. After his playing days are over soon, he might want to go back and get a degree. They have openings at the Clown College. He could become the new Clown Prince of Baseball. His penchant for clowning around could come in handy.

  37. It is BP’s right to do what he wants but why would he want to be on a rebuilding team?Better yet why would he not want to go to a team that has a chance to win a title?Nothing good comes from him playing unless we believe a few more wins will make a difference.Like I said earlier it is about the money and it is a business from his and the Reds prospective.So the Reds owe him so pay him and lets move on.No way he would accept the situation and be a model employee and act as a mentor to others.I wouldn’t and nobody else would either.Cut him,pay him and move on.

  38. I am a BP fan and he has earned his rights to the 5/10 rule. I know that MLB has a stop gap for shady dealings but you cannot tell me a man of his age doesn’t have film (X-Rays) that say he is playing sub par because of injury and thus the DL. I will explain my thought process, you cut him and still have to pay him, if he is on the DL you still have to pay him but you stop him from signing with another team. This option while might be difficult to prove might get his attention and take away his “leverage”. There are grievance that can be filed but I still think the team DR. gets to decide who is physically able to play and who isn’t.

    • There is zero chance of that happening. The union would file a grievance and the team doctors would have to lie. BP would be on every tv station running sprints and doing push ups. Other teams would be mad since you can’t add someone to your roster by using the DL as a roster management tool. MLB and the arbitrator for the Union grievance would come down hard on this one.

      It’s one thing to build for the future and trade/release or bench someone.Reasonable people can disagree on how to best handle the BP situation. The MLBPA is perhaps the strongest union in the country and would absolutely destroy something like your idea.

  39. BP’s goal is to extract more money out of the situation. The Reds goal is save a chunk while they are rebuilding. No other team is going to pay for a 3rd year added to his contract. Maybe the Reds could arrange to add an optional 3rd year where he gets $2 million if the option is turned down but $14 million if it is picked up. The Reds would pay the new team $2 million either way.

    BP would get a few more bucks guaranteed. The Reds would still save a chunk over the next few years. Depending upon the situation, BP might get another year of playing time.

  40. I wish there were a way to calculate intangibles into our discussions of a player’s value. For instance, what is the value of having Philips around for two seasons signing autographs and joking with fans? Seems to me like DFA ing a guy who will be in your Hall of Fame one day (as some have suggested) also carries a huge cost: other veterans and potential free agents see that your franchise treats its players poorly in the final years of their contracts. What is the cost of having a cancer on your bench, or the benefit of having a good teacher like Arroyo? How much did Adam Dunn’s laziness cost the Reds in terms of examples set for younger players? In no way am I saying that these considerations should outweigh playing time for Peraza, WAR, or statistical measures of value. I just wish there were a way to calculate them or factor them in to our discussion of a player’s true worth to the club.

    • If they had just outright DFA’d him without warning it would send a terrible message. However, they “traded” him twice to contending teams (Yankees/Nationals) and he declined both. The Reds did everything possible to treat him with respect. He has the right to decline trades and the Reds have the right to move on.

      You can’t measure intangibles….thats why they’re intangibles.

  41. I suspect somebody along the way has already suggested this, but I think the Reds should let Phillips play about 80 to 85 percent of the starts at second, and use the other 20 percent on Peraza, assuming Peraza is ready for the big leagues. Use Peraza on other days at short and center to give other guys days off, and to see how his bat plays with regular playing time. If Cozart is worth something on the trade market during the season, send him packing and put Peraza there.

    With a little less wear and tear, maybe Phillips’ production will be good enough to still interest other teams, and by this time next year, the Reds would be better able to get rid of him.

    • Why would you start his service time clock and not have him play his position 80% of the time?

  42. Well it’s official, Boys and Girls — we can put this whole topic to bed….. Jocketty confirmed that BP also nixed a deal we had worked out with AZ and that the sticking point was, again, money. That part I am fine with because it is BP’s right. My problem is that Jocketty declared BP the starting 2nd baseman and that Peraza will have to beat him out… So there you have it — case closed. Oh, and then he said they view Peraza as the long-term solution at 2nd…. What? Which one is it? So I guess we burn 2 years of his service time as a utility piece to massage BP’s ego. This makes no sense. The best part? We apparently are now only retooling and that the FO actually believes we will be a better team this year. What? I for one am not drinking that kool aide. Whether we lose 85 games or 95 games matters little to me — we are still competing for the basement.

