Earlier this week, several news outlets reported that last November Brandon Phillips exercised his 10/5 rights to veto a trade that would have sent him to the Atlanta Braves. Former Reds and Nationals’ GM Jim Bowden reports that BP feels the Reds have yet to fulfill some ‘promises’ they made to him in past years. This is the third trade in two years that Phillips has blocked ‘on principle’. A few thoughts:

  1. Brandon has every right to do this. The Reds signed him to a contract where they knew he would acquire these rights during his tenure as a Red.
  2. This is probably about Joey Votto. Phillips called the owner a liar – twice – because he claims the Reds told him during contract negotiations that they didn’t have enough money to pay him his requested amount. The Reds went on to sign Votto’s rather large deal.

Some may call this hard bargaining by Phillips (and the fact you have to sign 25 players, not one), but the Reds second baseman is claiming this is a matter of principle (side note: if this is really how he feels, I would love to play poker with DatDude). While the ‘unspecified issues’ are not spelled out in Rosenthal’s article, last year Phillips wanted a guaranteed extra year on his contract (around a $10-14 million price tag) in order to waive his 10-5 rights. This would be consistent with the theory that he feels he was underpaid during the last round of negotiations and now is using his leverage to gain additional compensation.

Phillips is right that he is in the stronger bargaining position: the Reds don’t need to win this year, would like to shed payroll and inexplicably traded for his replacement before dealing Phillips. All of these factors strengthen his hand, but this stronger bargaining position doesn’t add up to what he is asking. If he were willing to accept a smaller buy out for his 10/5 rights, I think a deal is there to be made.

The problem is that he seems dead-set on not moderating his asking price. This places him outside of the price range for any potential suitor and way beyond the Reds willingness to bargain. So what now?

The Reds objectives for 2017 are pretty clear: test out the new pieces and flip some rentals at the trade deadline. Winning is not the primary objective, but setting up a winning 2017-2018 season is.

With that in mind, the Reds could try to make BP moveable at the deadline. Here’s how:

  1. Limit his playing time. His starts *might just* have to be against other teams’ #4 and #5 starters. In 2016, he had a reverse split against lefties, so make sure that he is “taking a day off” against those pitchers. Let the kids try to hit Kershaw.
  2. Need a pinch runner in the 9th? How about BP. Counting stats count (hopefully to someone else).
  3. Sit him day games after night games. He’s getting older. Let’s not risk tanking those defensive stats because his legs are tired.
  4. Bat him behind Joey Votto (and Devin Mesoraco, if possible). Both have higher OBPs, granting Phillips’s a better chance of bringing home a run.
  5. Bobblehead nights. Lots of bobblehead nights. Those only go to All-Stars, right?
  6. Make him play with a golden glove. He can be the Reds’ literal ‘gold glove’ player.
  7. Hope that a contender needs a 2B at the deadline. If no trade partner can be found, sit him for most of the second half and give the younger generation the wheel for the rest of the trip.

There are plenty of problems here, notably that other executives will probably see through this strategy. It would have to be a subtle shift in playing time. It could also be that Phillips’ talents are too degraded to be saved. But if BP is not willing to moderate his demands, the Reds have got to get creative if a move is to be made.

Cutting him is a $14M waste. Sitting him guarantees he is unmovable at the deadline. Controlling Phillips’ playing time to shade his stats might seem like a terrible idea, but right now we’re selecting from a slate of bad options. Maybe — just maybe — the Reds can nudge his stats enough that someone (hello, Arizona?) will be desperate enough to pick him up at the deadline.

So let’s prop him up like an All-Star and hope nobody recognizes it for 81 games.

Join the conversation! 58 Comments

  1. It was clear from the conversation we had with the assistant GMs last year they thought Phillips had a decent, valuable year. So I’d be surprised if the club decided to DFA or bench him.

    My opinion is the Reds have spent enough time (2016) trying to prop up BP’s trade value. But if they insist on playing that game again in 2017, the kind of thinking Mike suggests in this post is their best bet.

    • But isn’t it clear that the option/ability to trade BP this year is far less than it would have been in 2016? Perhaps it’s not even a possibility now considering the latest news?

      There really is no value to be salvaged in a trade now. I think the Reds know that.

      This is about clearing roster space to give the younger guys playing time. If BP can’t be moved in a trade this offseason, the Reds have 2 choices. Bench him or release him. This is all premised on the notion that the Reds are serious about the rebuild process and “sorting” the pieces they have, as you might say.

