As a player who has played at least ten seasons in the major leagues, plus five with the same team, Brandon Phillips has the right to veto any trade. It’s part of the collective bargaining agreement, and BP has earned the right thanks to his long and productive career with the Reds.

Last off-season, Phillips blocked reported trades to Arizona and Washington. Today, we learned that he recently blocked a trade to Atlanta:

The Braves tried to acquire Phillips at the same time they were in the process of signing free-agent infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez, who agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million contract on Nov. 24.

The addition of Rodriguez, who figures to play often at second base, cooled the Braves on Phillips; the trade, in theory, is still possible, but the talks are unlikely to revive, sources say.

It was the third time in the past two offseasons that Phillips, 35, invoked his right to reject a trade as a player with 10 years of major-league service, five consecutively with the same team.

Last offseason, he blocked deals to the Nationals and Diamondbacks, then appeared in 141 games for the Reds, batting .291 with a .736 OPS, his highest since 2012. His defensive runs saved at second base, however, was a career-low negative-9.

The Reds, in the middle of rebuilding, could reduce the playing time of both Phillips and shortstop Zack Cozart in favor of two younger middle infielders, Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera. Both veterans are entering their free-agent years, but the Reds also have yet to find a taker for Cozart, who cannot block a trade.

Phillips will earn $14 million this season in the final year of his contract. The Reds would have paid a significant portion of that sum to facilitate a deal and were surprised by Phillips’ rejection, sources say; Phillips is from Stone Mountain, Ga., and owns a home in Atlanta.

Most players require some form of compensation to waive their no-trade rights, and Phillips reportedly sought an extension from the Nationals last offseason. The talks between the Reds and Braves did not advance to that level, sources say; the Braves viewed Phillips only as a one-year stopgap, and the Reds already were including money in the deal.

For Phillips, though, the issue is not simply money, sources say.

He considers his refusal to accept a deal to be a matter of principle, and would want the team to address certain, unspecified issues before waiving his no-trade protection, sources say.

He considers his refusal to accept a deal to be a matter of principle. What does that mean?

I agree with Grant:

And I agree with Mo:

Phillips has earned the right to veto any trade, and so I don’t blame him for doing what he thinks is best for him. This isn’t fantasy baseball, it’s big business, and it’s Phillips’ job. He has to look out for number one. I’d do the same thing, if I were in his situation, if I thought it was the right thing for my career. (I flamed out in high school, so no worries on that point.)

But the flip side of that coin is that the Reds have a similar right to do what is best for the organization. And what’s best for this franchise is to move on from Phillips. Yes, the guy is the second-best second baseman in club history. Yes, he’s a team Hall of Famer.

But it’s time to move on.

The Reds were, according to the reports, willing to pay a portion of Phillips’ salary in order to trade him. There seems to be an understanding within the front office that the $14 million BP is owed in 2017 is a sunk cost. The Reds owe him that money — but they don’t owe him anything else. Brandon Phillips has been very productive for the Reds over the years, and the Reds have paid him handsomely for that production. You have to take sentiment out of the equation, which is difficult for fans to do. I get that. But it shouldn’t be difficult for a big league organization to do.

It’s time to move on.


Take a look at Mark Sheldon’s story. This burns me up:

If the Reds are unable to trade Phillips and Cozart, they are prepared to go to Opening Day with both players and use Peraza in a utility role to get at least four starts per week. Herrera would likely begin 2017 in Triple-A.

If Dilson Herrera is in Triple-A to start the season, and Jose Peraza is in a utility role playing four times a week, I give up. That’ll be firm evidence that the Reds aren’t serious about this rebuilding process.

If that happens, I’ll shut down Redleg Nation immediately.

It’s time to move on.

199 Responses

  1. Dan

    If people need to blame something blame the players Union and the CBA for giving the players so much money and authority over a trade.

    • Doug Gray

      The players get less of “the money” today than they’ve gotten in a very long time. They’re underpaid.

      The players also deserve their 10-5 rights. They get drafted, and are literally tied to their employer, without any way to seek other employment, for up for 12 years (can’t be a minor league free agent until you’ve completed six years. Then a team controls your first six full years in the Majors.

      • Oklared

        I think saying someone likely making in excess of 90% of the population is underpaid is a stretch. However, owners readily agree to their pay so I would say they are fairly paid. Bottom lime is there is an agreement in place and both parties have rights they can exercise.

      • Doug Gray

        How about: The players get less chunk of the pie that is baseball revenues than they’ve gotten in a very long time.

        And until “we” stop paying so much to be entertained by them, then they are worth every single penny they make. And more. So, even still, they are underpaid versus what they are worth. Just economics.

      • Dan

        We will agree to disagree. Where does it say anywhere for any business that the employees are entitled to a specific percentage of the revenue? What percentage of sales does any one player on a team generate?
        Underpaid? What a joke. They don’t earn even half of the league minimum. Starving kids in Cincinnati and folks living in tents down by the river while these guys make millions to hit a baseball? Yeah, the big picture and logic tells me they are overpaid.

      • greenmtred

        Dan, I agree that we, as a society, overvalue elite entertainers, but, in the case of baseball, we also seriously overvalue owners and shareholders who do nothing that we would pay to watch. The players are the reason that baseball exists and that we care about it, and they should be paid accordingly.

      • Doug Gray

        Dan, you’re right. I’d rather there not be starving kids, homeless people, poor people, and so on. But, that’s just not how the world works, unfortunately.

        The players are “salesmen” and they sell billions of dollars worth of product every year.

        There isn’t a set situation where employees are entitled to some rate of money generated by a business. But, we’ve also seen, in the last 20 years, where players got 51% of all baseball revenues and the owners were happy enough keeping 49% of it. Today, the players are getting 39-40% of all baseball revenues. That’s an enormous drop off, especially when considering that franchise values have more than tripled across baseball in the time between the two numbers.

      • Doug Gray

        And one other thing – If the players aren’t getting that money, it’s just going to the 1-10 person ownership group. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never once shown up to the Reds game thinking “Man, I hope I get to see Bob Castellini or Jeff Wyler today”. I do show up, every time, thinking “Man, I sure hope the players win today’.

        That money is either going to the players, or it’s going to the owners. It’s not going to the poor people living in Cincinnati, no matter how much you want it to.

      • Joe Shaw

        I came here expecting to read about baseball and, instead, I’m reading about market theory. WTH?

      • Patrick Jeter

        They are only underpaid if you start with the assumption that the percent of revenues going towards paying players’ salaries should remain constant as gross revenue increases.

        It’s certainly a fine view to have, and I won’t ever tell anyone they are wrong for having it, but I figure the owners are the ones absorbing all the risk of spending the money, so I don’t necessarily think the player’s cut should increase at the same rate as team revenue.

        It’s the time-old cliché of a free market… If they don’t like their salary, they are free to seek employment in any other field they wish.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The other free market cliche is that they’re not overpaid if someone is willing to pay it.

      • another bob in nc

        A true cliche (see below). If anybody is going to be blamed for BP’s contract, it should be management. It takes two to tango. Another true cliche.

      • greenmtred

        Patrick: If this was a response to my comment, I did not say that the players are underpaid. As for the owners: Without the players, they would revert to full-time selling of cars or whatever else they do. Nobody cares to watch them, and baseball is visual entertainment. The owners take a certain amount of financial risk, yes (though most of them, I expect, don’t count heavily on baseball revenue), but the players risk–to their health and future earning ability–is possibly of more significance relative to their financial positions.

      • Doug Gray

        That old “free to seek employment elsewhere” thing is exactly why we had people literally killing each other in the 20’s on job sites. It’s why unions exist today.

      • Michael E

        I agree with Steve’s cliche. If someone wants to overpay them more power to them. I haven’t paid for a ticket in 15 years and will not do so in the future. I do watch TV games, so I am a number in the advertising ratings (so I indirectly impact revenues to the owner/team).

