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Brandon Phillips still has some bitterness over the Reds giving Joey Votto $200 million

Jul 19, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

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There’s a great feature on Brandon Phillips in the latest issue of Cincinnati Magazine, written by Justin Williams. And I’m not saying it’s great just because I’m quoted in it briefly. Though that really does add to it all.

No, seriously, the takeaway here is that Brandon Phillips still harbors bitterness at the Reds owners for giving Joey Votto his $200 million deal before Phillips got his own $75 million extension. A $75 million extension he seems to believe is under market and was limited by Votto’s large deal, which Phillips thinks came too soon:

“I just feel like they didn’t have to sign Joey to that contract. He still had two more years on his,” says Phillips. “And for [the front office] to go out there and sign him before they sign me, and they knew I was going to be a free agent?” Phillips shakes his head. “I understand Joey’s a good player. He’s one of the best players in this game. But I feel like I am too. I told them that this is where I wanted to be. I begged them. I told everybody I want to finish my career here. And then they give someone a contract who didn’t ask for nothing?”

“To this day, I’m still hurt. Well, I don’t wanna say hurt. I’ll say scarred. I’m still scarred. It just sucks that it happened,” he says. “For [Castellini] to sign somebody for $200 million, there must be a new vegetable or fruit coming out that we don’t know about. For him to do something like that and tell me they didn’t have any more money, that’s a lie. But what can I do? I just feel like it was a slap in my face.”

He quickly adds that it was “a nice slap in the face” and he does seem grateful for his deal. But it’s clear that it still bothers him.

The entire article is worth reading, by the way, because it explains Phillips’ style, openness, generosity and outspokenness in a way that truly makes him make sense. And, in light of all of that, puts his comments about Votto’s deal in an understandable context, even if you disagree with his take on the matter.

  1. scdocal - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Yeah don’t complain over how many millions another guy makes over your millions but I must say people on hear saying that he isn’t an elite second baseman. As a braves fan would take him hands down over any second baseman we have played against all year. He is an elite second baseman

    • paperlions - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Defensively, yes. Offensively, not close.

      • Uncle Charlie - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        How does this get voted down? He’s a little bit better than average. Over the last three years he’s hit as well as Raul Ibanez, Garrett Jones, and Ike Davis. Too many reds fans drinking the cool aid.
        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2010&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=18%2cd

      • paperlions - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Because lots of RBI = elite?

  2. benzoids - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Brandon Phillips is an idiot. Somebody needs to communicate to him that this was done because Votto is white. Jesus.

  3. metrocritical - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Suggested guideline for pro athletes:

    Don’t ever talk about contract money in public, it never makes you look bad and it always makes you look greedy, petty, inarticulate or foolish

    • yahmule - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      Sometimes all four.

  4. jm91rs - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    I have a feeling most good players getting close to the end of a deal get upset when someone else gets a bigger one. I know it’s a team sport but its not about the team when contracts happen. I think Brandon is just a little too honest sometimes.

  5. losanginsight - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Did the GM have a gun to this guys head? He could have tested the FA market but he signed.

  6. jonirocit - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    All I can say is wow

  7. txraiderfan - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Contract issues aside, he should fall to his knees and at least thank God he’s not a pitcher, for his career would be ruined under the guiding hand of “Trusty” dusty Baker. Just ask Prior, Wood, Zambrano, etc…

  8. txraiderfan - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Dusty Baker: “Walks? Why do I want people cloggin’ up the basepaths?” IDIOT. Worst manager(?) ever!

  9. gloccamorra - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Something tells me Phillips is going to be available this off-season. Who needs a second baseman and won’t blanch at $50 million/4 years for a guy who will be 33 next year? The Dodgers!

  10. dirtydavid4 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Brandon has a point $75 million is slave labor man someone call the NAACP

  11. thementalcoach - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    So Brandon Phillips is upset he only got a six-year, $72.5 million contract from the Cincinnati Reds vs the 10-year, $225 million the Reds gave fellow player Joey Votto.

    I think what Phillips needs to understand is that it’s business, not personal, and the Reds are in business to make as much profit, with as few expenses, as possible. Sounds like they did that and I believe Phillips has to realize that and move on.

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