  2. So who else thinks he was underpaid besides BP? Is he essentially penalizing the Reds because they did not overpay him? I seriously hope the Reds are not going to spend something like an extra 6 to 10 million instead of eating the 14 million owed in the hopes of gaining some mediocre prospect?

  3. Arizona can no longer be the whipping boy of our jokes! Dave Stewart is gone! The humanity!!

  4. The flaw in this logic is that there is no reason to believe that the Reds will be able to move him at the deadline, no matter how valuable; Brandon has refused every trade. To assume that the team should strategize anything around increasing his value is to assume that Brandon will change his stance (and whatever demand/principle he is standing on). If he won’t accept a trade to a contender managed by Dusty, and he won’t accept a trade to his home town, thinking that he will accept a trade at any point is a low probability assumption.

    • I see almost no way that he’ll be traded. He’s either going to be the primary 2B or he’s going to be released. The Reds almost need to hope that he gets hurt.

      • Or that he is so bad that they have a rather strong defense for releasing him.

      • He will start and play 2b 90% of the time. Cozart will be traded for a resin bag and bubble gum. He and the Reds will work together the last 1/3 of the year as he develops chronic wrist pain and goes on the DL….So both save face.

        • Btw…This is exactly why Brian Price wasn’t fired…Are you really bringing the next Reds manager in to deal with this dysfunction???? This will be part of the reason Price IS fired…Let him take the heat….And we need a fresh start in 2018…. New manager ….Young players…Roster turnover….It AL coincides

    • Exactly. He will veto everything right to the end.

      • Yep. If he didn’t want to play for Atlanta in front of his home town folks, I don’t see him going anywhere.

  5. I don’t really see the point. The money is a sunk cost anyway. Maybe the Reds can get a team to pay a few million, but that’s about it.

    And trying to prop up his trade value seems kinda pointless. Prop it up to what? A C grade prospect at best. Either a high risk, moderate reward type guy far from the bigs or a higher floor, low ceiling guy like Barnhart or Moscot. Nothing wrong with those guys and they can have value, but it seems silly to give 3-4 months of playing time to BP instead of Herrera for that. And using him as a part time player could be very unhelpful to Herrera if BP is not supportive and whines about it.

    Seems like a high opportunity cost for a very small potential reward. If you haven’t found a suitor that he will agree to by spring training, then wish him well and move on.

    • This is absolutely correct. Mike’s point that cutting him is a $14MM waste is simply not correct. The salary obligation is a sunk cost. BP gets the money whether he plays or not. And there’s not any overwhelming evidence that BP is going to play at an All Star level this year and even if he did, would it make any difference on a team that’s fighting not to finish last in this division?

      Agree that the opportunity cost here is the playing time for the supposed future 2B. The Reds don’t have the flexibility to sit Hererra or keep him in the minors this year.

      • Agree, you are not saving money, not getting a prospect, but you are getting headaches and a bad clubhouse. Time to move on, now.

    • Agree. If the Reds cant move him by the end of Spring Training they will release him.

  6. That $14m is a sunk cost. If they could get him to approve a trade I’d guess they’d have to pay a good portion of it anyway. Might as well just bite the bullet.

  7. Seems like we are missing some information. Was Phillips going to accept the trade but no one notified him first so he declined it based on principle? Who were the Reds going to get in return? Why is this just getting reported now? Whatbdoes he want in order to waive his clause? An extension? More money? An apology? Would like some transparency from the front office and know what went wrong here and what the mess up was.

    • The front office is not going to elaborate on promises they didn’t keep. This report originated from reporters talking to people other than the Reds front office.

  8. According to former Reds GM Jim Bowden a deal may still be in the works with the Braves: http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0609037157734028051-4

  9. Bite the Bullet and Release him. 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. Bite the Bullet and Release him.

  10. “Winning is not the primary objective” This is the reason why I won’t be attending any games this season or paying for any games via mlb.tv
    I’m not going to watch a team not try 100% to win and the Reds clearly are not fielding the best possible team that they can. They have decided to not participate in FA and instead of relying upon rookies that at best ranked somewhere between 50 and 100.

    • This is silly. Don’t you realize that Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto were once rookies in the 50-100 range? Can’t you see that the foundation for those Reds teams that won so much from 2010-2013 was laid in 2008 when the Reds got rid of veterans like Scott Hatteburg, Adam Dunn and Wily Taveras to make room for rookies like Votto, Jay Bruce, and Drew Stubbs?