        I don’t get why ANYONE would want to spend $50 just for the pain of parking, walking and seeing a game from a much worse view than a TV set. That is just one person, a family is looking at $250 or so with snacks and buying the kid a souvenier, etc. Fireworks maybe, they’re cool, but no other reason for me to leave the house.

        All that said, how can anyone begrudge anyone ELSE making all they can make? If Joe Schmo signed a $200 million contract to hit .200 with no power, or pitch 160 innings with a 5.00+ ERA annually, hey, kudos to him and his agent. I don’t like it when my team makes such stupid deals, but you really CANNOT blame the players here. That’d be like blaming the lawn-mowing landscaper for mowing my lawn for $2000 a month that I agreed to pay him.

    • Chuck Schick

      I didn’t realize the players union had unilateral power over the CBA.

      • Dan

        They pretty much do. What benefit did the owners get out of the last CBA? The players will eventually start to feel this as we will see more and more 34 year old players on free agency with no team willing to sign them. Instead they will go with youth.

      • Doug Gray

        Are you serious?

        EVERYONE thinks that the owners came away laughing their absolute butts off at the deal that they got. Every national writer wondered what the heck the MLBPA was doing when the details came out on the agreement.

      • Michael E

        Well, the owners get to keep about 40% of the money generated. They get most of any new stadium paid for by the taxpayer while they get much higher percentage of the spoils the stadium creates.

        Really, the owners rape all us, players, taxpayers, attendees and anyone else involved. A bottle of beer is more at a stadium than at a trendy bar.

        If it were all “fair” and “even” the owners would pay A LOT more of the expenses, OR they’d reap A LOT less of the reveunes (much more back to taxpayer coffers, the players salaries and refund to attendees).

      • Michael E

        …and all that while a team value skyrockets and owners make double and triple their investment in just a decade or two.

        They put some funds at risk, true, but the risk is unbelievably low with sports ownership the past 100 years, so hardly something to be impressed by is a hundred-millionaire investing/risking money on a sports franchise. It’s safer than just about any other investment.

      • streamer88

        You all are explaining why franchise values have been increasing FYI. There is also market force driving their value as well. As outside investors see owner derived operating costs turn into annual profit, these franchises become like buying an apartment building in a trendy neighborhood – the property value goes up AND you get to collect rent along the way.

  2. Gregg Lestina

    You don’t cut BP. Bring him off the bench as a PH. Maybe a decreased role motivates him accept a trade during the season.

    • Bill

      He would become a cancer sitting on the bench. There is no way he accepts being a bench player, so he either starts or is not on the roster.

      • greenmtred

        Our psychoanalysis of BP is ongoing. I assume from the certainty of your opinion that you know BP personally?

      • Bill

        Yes I have met him, but my opinion is based on his actions in the past. The best examples would be the comments he made about the owners “slap in the face” and the comments about Votto.

        I assume from the certainty of your opinion that you have discussed this bench role with BP and he agreed to it

      • MrRed

        Meeting someone is not the same as personally knowing them. And, I didn’t see any opinion offered by Green regarding Phillip’s acceptance of a bench role.

        BP has made a lot of ill-advised public comments over the years. But I’m not sure that they offer incontrovertible evidence that he is or isn’t a team player.

      • greenmtred

        I expressed no opinion in that comment; I merely asked a question of you. My point, of course, is that our opinions of BP are largely or entirely based on impressions formed from media reports and observation from afar. These opinions may be right or they may be wrong. They’re opinions, that’s all. Not facts. It seems clear that BP’s personality gets up more than a few noses around here.

      • Bill

        I merely asked you a question and explained to you why I have the opinion of BP that I do.

    • Tct

      I feel like that would cause more problems than it solves. Picture early May, the Reds are surprisingly playing decent .500 ball, but Herrera is slumping. The peanut gallery would be chirping about putting BP back in the lineup and Herrera would be looking over his shoulder. There is a good chance that BP would pop off to the media as well.

      The Reds seem like they have tried really hard to find BP a comfortable landing spot. They tried a contender with Dusty at the helm. They tried his hometown team. I think BP actually wants to get cut at this point. He would get all of his money now, he could go to whatever team wanted him, and he could play the poor, suffering martyr to his Twitter followers.

      So give him what he wants and get it over with. Shame, but it needs to be done.

    • Patrick Jeter

      He’s turned down 3 trades. He won’t ever accept one. Something about the “principle” he mentions. Not sure what it is, but unless that condition is met, he won’t accept a trade for any reason, even being on the bench.

  3. Steve Mancuso

    If the Reds bench Phillips, it’s hard to imagine that would lead to a positive dynamic in the clubhouse. The Reds have done their best to allow Phillips to generate even a bit of trade value and they can’t get a deal done. If they haven’t found a trade match for Phillips by the start of spring training, they should release him. Won’t happen, but that’s what they should do.

    • Chad Dotson

      I’m starting to convince myself that the Reds might actually release him. I think there’s a non-zero percent chance that it happens.

      But you’re probably right. It’s what they should do, and they won’t have the stomach for it.

      • Tct

        I mentioned this above, but I really think that’s what he wants. He still holds a grudge over how the off-season after 2011 worked out and he wants to force the Reds to do something he thinks will make them look bad. He wants to be the martyr who was lied to by ownership and forced out when all he ever wanted to do is play in Cincinnati.

        Its nonsense, but I don’t know any other way to explain it. I just don’t buy that playing in Cincy is that important to him.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Sounds like a reasonably plausible scenario.

      • CP

        Maybe he wants to be cut, but I think that is reading too much into the situation.

        If he waives his 10-5 rights, they are waived forever. If BP is traded to a team like Atlanta and he performs well, he’ll be flipped at the deadline. BP is older and has a gf and kids. I don’t blame a guy for not wanting his life flipped upside down at the whim of someone else. If I’m BP, I’m looking for the perfect situation where I’m starting or at least guaranteed playing time for a contender.

      • Scotly50

        I am beginning to believe the Reds think they can compete with the team they have now. Why else would they operate in the manner they have? They have done literally nothing.

      • Chad Dotson

        They have to let the young guys play in 2017 so they know what holes need to be filled for 2018. If Herrera becomes a legit 2B, that’s one less hole to fill. If Peraza and Winker become legit big league starters…fewer holes to fill. If all fall flat on their face, then that’s more information the Reds will have at their disposal as they try to put the next competitive team on the field.

        If Herrera and Winker are in AAA, and if Peraza is a utility player…what are the Reds learning in 2017?

      • Chuck Schick

        Perhaps you missed the memo about “re-building”. They’re still trying to figure out who can actually play

      • DHud

        If you consider acquiring Duvall, Peraza, Reed, Schebler, Herrera, Finnegan, Iglesias, Straily and other less substantial pieces via trade, the continued development/increased playing time for Stephenson, Winker, Garrett, and the drafting of Senzel, Lorenzon, and Trammel “nothing,” then ok

        The Reds aren’t in a “we need to go out and acquire expensive veteran pieces to be competitive” mode. They’re in a “we’ve pieced together lots of young talent that we need to let play and see how it pans out” mode

      • jessecuster44

        Signed Drew Storen… Tried to trade BP multiple times…

      • lwblogger2

        Chad, Steve, guys… There is no way the Reds are going to release him. They also aren’t likely to bench him. If he isn’t traded he will get the majority of playing time at 2B and Hererra will be at AAA. It appears he won’t waive his 10/5 rights unless the Reds do something they aren’t willing to do. It appears this will lead Chad to shutting down RLN which makes me very, very sad. That’s how it’s going to be though, for one more year.

      • MrRed

        I think the scenario you’ve laid out is the most likely one (regrettably). But it’s not certain. I think there is a least some chance they either bench him (more likely) or flat out release him (less likely). They have already told him his playing time will be diminished. This will be the first real test of DW’s commitment to his stated goals.

      • Eric

        Ultimately I believe that Williams will sell Castellini on releasing him and moving on. That depends on Herrera hitting in March though.

