The Brandon Phillips trade rumors have died down heading into spring training, but now that the Reds second baseman is giving the media the silent treatment, they could be back on and teams like the NY Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays could remain options for a deal.
This move is very unlikely now that spring training is underway, but it is not unprecedented and with the Reds shelling out money to Homer Bailey and others, that could be the last straw for Phillips. There were reports earlier in the season, including from Hardball Talk and CBS Sports that said the Reds were shopping Phillips and were looking to trade him before the season started. The Yankees looked like a logical destination, but with all the money they have spent this off-season, there is little chance they will take on his salary as well.
It made sense for a while though, as the team lost Robinson Cano and knew there would be a void at second base, but now the team looks to be content with Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson and whatever else they throw out at the position. The Braves also were a team mentioned in a possible deal, as they have a black hole at second base with Dan Uggla, but they couldn't get rid of his contract either. ESPN.com reported that the Reds and Braves could have worked on a deal involving the two, but the Reds did not want to take on Uggla at the expense of Phillips and opted to pull back from getting into it.
According to Hardball Talk, Phillips is now getting testy with the media and that follows some remarks he made last season and some of this stems from the fact that Phillips said he felt the team, lied to him when they were talking out his six-year, $62.5 million extension for his contract. The team shelled out over $200 million for Joey Votto and signed Homer Bailey to a deal at six years and $105 million and this comes after the team said they had no more money for Phillips. Bailey signed an extension after he came up in trade rumors and now he has a high annual salary and is locked up for years after playing on a one-year, $5.35 million deal last season.
CBS Sports reported earlier in the offseason that the Reds played up a deal that offered Phillips to the Yankees for Brett Gardner, but the Yankees did not want to do that deal. Clearly the team likes Gardner, as they just agreed to an extension and even with Phillips having one of the best 2b gloves in the game, that wasn't enough. Last season Phillips hit .261 with 18 home runs and 103 RBIs and while he should be very productive this season, he also has a no trade clause and that could come into play if the Reds try to deal him at some point this season.
Phillips came to spring training and said he was there "to play" and this came after a rough offseason that involved those rumors and other issues with the team. Phillips said that he wants to concentrate on baseball and that he is keeping the rest of it out of his mind for the season.