      You see, young Simba, this is the baseball circle of life. If you want to be the lion king then you have to realize that you must die every now and then so that your dead carcass can fertilize the grass that the antelopes eat. Then when you are reborn, you violently stalk and kill the antelopes who ate the grass. And eat them. Its the cirrrrrrcle, the circle of life.

      • Young Simba? I’m probably older than you. Fact. Last world series for the Reds was 1990. Fact. There are cheaper forms of entertainment out there. Fact. There are other sports I can be entertained with where the goal of management is to win now. Fact. You believe you that everyone worships baseball in the same light as you. I do not see your “world view” of baseball.
        I want to see the Reds compete now. Not tomorrow. Now.

        • Are you questioning the wisdom of Mufasa and Sir Elton John? I challenge you to a duel sir!!

          Everybody wants to win. In baseball this is how you win. You try to develop a good young core, then when they are ready you fill in the holes through trades and free agency. At some point that core will get older and more expensive. And probably less productive. You then have to let them go and build a new young core. This is how it works. Even the large market teams are doing it this way.

          In my examples above I failed to mention 2006 when the Reds got rid of veterans like Rich Aurilla and Felipe Lopez to make room for a mercurial young prospect named Brandon Phillips. Was that the wrong thing to do?

          The core the Reds built from 2008-2013 had their shot. They had some great seasons but couldn’t get it done in October. That’s how it goes sometimes. Its time to give way to the next young group. This is the way it works and every team is trying to do it this way.

        • I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the players will be trying to win every game. A lot of them are young and will be trying establish themselves, so I’m betting that they play hard. The goal of management is to build a winning team, and that doesn’t happen overnight. You will notice that the World Series isn’t won by the same team every year, so ebb and flow isn’t a peculiarly Reds phenomenon. Pay enough attention to what’s happening so that you know when they are winning again and you can start watching them.

        • I agree TCT: “Even the large market teams are doing it this way.”

          The Yankees are a team that is also in transition. They could win 70 games in 2017 or they could possibly win 90 games. Yet, their front office is not spending their $ on a ton of free agents. Their only meaningful signing was Aroldis (the 1 yr contract for Holliday is inconsequential, particularly because he hasn’t produced much since 2012). The NYY annual payroll has decreased by $ 60 M over the last 3 years. Is it because they are paying CC Sabathia $ 25 M this year? Or, like the Reds, is it because they are in the middle of a rebuild (I’d say they are at an earlier stage of the rebuild than the Reds). The Yankees aren’t going to spend alot of money until they know what they have in Sanchez, Bird, Austin, and Judge. Clint Frazier was awful in a short stint in AAA. The Yankees starting rotation is poor, and it will be piss poor when Tanaka opts out of his contract after this year. Yet, the Yankees are not spending their $ to improve their team.

          BTW, we need to get Marty on this. Clearly CC Sabathia’s contract is preventing the Yankees from spending more money.

  11. This is what I wish would happen yet I realize it’s not gonna happen. Package BP and Cozart and trade them both to the Brewers for LHP Brent Suter (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=13942&position=P). Suter is an impressive Cincy native (specifically from my stomping grounds Anderson Twp). He could shore up the ‘pen and we could unclog the middle infield artery. If BP refuses, then release him. I think Suter could add some value to the pitching staff.

  12. Funny thing about all this is I doubt you’ll hear a peep from Marty B about Phillips and the shenanigans with this contract.

    Anyone hear Marty B on the Reds Hot Seat just laying into the Votto contract? “I don’t care OPS or any of that stuff.” It’s crazy to think he’s employed by the Reds. http://calltothepen.com/2017/01/05/cincinnati-reds-announcer-marty-brennaman-still-hates-joey-votto/

    Yet it’s all praises for Phillips and his league replacement level value at $14M.

    How many other MLB teams have a fan base and front office stuck so hard on old school values while the game is clearly changing? The Phillips and Marty B types are just amazingly intolerable. It will be a good day when both are gone from this organization. They did a lot at one time, but both are not exiting with any semblence of grace or professionalism

    • I heard Marty and I was appalled. I have always given him the benefit of the doubt because of my loyalty to the Reds and too many nights listening to him and Joe from days gone past…but regrettably and with no joy…..I do believe its time for him to go. I cant defend him anymore.

  13. The Reds are looking at close to $20M in sunken cost on two middle infielders they don’t want (One they could trade except for his 10/5 rights and the club’s apparent mismanagement of its latest efforts to get them waived. The other nobody will touch with a 10 foot, pole). They have two years ($20+M) left on the contract of a catcher who hasn’t caught for two years and may well never be able to again. They have $68M guaranteed remaining on the contract of a pitcher who has essentially missed the lat two years with TJ surgery and follow up issues.