    • Joe Shaw

      The fact that several sources claim The Reds view his salary as a sunk cost might be a positive sign. They aren’t going to get that money/value back no matter what they do. The best decision moving forward is to evaluate which player(s) make the most sense for which position absent of salary considerations and go from there.

      If that’s the case, the choice is clear. Let’s hope they make the clear choice.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        If they truly viewed his salary as a sunk cost, he would already have been released. They are still trying to part ways with him for less than $14 million.

        I can’t imagine working to stay somewhere where I am not wanted. Interesting choice by Phillips. I suspect some of it has to do with his tremendous Twitter following, where people are still supporting him. Here is his most recent Tweet about the rejected trade:

        🎶There's "3" sides to EVERY story.There's one side, there's the other.And then there's the TRUTH🎶 ~ #Monstar— Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) January 6, 2017


    • MrRed

      Yes….on the Florence Freedom. He can stay in town as he wished, just not on an MLB roster. That’s his prerogative at this point but this is the outcome that should happen.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Why? He’s not good and he’s delaying younger players from getting experience that could help the Reds compete as soon as next year.

      As Chad says (and I fully agree), the Reds owe Phillips nothing (besides his $14M, which he gets regardless of what happens, so its not even a factor).

      • lwblogger2

        Patrick, I’ve told you why I think they can’t release him. This isn’t Carl Crawford. BP had his best offensive year since 2012 and his defense, though declining isn’t as bad as the metrics make it out to be. That’s what most of the baseball world sees, with of course a few folks who would see things like you do. It would be very controversial to release him and that’s just from a baseball world standpoint. From the Joe Fan standpoint, it would be a real nightmare.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Oh, sure. I don’t think they should necessarily release him. I think they should bench him. I don’t think he’d be the “cancer” a lot of people think he’d be.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        They’re still trying to figure out a way to say goodbye to him for less than $14 million. They apparently really blew a golden opportunity in November.

  4. cupofcoffee1955

    2017 is another rebuilding year, time to move on from BP. We need to see what Peraza & Herrera can do.

    I think they will be able to move Cozart maybe not before spring training. After spring training starts, I see a starting SS going down from another team. One of the first calls this team will make will be to the Reds.

    On opening day if we see Cozart at SS & BP at 2B, are the Reds really rebuilding?

  5. Chuck Schick

    It’s very possible that BP’s deferred money has an accelerated payoff if he’s waived. In exchange for deferring money, he may very well have clauses that force the Reds to keep him on the roster except for ” cause” or pay him the deferred money immediately.

    Since ” cause” is an almost impossible standard, if they sit him and he turns cancerous they risk having to pay him to not play and pay the deferred money if they cut him.

    • MrRed

      There is likely some dynamic like you mentioned in his contract that gives him leverage in a trade situation. And accelerated bonuses and deferred comp for termination without “cause” are pretty common in employment contracts. Not sure what’s typical for MLB contracts but something like this wouldn’t be all that surprising.

      I thought Sheldon’s piece was interesting in that the holdup on the trade to Washington last year was related to BP’s request for an extension. That was the first I had heard of an extension demand. The narrative that I had heard was that he wanted his deferred compensation accelerated as a condition to that trade. Maybe he tried to get the Reds to foot the bill on an extension or accelerate his deferred compensation and they balked.

      In any event, he appears to be sticking it to the team. I’m guessing the BP farewell tour this year is going to be a half-hearted production by the team at best. The end of his tenure here is going to get ugly.

      • StillRed

        I just don’t get the ‘he’s sticking it to the team’ sentiment that many express. He and the Reds made a deal…I’m sure it did not include, “…if we don’t want you anymore before the deal is up you will willing go away.” Why should he leave Cincy…he found a home here, he’s probably top dog in the clubhouse (he’d loose that going somewhere else, especially without an extension…and why wouldn’t he want an extension, he loves the game and not ready to hang it up). Would you offer to move from your neighborhood because your neighbors are tired of seeing your aging face.

      • MrRed

        The only deal they made was to pay him, which they’ll do whether he plays in Cincy or somewhere else. He also has a home in Atlanta. Where they just tried to trade him. He turned it down. The Reds have also told him he’ll be playing less. I don’t think it’s really just that he wants to be here in Cincinnati. He has another agenda, at least that is what has been inferred in the reports about these various trade deals.

      • ohiojimw

        I agree with you that there is something going on over the current/ future/ net value of his deferred comp. The talk out of Washington last year was about this and that the Nats told the Reds to settle it or no deal. Then after the trade collapsed, the word out of Cincy became it was because he asked the Nats for the extension and they refused. Nobody in the media pursued to see if the dots connected in such a way that the two views were actually the opposite sides of the same coin which they well could have been.

  6. Darrin

    Peraza playing every day shouldn’t even be in question.

    • Yippee

      Trade Cozart and Peraza then plays everyday, he is the future SS for the Reds.

  7. Patrick

    I say cut him now. It should have already been done. If they are able to find a suitor then all they receive emails would be a low level minor leaguer who isn’t even a prospect. I’m so tired of arrogance over the last decade anyway, tired of the unnecessary ‘showboating”. He’s been a good player but there comes a time to grow up. He’s 35 years old and he carries himself like a,twelve years old.
    The organization has,attempted three times to trade him and he keeps refusing to go. He needs to understand they don’t have any use for his services. If they do release him then maybe he is fortunate to be claimed.
    He can spend more time on Twitter whenever he realizes,his playing dsys,are soon to be over.

    • lwblogger2

      You really think if they release him that another team won’t sign him?

  8. larry

    Chad, I agree with everything you said except the last two sentences. It would have been nice if B P would have accepted a trade to his home town many have voiced, we’ve got to cut him before the season starts if their are no takers. He does have 5/10 rights, but we have the right and, I hope, the backbone to cut him.

  9. alankirkendall

    It seems likely the Reds can trade Zack Cozart if they adjust the expected return to market expectations. Trying to navigate between what the team should do and what they will do, is it possible Brandon Phillip is the super sub in 2017? Brian Price could sell this to Brandon by emphasizing the opportunity to show off Brandon’s versatility (2b, 3B, SS, OF?) and athleticism (he could even spell Peraza at SS here and there) enhancing his value in his free agent year and maximizing his at bats in the present rebuilding situation. Offering this solution positions the club well for further consequences if Phillips is not amenable.

    • msanmoore

      Playing BP at SS, 3B or OF would be a liability as I see it. He’s declining at 2B and the other positions require different/more demanding skill sets.

      Bench (less appealing) or cut … those seem to be the better team options. We’ll see what they choose to do. I know this forum will react no matter what. That’s the nature of passionate fans.

      • jessecuster44

        If the “sorting” narrative is true, then BP’s liability at other positions shouldn’t matter.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I’m with you 100% Alan. The major skill of a manager is managing people. Price needs to find a way to manage this situation and I think it can be managed effectively. The Old Cossack doesn’t prescribe to the assumption that Phillips will be a ‘cancer’ in the clubhouse. That may turn out to be true, but I think he can be an asset as a super utility player. This provides him ample playing opportunity and posibly more importantly, ample opportunities to collect those RBI’s he’s so fond of as a primary pinch hitter off the bench. Now is the time to begin delivering that message to Phillips. Price deserves the chance to prove his worthiness as a manager in a high-profile situation and Phillips deserves to chance to prove his worth as a asset in a non-starting role. If Phillips commits himself to a utility role, I believe his defense and his offense will prove adequate to extend his career past 2017 and probably for a contending team and he can turn a negative assumption regarding his clubhouse presence into a positive example of his leadership.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        Shchi, love your posts, but I don’t see the upside here for the Reds. If he adapts as you propose, he leaves in free agency with the only value created being accrued for a non-contending Reds team in 2017 (and it’s probably not going to be all that much value anyway). There is no longer an argument to play him in order to increase his trade value (as the Reds were doing last year); Brandon is not going to approve a trade without a change of heart. If he doesn’t adapt and perform well, the Reds have a problem to deal with. Would I like to see Bryan Price develop his managerial game and deal well with such a situation? Sure. But I’d also like it even more if he developed his managerial game regarding the cultivation of the young talent on this team while helping a number of key veterans learn how to lead the team. The distraction of Brandon would probably complicate this latter development and have a negative effect.