    In any case, I am feeling a little jerked around compared to what the FO has been saying and doing. I feel like I am in a bizarre episode of the Twilight Zone. IMHO, this so-called retool is going to be a much longer process than I originally thought or expected. I have always been a big supporter of Uncle Walt, but this is the final straw for me. Again, IMHO, this organization is clearly a rudderless ship with no idea of what direction we are headed in. They have contradicted themselves over and over since the start of last season. If this is the way the FO wants to jerk us around, fine, as small as it might be, I still have a voice and a wallet to show my displeasure. We just canceled our weekend trip to Goodyear. The wife is in the process of rescheduling that weekend for Disneyland, which the kids are actually happier about anyway. At least that’s a Mickey Mouse operation I won’t mind being a part of……

    Someone please wake me when this retool, rebuild or whatever this nightmare is called is over……….

    • What is Jocketty suppose to say, “We’re going to sit him or release him.” ? Of course he’s the starting 2nd baseman…for now. Why wouldn’t they just see how things play out over the next 2 months? BP may accept a trade, may get hurt, may be great, may suck. It would be idiotic to show their hand right now. Why would they paint themselves into a corner when they don’t have to….right now?

      Why do you need to know the exact plan right now? You’re predicating your vacation based on who the Reds starting second baseman is going to be…wow.

      • No, that would be ridiculous. I am changing my plans based on being jerked around on this rebuild, retool, or whatever it is now being called and spending years watching the entire team under achieve. All I ask is that if I am going to spend my hard earned money supporting this team I would appreciate some type of consistent plan, path toward contention, and honesty — not being told something different every time someone in the FO opens their mouth. Clearly, nobody in the FO is singing out of the same hymn book.

        BP is just one small part of it — they are now saying that it will be Votto on 1st, BP at 2nd, Cozart at short, Suarez moving to 3rd. Four rookies platooning in left, Ham in center, Bruce in right, and Meso behind the dish. Same exact non clutch, under achieving offense that has frustrated us for years. Minus our best player, of course, not named Votto. The old adage of, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” is quite appropriate in this case.

        Jocketty is now saying we under achieved the last couple of years so they wanted to shake things up a little bit. What? Oh, so it’s no longer a rebuild or retool — it’s a little shake up. So let me get this straight; we have traded away our best pieces, kept all the under achieving pieces, and don’t have one single prospect out of dealing Chapman and Frazier that is good enough to be developed at any position? The best piece, Peraza, who has 5 years in the minors under his belt, stole over 200 bases, hit over .300 at every level is now going to be a utility piece while we burn 2 years of his service time. If they would have called this a shake up in the beginning, fine. Instead, it was first a retool, then it was called a rebuild, now it is being called “shaking things up a little bit.”

        Obviously, I am a die hard Reds fan and always will be. I get hammered all the time year in and year out on a lot of boards for being overly optimistic. That’s okay, but to sit and watch the same exact offense being peddled out there again this year is beyond my pain tolerance. You are right, a lot can happen, but the current FO is clearly not in sync on the future direction of this team. Until they show me a clear path out of the cellar toward contention I chose to enjoy the Mickey Mouse operation in Southern Cal, not at Great American or in Goodyear.

        • I think everyone is frustrated by the general turn of events with the Reds dating back at least to the 2nd half of 2013 when the FO did nothing to support the effort on the field, topped by letting Byrd slip by them in waivers and end up with the Pirates where he played a key role the rest of the season.

          As I stated somewhere above, however I see the question of linking Phillips and Peraza as something of a contrived issue because from the day the Reds acquired Peraza, Jocketty and others have all but directly said the club wants to give Peraza every chance playing SS. Thus chances are very good that if Phillips had agreed to a deal or in the near future does so, somebody other than Peraza will be playing 2B for the Reds while Peraza plays SS at AAA. Maybe that somebody is DeJesus or some other 4A guy they pick up to be the placeholder; or, perhaps they put Suarez at 2B and fill 3B with Duvall or some other 4A guy. Either way, Peraza most likely plays SS every day at AAA until they Peraza washes out at SS or they find a way to move Cozart, opening SS at Cincy for Peraza.