    Yet, the Votto contract for a guy who actually plays and produces is the one they can’t afford?????

    • This x 100!

      Thank you sir!

      • Joey Votto is just one hangnail away from hurting the Reds chances of winning – stuff Marty Brennamen might have said, but didn’t.

    • Exactly!!! It’s not Mesoraco’s nor Bailey’s fault that they are injured but complaining about payroll that’s actually on the field and producing, and saying that money is what is holding the Reds back, seems like a fool’s argument.

  14. Right or wrong, Phillips feels the Reds shafted him with his last contract negotiations. Its payback time for him. Good for him. He has earned the position to do it. Personally, I wish he would move on and hasten the future in but it is what it is.

    • Phillips has been paid roughly $100 million over the years by the Reds, and he’s bitterly holding a grudge over a perceived slight 6 years ago. (Or at least he seems to be.)

      I always thought, from the minute they extended him, that it was mistake for baseball, economic and clubhouse reasons. While he will play hurt, he is a “me first” player at a non-premium position. Any management with a pair would have let him walk when he first became free-agent eligible.

      No team will give any value to the Reds for him, nor will any team agree to assume much of his salary. They may as well just DFA him now, and if somebody picks him up, then they save $500k or so.

    • I concur 100%.

      He’s paid the proverbial dues and i always sympathize with ballplayer who are uprooted and transferred to a new town. Sure, its a business…but i would sure hate it if mine moved me across country, unwantedly.

      Go BP!!!

      • I could not disagree more. If you hate flying, don’t be a pilot. If touring and being on stage isn’t your thing, don’t be a singer. He’s been paid $100 million to tour the country for 6 months a year and perform. The other 6 he gets to do want he wants for the most part.

        Getting traded is like airport delays to pilots, broken down tour buses to singers, etc. It’s the business. Everyone is grinding in their respected professions from 22-36. Everyone. But not everyone has $100 million to show for it.

        I have no respect for athletes like BP.

        • This is a bad take.

          Have you attended a Reds game the past decade? Gone to Redsfest? Read about any of the off field fan interractions BP has had?

          Hes easily the most fan friendly Red ive seen this century. I respect that. Ive seen him share pictures and autographs for extended periods of time at Goodyear, GABP, Wrigley and Progressive ballparks.

          If a vet has 10/5 rights i see little reason for fans to get chippy when the ballplayer exercises those rights. Which were negotiated, not given.

          Reds are gonna be below .500 next season with or without BP. Kind of a non issue for me. I could understand all the buzz on this issue if the club was a contender.

        • I have not met Brandon, nor have I shared a locker room with him for 162 games. I am aware of his many fan-related behaviors, how many of them are made known to us relative to their total? PR can be powerful, no question about it.

          I believe you are making a tenuous assumption that by having multiple press covered or announced (often by BP himself) fan interactions on record, that it means he’s a good teammate and member of the organization. The one does not equal the other, just as the converse of the one does not equal the converse of the other (i.e. Joey Votto is not the best at fan interaction, this does not make him a bad Red).

          BP plays a game, he loves attention, his style of play generated many fans who adore him. He enjoys to hang out with the people who adore him. This is wonderful for the kids, and his fans. Please understand my hint of irony here is not meant to rude but – why does he get so much props for this exactly?

          Again, I’ve never been his teammate, so I can’t say for sure. I’ve never been his employer, his batting coach, his agent, etc.

          What I’ve gathered is that he’s holding a grudge because he feels entitled to more money than he deserves, and now he’s exercising 10/5 (this next part is IMHO and the crux of my argument) not because he loves Cincy and hates the destination (he has a freakin’ home in Atlanta for crying out loud, and would’ve played for a WS contender and a manager he’s stated many times he loved in Washington) but because by exercising 10/5 he gets to screw the front office. That is not the spirit of the law, as it was negotiated into the collective bargaining agreement.

          IMHO, BP is using this precious right in the CBA to screw the team that set him and his family up for the next 3-4 generations.

          That, is why I have no respect for athletes like BP.

        • Streamer: BP gets attention for being fan-friendly because the fans enjoy the interactions. The game is for the fans and it’s entertainment. I certainly agree that not all players are comfortable in that particular spotlight and that that does not make them bad people or bad teammates, but neither does BP’s comfort with it make him a bad person or teammate. It’s clear that you don’t like him–your privilege, certainly–but you are making assertions about his motivation that are not documented and probably can’t be, short of a long and candid conversation with BP himself.