      • Shchi Cossack

        TY for the kind, leading comment and I’ll try to explain my admittedly shaky logic.

        “If he adapts as you propose, he leaves in free agency with the only value created being accrued for a non-contending Reds team in 2017…”

        I really think Phillips is playing this situation out as a child would play out a situation where he thinks he has the upper hand against his parents. It’s a game of wits and will. Phillips could be among the best utility/pinch hitter players in the NL. He swings early and often, with his entire offensive value predicated on contact. As a pinch hitter coming up with runners in scoring position, this is a positive role for Phillips. Phillips has the defensive capability to fill in anywhere around the infield and probably aroung the outfield. He won’t win a silver slugger and he won’t win a gold glove, but he will be at least adequate. There are a LOT of questions regarding the 2017 team, but those question could come with positive answers. Finnegan could join DeSclafani as a top starter in the rotation. Bailey could flash his old self after a full recovery from his TJ surgery as a solid pitcher. Hamilton could improve upon his overall performance from 2016 as a solid on-base producer and that’s a scarry thought for NL pitchers. Give Mesoraco 2 months of regular playing time to get his batting groove down and let that tomahawk swing loose hitting behind Votto. Peraza and Herrara turn in good defensive efforts as middle infielders and at least average offensive performances. The bullpen will certainly be giant steps better than 2016 and could be a positive anchor for the later innings. The Reds could compete for a wild card in 2017 and Phillips would have his stage as a run producer.

        “But I’d also like it even more if he developed his managerial game regarding the cultivation of the young talent…”

        If Price and Williams can’t get this aspect of their act together without removing Phillips from the roster, then they are both so incompetent that it won’t make any difference anyway because they are destined to fail and the Reds right along with them. I think Cozart will have a stellar spring training and demonstrate that his late-season issues in 2016 were from simply wearing down have rehabbing from his horrendous knee injury and coming back at full go too soon. Price handled that situation horribly. Cozart needed regular early season breaks to avoid aggravating his knee injury. The market for a SS with Cozart’s defensive and offensive capabilities will almost certainly develope this spring once he demonstrates that he is physically capable to perform. I think Williams is playing the Cozart card exactly the way he should and if the market doesn’t develope, then Cozart becomes additional strength on a solid bench as a utlity infielder along with Phillips. If the market doesn’t develope this spring, then opportunities will certainly evolve with the trade deadline.

        It’s the dead of winter and the ground is covered with a blaket of snow. We are facing a frigid weekend. Pitchers and catchers don’t report until February 13th, still more than a month away. Spring training games don’t begin until February 24th, almost 2 months away. Hope springs eternal in the dead of winter and the Old Cossack chooses to believe the Reds are in it to win it until they aren’t. If the Phillips situation proves to be the proverbial straw the breaks Mr. RedLeg’s back, then this organization has much more serious problems ahead and I probably won’t notice when Chad pulls the plug.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        OK, Shchi, I’ll join you in optimism! If everything falls together, a wild card run would be a ton of fun. And I agree that Brandon could be a very good pinch hitter. As for Bryan Price, while it may be a long shot, I’ll also be optimistic that he becomes that top-flight manager that we hope and dream for, so I’ll look forward to BP handling BP well. Time for happy hour! (And, no, I haven’t been drinking…yet.)

  10. Eric The Red

    1) I sure hope the Reds know what BPs real requirements are for waiving his 10/5 rights. Payment of 50% of his deferred money? Public apology from Bob Castellini? Joey Votto writing an article in the Enquirer admitting BP is a better player and the heart and soul of the team? If they know, and they’re prepared to maybe meet his requirements, keep looking for trades. Otherwise, stop wasting time.

    2) What’s wrong with keeping Herrera in AAA to start the season and wait until a contender has a second baseman go down with a broken leg? I simply don’t buy that he has to start the season in the Majors. If it’s May 30th, he’s batting .500 and OPSing 1.250 down in Louisville, the Reds are a half game out and MLB middle infielders are surprisingly healthy, then we can worry about how to manage our 2B situation.

    3) Please don’t shut down redlegnation 🙂

    • DHud

      I think I read somewhere that due to Herrera’s time with the Mets, service time isn’t a big factor with him anymore. Something like in order to get that extra year he’d have to stay in Louisville until August or something

      Maybe one of the writers/experts with a better idea can help me (Doug Gray?)

      But also yes, please don’t shut down the site

      • Patrick Jeter

        He has 119 days of MLB service time. 172 days is 1 year of service time. So, they’d need to keep him at 171 to get an extra year, so he could only be on the roster 52 days (171 minus 119). So, the end of the season is Oct 1, then August 10th is the day they could call Herrera up.

      • MrRed

        In other words, do you want to wait until the end of the season to call him up and then hope he’s the answer at 2B come opening day 2018? All to save another year of service time? Doesn’t sound like a good plan, especially for a team that is publicly stating they are rebuilding now and want to be competitive by 2018.

      • Yippee

        If he’s not the answer, then Suarez is. When Senzel is starting at 3B in 2018, either Suarez or Hererra can man 2B.

      • Patrick Jeter

        MRRED got it right.

        Sometimes (think Kris Bryant) it makes total sense to play service time games.

        Other times, if you get 6 good years that make you want a 7th anyways, you’ve already won. Herrera is one of those guys, in my mind. Six years from now if we are upset that he doesn’t have a 7th year, then I think that means he’s been a pretty good MLB player for the last 6 years.

    • Hotto4Votto

      If the Reds send Herrera to AAA they will have excercised his last option year. That means he has to stick on the roster in 2018 the entire year. They really need the evaluation time this year while they still have the option of sending him down to make adjustments before they’re backed into a corner.

  11. Old-school

    The Reds are the only MLB team where Phillips can use his leverage to start at 2b. He refused the Nationals trade last year because he saw a deep roster with super-phenom Trae Turner coming up and knew he would ultimately lose his starting job. He is a utility player everywhere else and his ego cant handle that. He’s not going anywhere. He has proven before he will go strategically nuclear to get his money( publicly calling Castellini a liar in a magazine because the Reds gave Votto a huge contract and gave it to him before BP got one) or off-the-cuff nuclear if he feels disrespected( personal attack on camera on C Trent because he pointed out his low OBP hitting in the 2 hole). The Reds will simply ride this out- They don’t want him to deploy another nuclear bomb. The branding of the Reds, the potential for a PR nightmare in 2017 and Phillips marketing future when he makes the team HOF and legacy weekends etc., the next 20 years…..all are for more important to them than a few months in 2017.

  12. jessecuster44

    If the Reds are serious about succeeding at any point in the near future, they must cut BP. Simple as that.

  13. redsfan06

    For Phillips, though, the issue is not simply money, sources say.

    He considers his refusal to accept a deal to be a matter of principle, and would want the team to address certain, unspecified issues before waiving his no-trade protection, sources say.

    I wonder what those issues are. Apparently the Reds are wasting their time trying to arrange a trade if they won’t/can’t give in on these. Since they went through the same thing last year, I suspect they knew it before trying to make this trade.

    • ohiojimw

      Principle and money are not mutually exclusive. It was suggested above that perhaps he wants his deferred comp paid up front or at an accelerated pace as a condition of waiving his 10/5 rights. If so, and the Reds won’t do it, the principle is he won’t agree to give up his 10/5 rights without compensation (which players typically do get in one form or another for waiving 10/5 rights); and thus the situation is about both money and principle.