          Meanwhile, we have to presume the attempts to deal Phillips were/ are about dumping salary which makes it all the maddening that they won’t pay the piper to get it done.

        • If Peraza is indeed a utility man this year and next (gulp), maybe the best case scenario would be that he gets something like 3 starts a week split between 2B, SS, and LF/CF giving those guys a rest once a week. Somehow, though, I don’t see that happening. More likely he’ll rot on the bench and only play on get-away days.

      • Jocketty could say nothing. It’s not his role to declare BP the starting 2nd baseman in January. I think that is what most folks would prefer. Unless he’s talking about a signing, trade, or release, he should keep quiet.

  43. Diamondbacks ended up making a trade with the Brewers to get Segura, who hasn’t hit since he was a rookie. The big piece the Brewers received in return was Isan Diaz, a 19 year old SS who hit 360/.436/.640 with 13 home runs in 68 games played last year. Of course, the Reds wouldn’t be interested in Diaz because he isn’t major league ready yet. Here’s the article:

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/dbacks-acquire-former-all-star-shortstop-brewers?p=ya5nbcs&ocid=yahoo&ref=yfp

    • agree, similar thoughts here. They couldn’t get (or would pay the price for) cream of the crop “ready” talent and took guys with ???? versus a year or two or three further away from MLB

  44. The better player needs to play. To put it mildly, the Reds put a lot of stock into this kid. Two other franchises didn’t think he was good enough. The Reds shoulda held out for Seager if they were going to trade Todd. If Phillips is the better 2nd basemen, then he needs to play. If this kid is better, then he plays… The money is already spent. Fans want/deserve a winner. If this kid is the future, then let him prove it…

    • There was no possibility that Seager could be obtained for Todd Frazier. Who in their right mind would trade the best prospect in baseball for Todd Frazier? Seager will likely be the better player and will be paid less for the next half a decade. Who even thinks about making that move?Do you think the Dodgers are that dumb?

    • There’s nothing to suggest those other two teams thought “he wasn’t good enough.” They traded value to get value. You can’t trade bad players to get good players. Peraza was traded twice, yes, but I don’t think that is a negative.

  45. Dan Farnsworth posted a nice review of the Reds prospects over at FanGraphs. Farnsworth sums up Peraza’s potential:

    “With low walks, strikeouts and homers expected, it’s easy to see risk in his [Peraza’s] hitting game matching his defensive and base-running contributions. Peraza should have a better outlook compared to most speedy guys who pound the ball into the ground and pray for base hits. His batted ball profile will lean toward grounders, but he should see many more low line drives than the typical player of his ilk. His lack of on-base skills keep him from being a lock for above-average offense.”

    He sees Peraza as a 2B prospect with Blandino as a better SS prospect. A season at AAA for Peraza while working on his plate discipline would certainly seem a good use of his service time, not to mention spending time at SS defensively to fully resolve any question of his best defensive position for the Reds going forward.

    • Do Reds hitters ever “work on plate discipline” in the minor leagues, or at any time for that matter? It isn’t valued by the organization.

      • Ah Steve, now you’re trying to burst the Old Cossack’s efforts to remain enthusiastic for the coming spring training and season with a reality check. In response to your question though, yes Reds hitters do work on plate discipline, just not many and your observation of the organization’s devaluing of plate discipline is sound. Players like Votto and Winker excel at plate discipline, but almost exclusively through their own efforts and in direct contrast to management ‘suggestions’. We can even go back to Hanigan’s struggles against the Reds’ hitting philosophy coming up through the minor league system and even after making the major league roster. Those players who value and practice plate discipline simply do not have a comfortable playing environment in the Cincinnati organization.

        • The off season acquisitions offer further proof the team does not value plate discipline.

      • Sadly, it’s true and also true that it is an organizational problem.