    • Just because what he’s choosing to do is ‘within the lateral boundaries of the rules’ doesn’t make it right.

      He is being petty and ridiculous. This is a valuable lesson for front offices- the success of long term contracts are based on performance sure, but the personality of the player receiving the contract can be toxic as well.

      BPs contract has been a level investment in total, but now having to deal with his perceived slights and immaturity and instead of being the beneficiary of his veteran presence is walking that back a bit.

  15. I just don’t buy the thought that BP was upset over not “being told in advance” of the trade to the Braves” surely he is not that immature and petty. If he is, that is one more reason to cut him. The 14 million is lost anyway, time to move on.

    • It’s hard to think of someone who has gotten paid tens of millions of dollars playing baseball as being a “victim”. I don’t really think this will play well with a lot of the fan base, really.
      Problem: transparency of management with how a Brandon Phillips trade is or was structured.
      Problem: what, precisely, does Brandon want to accept a trade?

      The whole thing is cloudy, but if it looks to cost the Reds more money than it is worth, then release BP in Spring Training. Of course, this will NOT appeal to Bob Castelini’s parsimoniuous heart, so I doubt it will ever be approved. He’s paying the 14 Mil, and he wants to see something for it.
      Does Marty really not understand what OPS means?

      Tune in tomorrow for more of the BP soap opera.

    • “Surely he is not that immature and petty”? We would hope not, but the indicators are there. If BP does not accept a trade as Opening Day approaches, then release him and play Peraza/Herrera in year three of the rebuild. It would be nice if Phillips would accept a role as a super sub in his last year as a Red, but I doubt it would happen without causing dissension in the clubhouse and on the bench.

  16. He has made some plays that I had to see to believe, but, it is all about the future now. The Reds have now got to look to the future and do what is best for the fans. I want to look at the future. If 65 games is all we can win with Brandon then let’s get the young guys on the field and see what they got.

  17. Interesting discussion. BP does not have significant trade value, given his insistence on rejecting a trade(his right). He will not be part of the next Reds contender. Herrera and Peraza need play. I doubt that BP will be a useful bench player, so the only thing that makes sense is to recognize the loss, thank him for his service, wish him well, and DFA the guy. Move on and build a winner that competes for championships.

    • Ya know, yes. There has to be a way for the Reds to announce as diplomatically and, I hope, sincerely, as possible that as much as they appreciate what Phillips has given the team, and how they know he’s a future member of the Reds Hall of Fame, etc, that they have to look ahead now, and that means going younger.

      They can acknowledge they have tried to trade Phillips several times: once to his former manager, with whom he seemed close, Dusty Baker, on a contending team; then to another team that was making big moves trying to contend last season, Arizona; and finally to his hometown team, Atlanta, and he has rejected all three trades. … So finally, they can say it’s best for the team to cut him loose, and let him make the best deal for himself this season.

      If he doesn’t like the terms of the parting, that’s on him. If he wants to play in 2018, he can show somebody else this season that he’s worth it. And if the fans don’t like it, give it time to at least start to blow over before spring training.

  18. ” inexplicably traded for his replacement before dealing Phillips. ” Thus my biggest gripe about Reds’ management.

    • Would you prefer they trade players then look for replacements? My guess is they took what they felt were the best players available in trades. You don’t turn down a trade for a prospect because you already have someone on the team playing that position.

    • I didn’t understand that point in an otherwise thoughtful article. Of course you should identify and acquire a replacement before trading a player. What if you trade the guy and can’t acquire the player you want to take his position?

  19. This is so stupid
    Get anything at all for Zach now. He is not worth much anyways. Let BP play with a bit more rest. Keep Dilson in Louisville a bit longer. BP played well over his contract and was a valued member of the community. Show him some respect.

    • To get respect, you have to first give respect, Terry. BP’s media outbursts over the years (including calling the owner a liar) have certainly given the Reds grounds to try and move him. The team tried to find 3 good landing places for BP but he refused to be traded. That’s his prerogative. But then it becomes the team’s prerogative to move on without BP this year. Not saying the Reds have to be nasty about it. But they can find a way to jettison BP and be mindful of his past contributions both to the team and the community.

      • Well said. We fans have a fondness for players – I get that and appreciate it. At the end of the day we want to see our tea win and anything that detracts from progress toward that end needs to fade away. Time for BP to fade …

    • It works both ways with BP also showing some respect.