  14. eric3287

    I’ve enjoyed Redleg Nation for a while now and will miss it when it’s gone.
    In all seriousness, this should not surprise anyone. This is what the Reds do. This is the Reds Way. They don’t replace veteran players with young players until the veteran retires. Hell, the front office had to CUT Scott Hatteburg in 2008 to stop Dusty from stealing playing time for Joey Votto! They kept a hobbled Scott Rolen at 3rd base while Todd Frazier wasted away. They wasted the first two years of Mesoraco’s service time sitting on the bench watching Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan.
    The organization has been completely mishandling the BP situation since 2011. There’s no reason to think they aren’t going to screw it up going forward.

    • Kyle Farmer

      I think the Mes situation was more a Dusty thing than a Reds thing. He somehow ended up in the doghouse and just could not find his way out until Dusty was gone.

      Doug Gray has promised the full story on that someday, and I’m going to hold him to it. I’d love to know what happened between Mes and the Toothpick because it must have been big.

      • eric3287

        I thought it was a Dusty thing, too, but obviously the front office was OK with it or they would have either traded one of the catchers or kept Mesoraco in the minors longer. There was no reason to bring him up in 2012 to sit the bench.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        Even when Mes was the second catcher on the roster, Dusty barely played him. Seems like a Dusty thing. If the front office had traded Hanigan a year earlier, I don’t know who would have been the second catcher (or who would have helped mentor Mes). And Dusty has seemed more resistant to listening to and working with his front office than many managers.

    • StillRed

      hmmmm….I thought Hernandez and Hanigan got us into the playoffs.

      • Patrick Jeter

        They did? Must be tough to carry a team into the playoffs single-handedly!

        Also, isn’t it amazing that Matt Sczcur won the World Series for the Chicago Cubs?

      • lwblogger2

        And Billy Bates won the 1990 series for the Reds 😉

      • eric3287

        Hernandez/Hanigan duo was with the Reds from 2009-2011. One playoff appearance in 3 years.

  15. Yippee

    Makes me wonder how Reds FO and fans will react when Votto heads into the final year of his contract.

      • Yippee

        Haha, good point!

        Unfortunately this happens in every industry. The old man at the office or in the shop who has been there for decades, makes more money than most of his co-workers, is slower than he used to be, misses work due to health issues from time to time, and has an old school way of doing things. He is “nudged” by management to take early retirement, or worse, outright let go to make room for someone who is younger and cheaper.

        If the Reds just outright cut him, it will be a sad end for BP. I agree, Reds don’t owe him anything more than $14 million dollars. There are many PR issues in doing that who is a favorite among many average, casual fans….let’s see what they decide to do!

      • jessecuster44

        OOH! Sarcasm notation. Love it. You should trademark that.

    • Patrick Jeter

      As many know, I’m an enormous Votto fan. And I’ve said even I will call for his benching/trade/release if he’s blocking a young 1Bman that needs PT.

      I hope I can actually stick to those guns.

      Although, if Votto is playing the last year of a locked-in HOF career (which is possible if he remains very productive the next fear years) he should be allowed to play his final year regardless of situation, IMO.

      • lwblogger2

        Griffey earned 10/5 with the Reds I believe and had to waive them to move to the Sox. He did so. I think Votto would retire with some sort of buyout on the remainder of his contract or accept a trade before doing what BP is currently doing.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Yeah, I think you are correct about that.

    • Bill

      I think that depends on how he is playing and if there is a better player waiting behind him. I don’t see Votto as someone accepting a bench role, but he also said he would rather quit than not live up to his standards. We also don’t know if a 40 year old Votto would waive the no trade to go to a contending team

  16. Eric The Red

    Anyone have any examples of another team ending up in such a 10/5 mess? You can make a case that the Reds didn’t make a mistake in getting into this situation with BP, but as far as I know this doesn’t happen often. Full disclosure: I pay very little attention to the American League, and not much attention to other non-Reds teams.

    • StillRed

      What about Jeter? I’ll yield to the better informed. P.S. not that I’m comparing BP to Jeter talent-wise.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I’m not sure if the Yanks ever tried to trade Jeter. They gave him a terrible extension, though, in 2014 (only $12M, but still!!) so he would retire a Yankee and not sign a 1 year deal with someone else. Apparently he really wanted to play an extra year instead of retiring in 2013.

        That $12M netted the Yanks -0.1 WAR, but I’m sure they got some increased revenue somehow with the year-long send off Jeter got.

      • MrRed

        Nice! Jeter answering the question about Jeter.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I’m glad someone noticed that! I was gonna mention it, but thought it would be cooler if someone else did! 😉

  17. Seth

    What are the chances BP would rather get cut than traded? If he’s traded, he gets his $14mil this season and that’s it (assuming no team will give him an extension). If he gets cut, he gets his $14mil from the Reds plus whatever some other team might be willing to give him on the market (unless there is offset language in the contract). It would only be a drop in the bucket compared to what he’s already made in his career, but maybe he’s trying to squeeze every nickel out of the end of his career. Also, he should not start another game for the Reds unless the team is swamped with injuries.

  18. Frogger

    BP is BP. I wrote on this site a couple of years ago this was going to be an Ocho Cinco situation after he obtained his 10/5 rights. Another example of bad decision making from Front Office. I can understand (though never agreed with) the decision to give him the long contract. The decision not to trade him before 10/5 is indefensible. The Cozart situation is completely different. The Reds have control. They are completely to blame if he isn’t traded. He also provides more value for the money they are spending on him at a more premium position. My best guess is that BP’s special things that need addressed is concerning playing time, maybe money, etc…

  19. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t blame BP for anything he has done. His self-promotion in the last year of his last contract worked like a charm.

    But, I do believe he was stupid for turning down the Nationals. But, he had to ask for more. When he didn’t get it, he turned the trade down.

    So, here, in his last contract years now, he’s trying to make a name for himself on a losing team instead of a winning team. Much harder to do.

    As well as, when I saw a batter run out an easy ground ball to BP for a hit, I could tell that BP just isn’t “into it” anymore. And, now, we are stuck with him. He’s going to get less play. And, that will result in even fewer suitors coming a-calling spring 2018. If he gets on with anyone next season, I can’t help thinking it’s going to be for a very small percentage of what he’s getting now.

  20. jessecuster44

    If #4 is retired in honor of BP, I’m not going to be happy

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Despite current circumstances, he is one the upper-tier players in team history. If not for Joe Morgan, he would be in the argument for the team’s all-time best second baseman. I don’t think they’ll retire his number because he wasn’t on a championship team.

      • MrRed

        Agreed. He’ll be in the Red’s-HOF but not likely that his number gets retired.

  21. Tom Mitsoff

    Unfortunately, two things are clear:

    1) Phillips is using all of his leverage, for whatever reason — I think spite has a lot to do with it. (He wants some of the money he feels he was cheated out of in signing the contract before Votto.) Therefore, it does seem that a trade is not in the cards.

    2) The team is not going to simply cut him and eat $14 million.

    He will be playing second base on at least a semi-regular basis for the Reds in 2017.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That’s the thing, though. For, whatever leverage he is using now, I believe he is killing himself when it would come to signing any kind of extension with anyone later. That’s why if I was him, I would have taken the Nationals deal. Baker would have definitely played him everyday. Baker would have probably pushed to extend him. And, even if BP didn’t get an extension from the Nationals, his numbers would have still been up where he would still be more enticing to other teams rather than coming from this team where his numbers are going to be down simply because he won’t be playing as much.

    • MrRed

      I think the first point is clear; that BP has an agenda (although it hasn’t been made public).

      But the second point is less clear, at least for now. The Reds appear to be doing their diligence in trying to move BP for at least something this offseason. But, only time will tell if they ultimately decide to cut the cord when the season arrives. I think there’s at least a small chance that they eat the money and release him.