  46. Your right it isn’t valued at all by the Reds.With Votto on the team you would think the Reds would just show film 24/7 of him to players at all levels.If they did some may improve by accident but it won’t happen.You also would think that every young hitter would being fighting just to set by him in the dugout and hope something rubs off.

  47. Lots of comments vilifying Phillips. He had every right to reject those trades. Why wouldn’t he if he wanted more money? Baseball is a business first to all the players they suit up to get paid. If owners don’t like the no trade clause for 10 and 5 then they should not have allowed it to be put in the CBA.

    Also it isn’t fair to say Phillips is hamstringing the team. He is just one player and if the Reds chose to they could sit BP as a pinch hitter or even release him and pay his salary as is. Nothing at all the players union could do about it.

    The Reds are a poorly run organization From owner down to most of the coaches. Find blame with the management and not with the players that actually work quite hard at their trade. There is where to look for and blame why this organization can’t win it all even when they have the best starting rotation in baseball.

  48. While I’d love to see BP gone—not a fan—I’m not really worried about him being poisonous in the clubhouse. He’s amid a bunch of grown men only one of which has to say “sit down and shut up.” He can be just as influential to the young players as a cautionary tale. Maybe the Reds can hire Kevin Mitchell or Greg Vaughn as a Civility Coach? 🙂

  49. Price has said BP will be the second baseman and the rest of the starting 8 will be familiar names.Translation-Suarez plays third and Cosart/Meso return from injuries.He went on to say the staff will be young and he may have some young guys on the bench.Translation-He may keep a couple of young guys on the bench but most all of them will be in the minors because they need to play every day.Overall the Reds will go with the same core of players(minus Frazier) that they finished the year with and they will go as far as the pitching takes them.Doesn’t sound like much of a plan to me but we will see.

  50. I just don’t get all of the bile poised at BP on this thread. Second base was not the Reds problem last year and most likely will not be the Reds problem again this year. Phillips has shown up for over a decade and done well for the Reds.

    Even if the Reds dealt Phillips, do you really think they would have gotten enough back to make a difference? Unless a club made a fundamental error, probably not. It’s not like if they didn’t have to pay Phillips salary the next two years that would bring in some impact free agent either, as while BP gets paid well it’s not enough dough to bring in a real bat or top line starter.

    Looking at what he did in the minors, I don’t see anything about this Peraza guy that says he’s going to be anything more than a maybe ‘good field no hit’ infielder.

  51. Not sure how many who have posted here understand that DatDudeBP was the best 2nd baseman in the MLB this year. I understand the Reds’ leadership trying to get something of value for him, but I question their loyalty…yes baseball is a business and the teams have to make money. Sunk cost? Seriously? BP is anything but that. I think the Reds let him play until he can’t. The team likely won’t contend this year or next…they certainly won’t without him on defense. Peraza might be the answer, but is he that good now? AAA ball is not the big show…until he proves himself, BP is clearly one of the best infielders in the game.

  52. There 4 second basemen in MLB history to have 200 HRs and 200 SBs: Alomar, Morgan, Sandberg and Biggio. Each is in the HOF. Phillips needs 14 HRs and 16 RBIs to join them.

    I’d make it really, really simple for BP. You can either accept a trade which gives you a chance to make join some elite company and maybe, maybe make a case for the HOF, or for the next two years, you will not see a single PA.

  53. It’s no secret that Brandon Phillips felt short changed on his contract after seeing what Votto and Bailey signed. Phillips likes it Cincinnati and fans like him. He deserves adjustments on compensation, perhaps an added contract year, to give the Reds that youth they are seeking. It seems like a decent tradeoff for the loyalty he has shown over the years. The Washington Nationals preference to go with Daniel Murphy giving up a compensation pick was a bad move over the Phillips trade
    Phillips went 23-3 on base stealing, that shows he has a lot left.
    Likewise, not buying that Peraza will be a solid star shown on the fangraphs website. Peraza is 6’0″, short to expect future double digit HR hitting. He does look to be a great utility fielder and a good regular if someone is injured. Peraza as the centerpiece in the Frazier trade means everyone sees him as the horrible clutch hitter, expect him to regress in the next 2 years and the only reason to make that trade was made before attempting to trade Phillips.

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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