    • Did Phillips play well over his contract? Because based on value per WAR he’s been paid almost exactly what’s he’s been worth. I have found articles listing WAR/value for 2013-present. His $60m extension that he signed ran from 2013-2017. 1 WAR was worth approximately $5m in 2013, $6m in 2014, $7m in 2015, and $7.7m in 2016.

      According to Baseball Reference Phillips accumulated 1.8 (13), 1.7 (14), 3.5 (15), and .8 WAR in those years.

      Multiply that out, and he was worth $9m, $10.2m, $24.5m, and $6.2m. Totaled that’s $49.9m dollars. During that time he’s paid $46m dollars. Essentially he’s been worth slightly more than he’s been paid for in his contract to this point, almost entirely based off of his 2015 season. He’ll be paid $14m this year. Assuming the value of 1 WAR jumps up again (somewhere between 8-8.5 million per WAR) he would need to be produce at least 1.2 WAR just to match the value of his contract. And even then he really would have only added surplus value in one of his 5 extension years.

      Contrast that to Votto, starting with his first extension year in 2014, according to Baseball Reference he put up 1.9 (14), 7.6 (15), and 4 (16) WAR seasons. Multiplied out the WAR value for those years are 11.9m, 53.2m, and 30.8m to bring the total value to 95.4 million. That’s against $46m paid out. That’s almost a $50 million dollar surplus in value for 3 years. That’s what I’d call playing well above your contract.

  20. I agree with those who feel that there is no point in building trade value for a player who will waive any trade that doesn’t come with a sizable payout. BP has waived several trades, including one to the Nats that would have reunited him with Dusty and put him on a team that was in playoff contention. I think we can all agree that it isn’t worth buying him out to get whatever the return on a trade would be…so I don’t know why the Reds don’t just tell Philips that he will be playing off the bench unless he takes a trade, and that if he becomes a problem in the clubhouse or media, they will release him. I know that is a hard thing to do to someone who has given this club as much as BP has, but no one gets to play where they want to play, for however much money they think they should get, well past their prime years (See Peyton Manning).

    And if BP is mad because he didn’t get Joey Votto money, all I can say is, BP was great, but he was never Joey Votto.

    • As I saw someone else post somewhere, the Reds essentially have 4 options. Keep trying to trade him and hope he’ll waive his no-trade rights. Keep him and play him and see if you can trade him later in the season, but be resigned to the fact he may be here all year. Release him. Or, relegate him to a bench role.

      With the first option I see no reason why he’d accept a trade now if he hasn’t already. There really can’t be a much better situation than the ones he’s already rejected. Even a reason stated last year (doesn’t want to move the family) doesn’t apply to Atlanta as I understand he has a house there.

      With the second, as you and others have stated, there’s not really any trade value to gain. The bone’s been picked clean. Under this scenario you also block the guy you hope is the future at the position. Herrera is ready for the big leagues, nothing left to prove in AAA. So essentially you push back evaluation time as well as the overall rebuild.

      Releasing him may be somewhat of a PR hit to some fans, but savvy fans will understand the baseball reasons for it. And, you can’t run a business based on what uniformed Joe Fan thinks. They’ll find new favorite players just as they have done several times over the years.

      If you relegate him to a bench role, there are far more risks associated than just releasing him. For one, he’s primarily a 2B only at this point. He was below average last year at the position, certainly isn’t ideal to move around the field. Then the question must be asked if his ego can take a lesser role. I’m doubtful. He hasn’t dealt well with the media as it is, I can’t see him staying quiet about his role if he’s on the bench. There just aren’t many advantages to him coming off the bench and I think you take a ton of clubhouse/team chemistry risks by going that route.

      If option one doesn’t appear possible. And you’re going to pay him anyway with option two, three, or four, then give me the option that helps the Reds future the most and comes with the least amount of risk.

  21. One thing in all the “release BP” hoopla that I’ve been hearing that may be in question… That is, are there any monetary implications in BP’s contract that would cause releasing him to cost more money? Of course you need to fill his roster space so it cost the league minimum for Hererra or whomever to take over his spot on the roster. But, are there other costs involved here? Is there a clause in his contract perhaps that states that his deferrals are immediately due if he’s released? Doesn’t say so on Cot’s but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I’ve given all the reasons I can in defense of not releasing BP and thought of this one over the weekend. Thought I’d bring it up as perhaps a possibility.

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