  22. WVRedlegs

    This 10/5 mess is all on Walt Jocketty. He knew when BP’s 10/5 rights were going to kick in and did nothing to rid the Reds of this impending cat fight. If I remember correctly, there were articles on here before BP’s 10/5 kicked in warning of the consequences the Reds would face if they did not trade him.
    One thing to remember, once BP goes to a new team, those 10/5 rights vanish. They are not transferable as he won’t meet the definition of 10/5 anymore.
    It is time for GM Dick Williams to grow some stones and do what is best for the organization, and that is to release BP ASAP. We will see exactly what Dick Williams is made of in how he handles this situation. Pitchers and catchers report in about 5 weeks, so DW is on the clock. If BP is still on the 25 man roster when P & C report, then Dick Williams is a weak, weak GM. And this Re-build is not a serious one and that the Reds front office just plans to go through the motions for the 2017 season. Dick Williams is under an intense microscope now and how he handles this situation will be critical in how many fans will view him as GM going forward.
    If BP is on the 25 man roster in 5 weeks, I too will throw up my hands in disgust and be done with the Reds until a new ownership group and front office take over. The ball is squarely in Dick Williams court now. Do the Reds have a weak GM or a strong GM? We shall see. My money is on weak.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Never forget that Dick Williams is related to ownership. His father and uncle are minority owners. That means he is intimately familiar with their mindset about company finances. Sure, he reports to Castellini, but Castellini in effect reports to dad Joe and uncle Thomas. If the ownership group is adverse to saying goodbye to $14 million with no return, it’s not likely that the younger Williams is going to pound on any desks to try to change or influence opinion.

      • Patrick Jeter

        But if he plays, they say goodbye to $14 million with likely negative return (below replacement level WAR).

        Sometimes, cutting losses is the right economic decision. And sunk cost theory tells us not to factor in BP’s $14m into future decision making because the money has already been spend.

      • lwblogger2

        You think negative WAR? Remember that replacement level is 0.0. WAR has a lot of issues in my mind but honestly Patrick, I take that bet. He’ll put up positive WAR this year. Too bad you’re in Colorado or I’d bet you a cheeseburger and a beer or something… How often do you still get to Cincy?

      • Patrick Jeter

        I probably shouldn’t have used the word “likely.” 😉 You got me!

        I guess what I was trying to say is that paying Phillips AND playing him isn’t necessarily a better financial decision than paying him and NOT playing him.

        Maybe I just said the same thing again… oh, well!!

        I don’t get to Cincy too often. I was just back in August to let my grandparents meet their great-grandson. Probably won’t be for a few more years, but next time I’ll buy you a cheeseburger and beer, regardless! 😉

    • MrRed

      Although I understand your angst, DW can still hold BP through spring training in the hopes of working out something. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So, 5 weeks is a little premature. I’m even ok if they break camp and he’s still on the roster. My line in the sand is that he not be the starter going forward. The organization needs to commit to moving forward without BP.

    • Steve Mancuso

      My sense at the time was that Castellini was the driving force behind the Phillips extension, although it may have been both Castellini and Jocketty. It’s the GM’s job to talk owners out of bad deals, and we don’t know if that even happened, but sometimes the owner is going to do what he’s going to do. Castellini falls in love with his players, for better or worse.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I could see the Reds eating the salary and DFA’ing him, also, though I don’t believe they would do that. It would practically be career suicide for BP, I believe.

      The only question I have is, if BP gets picked up by another team after being DFA’ed, who’s responsible for BP’s salary for that season?

      • Patrick Jeter

        I don’t think Phillips can be DFA’d. I think he might have the right to refuse the assignment, but someone more versed in this should respond!

      • lwblogger2

        He can be DFAed but the ultimate outcome would be his release with the Reds on the hook for his salary. They can’t trade him because he won’t accept it. He won’t accept an assignment to AAA. Nobody will pick him up for his full salary on the waiver process. The last part of the DFA would be his release.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Makes sense! You’re earning that cheeseburger and beer now!

      • ohiojimw

        LW, are you sure there is a service time threshold that allows him to refuse assignment without forfeiting his salary? He definitely could use his 10/5 to block a waiver claim but we know nobody is going to claim him and and take the contract. However I’m not sure there is a service time level that kicks in the right to refuse assignment without forfeiting the remaining contract money.

    • lwblogger2

      I just don’t think you can call the rebuild a failure or Williams a weak GM for not releasing BP. The guy just had his best offensive year since 2012. Joe Fan loves him. The baseball world in general still sees him as a fairly productive player or nobody would want to trade for him, even if the Reds did kick in some money. It isn’t so easy as just releasing him. The fans here are in the minority and it’s not even close.

      • MrRed

        To be fair here, BP being called a “fairly productive player” is subjective in this case, and probably too generous. Even though he had his best year at the plate since ’12, it was still only good for a wRC+ of 92 and an fWAR of 0.9.

        I know, defensive metrics are suspect. But, even with your own eyes, I’m guessing that you can admit that BP is not nearly the defensive player he once was even a couple of years ago. How is adding another year to an aging player going to improve his outlook?

      • lwblogger2

        It is subjective but I’m trying to think like a player would think and what Joe Fan might think. Yes, my eye test says that his defense has most certainly declined, even over 2015. For the first time in my opinion, BP looked OLD in the field… Adding another year, especially to a middle-infielder is most certainly not going to improve his outlook.

        I can see plenty of good reasons to releasing him and I wouldn’t say that those calling for his release are off-base. I’m just saying that it is an incredibly tough sell to his teammates and other players around the league; as well as a monumentally though sell to Joe RedsFan.

    • greenmtred

      I’m a BP fan, but I agree that it’s time for the Reds to play their candidate(s) for second baseman of the future. I don’t agree that the resolution of the BP situation necessarily indicates whether the rebuild is serious or not. These people know each other, and that makes the transaction more complicated than it is in the abstract. I also really hope that, should things go wrong, RLN will survive. It’s a great resource, a good community, and should stay alive to comment on and discuss the Reds into the future. Things will change again. They always do.

  23. Preach

    My guess is if he ain’t going to Atlanta he ain’t going nowhere.

    Does make me wonder what the return part of that trade was.

    • redslam

      Had no expectation that he would be gone somehow, but agree with others that any glimmer of optimism with new GM would be shattered if he handles this the way we expect him to.. Can easily see us playing Cozart and BP 100+ games next year and that would be a shambles.

  24. Hotto4Votto

    The Reds done everything they can to do right by Phillips by trying to send him to Washington (good relationship with Dusty, contender) and Atlanta (hometown). If he didn’t accept a trade there then he’s not likely to accept one anywhere. That should essentially force the Reds hand to cut him. But it’s past time for this to be over with. I’m tired of Phillips and tired of the rebuild being handcuffed. Let’s move on.

  25. StillRed

    Is Hererra that great a prospect that delaying him a year (or 6 months) is that devastating to the rebuild?

    • jessecuster44

      Would you like to add another year of waiting for the Reds to be good? Not me.

      • lwblogger2

        Jesse, I get it but you may be over-estimating what it really will cost the rebuild. I don’t think BP’s presence sets the rebuild back a year. A negative effect almost certainly but not that drastic.

      • MrRed

        Solid points. But looking at this objectively, the Reds would have to burn Hererra’s last option to keep him down in AAA this year. And more importantly, by not getting him MLB experience, they leave another big question mark for the roster going into 2018 when they can ill afford any more question marks. That is, if they are serious about being competitive by 2018.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, they would use up Hererra’s last option year. Yes, that’s a bad thing. Do you really think the target date for the rebuild was 2018? Always felt like 2019 to me and I though even 2020.

      • jessecuster44

        Hmm – does BP’s presence change the chemistry of the rebuild then?

      • Yippee

        Hererra or Suarez can play 2B in 2018 while Senzel plays 3B.

    • Patrick Jeter

      It could be devastating, or it could be nothing at all.

      Every player (differs by player) needs a certain amount of time before he becomes productive. Some do it fast, some don’t. Even Mike Trout was terrible in his first call-up.

      So, the idea is to get all that out of the way so you have increased odds in 2018 of Herrera (or whoever) being productive from Opening Day, instead of needing April/May to adjust, or whatever.

      Purely hypothetical, of course.

    • ScottyA

      Herrera is a very good prospect was top 100 when eligible. He is 22 years old and OPS over .800 in AAA over two season.

  26. jessecuster44

    Per Jim Bowden: “According to a Reds club source there is still a possibility that Brandon Phillips could be traded to the Atlanta Braves, a deal in which the Reds would pay most of Phillips contract. The deal would allow the Reds to open the door for their prized prospect Jose Peraza. However, Reds executives acknowledge that they made promises and assurances to Phillips that they are not living up to and will have to work through those issues directly with Phillips before a deal can be consummated. Phillips has a full-no trade clause and nixed a deal to the Washington Nationals last year. The Braves are trying to be more competitive this year as they open their new stadium”

    Ugh. How stupid is our FO to promise things to BP and: Not Deliver plus Admit this publicly.

    It’s a clown car.

    • MrRed

      You think you’re mad now, Jesse? Per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Enquirer, the reason Phillips blocked the Atlanta trade (and he did actually want to go to Atlanta) is that the Reds didn’t come to him first to ask if he would would be open to being traded to Atlanta, as they promised they would tell him. This apparently answer the question about his previous vague reference of refusing as a “matter of principle.” If true, that’s a real gaff for the FO.

      • MrRed

        Oops indeed. And the team seems to have acknowledged they slipped up on this. Should we be more concerned about their ability to make the tough decisions during this rebuild or their ability to execute the fundamentals?

      • jessecuster44

        I give up. These guys are fools.

      • redslam

        Is it really that black/white? Do you ask your player preemptively normally in this situation? Let’s say that Atlanta (or someone else) didn’t end up having interest, then you have just told someone you want to trade them and can’t… it was stupid to say they would talk to him first if that wasn’t how it should be handled, but I do wonder about what the normal protocol is in these situations

      • MrRed

        The difference here is that the Reds promised they would first vet a trade target with BP before working out the trade. There’s been a history of proposed deals so both sides knew or should have known what was expected of the other. The Reds apparently failed to follow through on their promise and BP expressly vetoed this trade because the Reds didn’t talk with him first. So, yes, it is black and white in this situation.

    • TR

      If Jim Bowden is commenting on the BP situation, it means something could be in the works.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Jim B is not always the most accurate in his statements. Someone more accurate needs to substantiate or I’m not putting credence in it.

  27. Scott Carter

    The right thing to do is continue to try to trade Phillips, regardless of return. It is not going to happen but they should try all the way through ST, if not available they should cut him before opening day. Not that I have any confidence it will happen. Free Herrera!

  28. David E Phillips

    I’m okay with all of this minus the shutting down of the site because the Reds do something dumb. I hope that part was a joke.

    • msanmoore

      Chad isn’t joking … his sense of humor was surgically removed. I believe Steve Mancuso made that part of his deal to be on the RLN team.

      • Chad Dotson

        Hey….that’s not funny.


        Yes, David, I’ve been threatening to pull the plug for years. My little temper tantrums never seem to get me what I want, though.

      • greenmtred

        Not that any of us want you to be thwarted, Chad, but in this instance, we hope that you are.

  29. WVRedlegs

    Where are the Reds crack team of beat writers? What promises and assurances were made to BP?? And who made these promises and assurances to BP?? Will anyone be held accountable?? Playing time assurances? Monetary assurances?
    My guess is the Reds front office is dancing around in their own mine field and another self-inflicted wound is just around the corner.

    • lwblogger2

      See MRRED’s comment in response to Jessecuster above.

      • WVRedlegs

        My goodness, that is just lovely. BP is now ticked, so much for him not being a locker room distraction or virus or cancer now.
        Knuckleheads on both sides of this situation.
        Kaboom. Was that sound coming from the Reds mine field?

  30. msanmoore

    Latest update on MLB Trade Rumors says it isn’t over yet (probably just “mostly dead”)

    • redslam

      Yeah seems like a mistake (over a few years) that have cost the Reds pretty dear… DW, get your act together.

      • msanmoore

        Perhaps. If DW made hollow promises to BP then it was a stupid move. The conversation should be “We’re trading you. You can veto it if you want but there are no extras going into the deal. We tried that last year and it didn’t work.”

    • Yippee

      “Mostly dead” you can work with….”All dead” there is usually only one thing you can do. Go through its pockets and look for loose change.

      • msanmoore

        +500 for that comeback. I read it in my best Miracle Max voice

  31. Tct

    None of this makes any sense. Why would the Reds not ask BP about waiving the clause first?

    But what worries me the most is this:
    “The deal would allow the Reds to open the door for their prized prospect Jose Peraza.”

    Wait, what? Is this just Bowden being uninformed or did a Reds executive actually say this? Because I thought Peraza was the shortstop and Herrera was the second baseman . Are they thinking of moving Peraza back to second? Why? He loses a fair bit of value if he can’t play short. And I dont know about you guys, but I didn’t see anything last year to indicate that he couldn’t play short at the major league level. He is no Ozzie Smith, but he was solid enough that I think he could be an average defensive shortstop. And where does that leave Herrera?

    The trade of BP is supposed to open up playing time for Herrera. The trade of Cozart is supposed to open up a spot for Peraza. Right? Moving Peraza back to second makes the Frazier and the Bruce trades look bad. I hope this was just Bowden speaking about something that he has no clue about.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Keep in mind that this report is coming from Bowden, the most irresponsible and incompetent reporter (and I use that label with tongue firmly planted in cheek) with a national stage as has ever pretended to do that job.

      • lwblogger2

        That man burns my leather britches!

    • Patrick Jeter

      Yeah, I’m with you. I hope it is just Bowden being Bowden.

  32. sezwhom

    Mark Sheldon, better known as, Captain Vanilla, is worthless. I don’t listen to anything he says.

  33. WVRedlegs

    There is a rumor that the Reds are going to try Dilson Herrera in CF some this spring to see if he can play that position. That might even open up more possibilities for the Reds.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Where did you hear that rumor? I hope it is wrong.

      He’s played 59 games at 3B and about 50 games at SS in his pro career. Exactly 0 games in the OF.

      Sometimes it works (Hamilton), but usually it doesn’t.

      • WVRedlegs

        The Indians didn’t play Jose Ramirez in the OF until this year, except for 2 games in 2015. Herrera could make a similar impact. He is young enough and athletic enough for a position change if one comes. .

      • MrRed

        I’ve never heard Hererra being touted for his athleticism and defensive range. He is considered an average defensive 2B and his value is in his bat. Moving him to CF would make no sense. At least with Hamilton, you knew he had the speed and range to make a move from SS to CF. That’s not the case here.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Yeah, like MRRED said… Herrera is built like a running back. Doesn’t look like a CF to me.

        Also, where’d you hear that rumor? Just out of curiosity.

  34. thecoastman

    If you shut down RLN, Chad, you are allowing BP to manipulate you…. Please, please, please, don’t do that….

    A few observations IMHO:

    1) Williams may not have been the one to make any promises. It may have been the previous regime.
    2) The “promise” may have to do with the deferred money becoming due upon a trade.
    3) If the Braves called first and started bouncing some scenarios off the Reds it would be awful petty for BP to expect the FO to refuse to talk to the them until they could consult him first. Although BP’s ego might make that somewhat believable, it doesn’t seem to hold water.
    4) BP’s ego is relishing in controlling the situation.
    5) BP’s ego will never “quietly” accept a bench role.
    6) Herrera HAS to be vetted this year since he only has one option left. We cannot wait until 2018 to be forced into keeping him on the roster all year trying to develop him. 2017 is the year to do that. 2018 is the year to have a set roster and compete.
    7) BP will never accept a trade anywhere, anyplace unless it includes at least a one year extension for the same money so let’s get over this notion that he will be traded — period!
    8) This situation has turned rather ugly now.
    9) Considering point 8, don’t be so quick to think that the Reds will not out right release him at some point if they were willing to eat the majority of his salary in a trade. Especially if Herrera is raking in ST.

  35. lwblogger2

    All – This has definitely been a good debate and excellent baseball conversation.

    Chad – This is why, even if the Reds keep BP and he plays 150 not so great games at 2B for them this year, you can’t shut down the site 🙂

  36. redbone68

    This has to be one of the most lively debates on the site in quite some time. Very impressive how deep the blood and knowledge runs in the Rednation. Brandon has always been a mixed bag. Urine and moan, and yet play through injuries! Please continue while i pop a bag of corn…

  37. james garrett

    The Reds should release him but they won’t.He has all the leverage and will continue to use it but the reality is he is not part of the future and thus should not see the field.I can live with another year of auditioning but we already know about him and if he plays and blocks the auditioning of players then it is the wrong thing to do,For me its only about the future and when can we compete for the playoffs again.If BP or anybody else prevents that from happening they have to go.Its too easy for the Reds to just let him play so we can look forward to more debating on him for at least next year.

  38. sandman

    I would hope you wouldn’t shut down redlegnation. I enjoy your guys’ articles. The Reds are gonna do what they wanna do irregardless of what anyone says or does and we have to accept that if we love the Reds. I don’t like rebuilds and losing. Too many times I’ve seen a supposed “rebuild” produce nothing but more losing. But here I am going on 28 yrs later. I may not always like what the Reds do but I’m gonna stick with them. It’s my hope that IF the Reds have to implement the plan mentioned in the article that you’ll stick with the Reds AND Redlegnation.

  39. ScottyA

    Trade him or release him. Brandon’s claim that he wouldn’t accept a trade to Atlanta because they didn’t talk with him before talking to Atlanta is on the face of it nonsensical. Brandon is the final word on approving or disapproving a trade. So if the FO talk’s to any team and their ready to trade. The team then simply can speak to Brandon to let him know they have a team that they’ve agreed in principal to trade with; “will you accept the trade and waive your no trade clause.” How is that offensive to a Brandon? I don’t get it.

    Do we tell every player that another team asks about that the Reds are listening to trade offers for them? This is part of the business of baseball. I understand he is a veteran and has 10 and 5 rights and that it would have been wise to speak to him as Williams said they intended to do.

    If there is some promise that was made by the front office, that might be different. Depending on what the promise was. However, no one seems to know what the promise was?

    I don’t understand it. He is successfully embarrassing the Reds FO and I really don’t like that as a Reds fan.

    • ScottyA

      I have decided after reading his comments and his old comments that the Reds FO is afraid of a PR disaster and BP can make it happen! It’s not about BP, this is about the Reds and the rebuild. Bite the Bullet and Release him.

  40. Justin broughton

    This is what’s wrong with baseball and for the matter all sports any more… Every year it’s the same thing from professional sports and what it comes down to is money. These teams don’t wanna pay the good players and every year it’s where looking at the future and so on and on…9 times out of 10 when teams trade good players for young unproven players all they do is make the team that much worse and takes that many more years to get better and keeps the cycle of loosing and mediocre play going on that much longer. Yeah Brandon Phillips is getting older but the man can still hit and field and anyone is crazy for thinking Brandon phillips still ain’t one the best fielding second baseman in baseball. He still hit over 280 something last year. You can’t trade your best players every year for prospects and get better. Baseball needs a salary cap and for that matter all professional sports do and every team should be made to spend atleast 80 percent of the cap. If you notice it’s always the same teams that are always competitive year after year because they don’t use the future every damn year and it sickens me. If teams would keep there players and look to add players fans are going come and watch and support there favorite teams. How many fans wanna keep going watching poor play from whatever sport every year because that team gets rid of there players. BP is a damn good player and Dilson Herrea is never going be as good as Phillips and we would be lucky if he was a third as good as Phillips.

  41. Justin broughton

    Another thing with these stupid mid market teams is for the last 10 15 years is worrying about control and trading players that produce for nothing, they rather have a player that can’t hit or field pitch whatever for five or 6 season then the guys they had and signed to contracts. To me if the team can’t afford to keep the player it just be better just to let the damn player play out whatever contract for them and produce for the 3-5 years versus trading said player for nothing. Yeah every once and a while ur going get lucky and get a good player back but most the times it doesn’t work out and u don’t get equal value back. It sickens me teams value prospects more then the guys they have or me it just be better to let the good players play out there contract and take there chance on some mediocre free agent after they can’t afford player. Your giving your self about the same chance on the next player versus the unproven prospect that’s done nothing or even been close to the big leagues.

  42. Justin broughton

    This is my last post on this website. After reading some of the comments on this board I’m digusted with “some of you so called reds fans” it absolutely disgusts me you guys want the reds to trade BP just so Dillion herrea can play second for the next five years and be no where near the player Phillips is. What kinda true fan of a team wants there team to trade there best players for young players every year just to watch them be busts. We already got rid the best closer n baseball for nothing. I’m guessing if Barry larkin was still playing at bp current age you guys would all be clamoring for reds trade him. And I’m guessing when reds tried larkin in early 2000s you guys where upset with that not happening. Your not true red leg fans. If you where u wouldn’t want prospects year after year. You would want the guys that poured there heart and soul out for this team like Phillips has

    • jessecuster44

      … don’t let door hit you on the way out. Pls take BP with you. Invest in Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.”

    • Patrick Jeter

      You really failed to grasp ANY of the argument made against starting BP at 2B in 2016. It seems simple to me, but I guess it isn’t.

      We’ll miss you and your stellar contributions.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Justin doesn’t understand that this cycle of total rebuild is the new standard of business in baseball and all pro sports except football. You had teams like the Cubs and Royals who hadn’t won in decades who went this route and finally won. You had the Astros as the team that showed it can be done — clearing the decks, completely starting from scratch, and building a winning core of young talent.

      This is the new norm for teams that don’t want to settle for middle-of-the-road results forever. Patching holes with the Marlon Byrds of the world doesn’t work. The Cubs would still be “The Cubs” if they had continued that strategy. If this method hadn’t worked, it wouldn’t be copied. Whether the Reds will succeed is another matter altogether. We’re all hoping for the best, obviously.

  43. Redsman

    Seems BP is being very childish about this! Waaa- haaaaa! They didn’t run it by me before letting the cat out of the bag! So you’re gonna veto a trade it has been suggested you really wanted? Come on! Is a 35 yr old man really that childish?

    As for our FO, are they really that stupid? ‘Datdude’ already vetoed 2 other trades because of unspecified ‘principles’, and you DON’T ask him first!? It seems we are stuck in a ‘Groundhog Day’, scenario where supposedly responsible adults are sticking their tongues out at one another yelling ‘nana, nana, boo-boo, stick your hand in poo-poo!’

    Whether or not this is actually plausible, the same situation comes up nearly EVERY year during the off season. Only on the Reds does it seem to get to this absurd point where someway, somehow a deal isn’t worked out to everyones satisfaction. What has happened to our organization!?

    • MrRed

      Nepotism, Peter Principle, echo chamber and Dunning Kruger effect. All of these seem to be plausible explanations for the decisions we’ve seen from FO (ownership?) in the last several years.

      Of course neither I nor many others see behind closed doors when decisions are made by the team, but there still seems to be some ineptitude in the ways that things are being handled. Pair that with what we know about the leadership of the team and how they ended up in their positions, and we can make some assumptions.

      I know this sounds perhaps unduly harsh and I’m really looking for reasons to be optimistic about the team’s future but fiascos like this latest BP trade-attempt are really undermining that optimism.

  44. ohiojimw

    I’ve been somewhat out of touch for a day or two; and, started out reading the comments to this thread from top to bottom, stopping along the way to interject a few thoughts of my own. Then almost to the bottom, I get to the punch line, that if Bowden is to be believed the Reds FO has soiled their own mess kit (yet again) to get themselves into this latest impasse.

    Bowden may not have the whole story or have it completely straight; but, given the actors, I’m guessing there is some kernel of truth to what he is saying….

    • TR

      Info from Trader Jim Bowden usually has a tidbit of truth.