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Brandon Phillips is probably on the way out of Cincinnati

Oct 20, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT

brandon phillips getty Getty Images

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s John Fay — a very professional beat reporter who doesn’t dabble in nonsense — reported last week that the Reds will likely shop second baseman Brandon Phillips this winter. Which makes sense in a lot of ways. Phillips is owed $50 million over the next four seasons and posted a weak .706 OPS (92 OPS+) in 151 games this year — his lofty RBI total a product of Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo. Phillips is still an elite defensive second baseman, but he’s turning 33 next June and some of that athleticism will inevitably fade.

Phillips also rubbed many in the organization the wrong way this summer with his multiple off-field incidents. There was the ugly dust-up with Enquirer baseball writer C. Trent Rosecrans and the article in Cincinnati Magazine where Phillips complained about Votto being the first to have his contract extended. Here’s a new column on the coming trade talks from Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, who says there is a “For Sale sign on Phillips’ neck” …

While Phillips is popular with fans through his Twitter account and his willingness to sign autographs, he is not so popular in the clubhouse and is thought of as a self-promoter.

Said one man who is in the clubhouse every day, “You can’t tell by Brandon’s face whether we won or lost, but you can tell if he went 0 for 4 or 2 for 4 no matter if we won or lost.”

AND IT DID PHILLIPS no good when he disappeared in September — 18 for 95 (.175), four RBI, one home run, three doubles as his team collapsed into the rubbish pile.

There’s plenty more where that came from — so much of so that it’s difficult to envision Phillips suiting up for the Reds next March. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears the Braves have interest.

  1. piratecaptain12 - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Thanks to his strong defense, he was still an above average 2nd baseman. I wouldn’t want my team to touch him. Media issues aside, he plays half his games in great american small park, so his numbers are due to take another tumble if he leaves there

    • pglewis13 - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      If he hit 35 home runs you might be talking sense. When he’s not hitting them out that much, a larger ballpark is more likely to work TO his advantage.

      • pipkin42 - Oct 21, 2013 at 2:39 AM

        uh wut?

      • pglewis13 - Oct 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Simple, pipkin: short fences only help you with home runs. A bigger park = more field to cover for the defense = more room to find a gap. It’s not rocket science, buddy.

  2. riverace19 - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Id imagine the Dodgers would be willing to offer up someone like Dee Gordon, or Jerry Sands, or a middle reliever like Hawksworth for his services; Mark Ellis has to go.

    • gdobs227 - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      They would probably need to get the Pirates’ permission before offering up Jerry Sands.

    • scruffmagee - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon on the same team….. good lord that’s some speed

      • drewy44 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Speed yes. Ability to hit and field? Another story. (Especially for Gordon. Hamilton is still a question mark)

  3. hookemhorns25 - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Any chance they switch Billy Hamilton back to second base then?

    • pglewis13 - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      So, people point out Brandon’s drop in AVG and OBP and your solution is to replace him with someone who had worse offensive numbers at AAA? And lets not even pretend we can compare Brandon’s defense at 2nd to someone who has never played the position in professional ball.

      • jm91rs - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        I don’t think the plan would be to swap for equal production. I’m guessing they’d like someone with a much smaller mouth and paycheck. They can look at another position to add production.

      • timburns116 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        Sure, like center or left or third or SS. It’s easy to get “someone else” to play above average defense and hit a little in the middle infield. It’s why there has only been one Reds SS since Barry hung up spikes. Offensive production from the middle infield is just that easy to find.

  4. missthemexpos - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    The Blue Jays have been trying to find a replacement for Robbie Alomar for a long time, could they be trading partners with the Reds?

    • w08groomsb - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Sure, Bautista for Phillips straight up! Haha

      • contraryguy - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        The Reds should take that trade every time… GABP can’t hold Joey Bats

        and Alomar was last a 2B in 1995. There are MLB prospects who are younger than the Jays need for a 2B.

      • contraryguy - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:03 PM

        sigh, ok, he was last a JAYS 2B in 1995. Darned Sunday football buzz.

  5. Fantasy Football Consultant - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Welcome to the dodgers

  6. unclemosesgreen - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Any scenario where the Braves add Phillips while subtracting Uggla makes them a much better team.

  7. Jack Marshall - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    But how can this be? Harold Reynolds swears that BP is the best second baseman in the NL—just look at those rbi!

    • timburns116 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      So do Marty and Jeff Brantley, who constantly deride the ability to walk in favor of ribeye steaks

  8. xpensivewinos - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    4 years, 50 million.

    Brian Cashman is weeping, dreaming of a universe where he could pay his second baseman that pocket change…….

    Dodgers really do seem like the logical destination. If you have a problem with a guy, we’ll take him and we don’t care how much he makes!

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Perhaps is Phillips was not miscast as a cleanup hitter, he could have performed a bit better. If he was the #2 hitter, he might not be trying to swing out of his shoes on every pitch, and his meager power numbers would not be so damning.

    • timburns116 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Except he prefers to hit clean-up and would have hit #2 if Ludwick hadn’t been lost on — literally — on day one

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Sure, I would prefer to hit cleanup for an MLB team, but that does not mean that I should. He didn’t do a terrible job, but a team with playoff aspirations should expect more out of the #4 spot in the lineup (and the #2 spot as well, for that matter).

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Perhaps if Phillips was not miscast as a cleanup hitter, he could have performed a bit better. If he was the #2 hitter, he might not be trying to swing out of his shoes on every pitch, and his meager power numbers would not be so damning.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      Whoops, sorry for the double…

  11. clydeserra - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    @river ellis and Phillips had virtually the same WAR this year. And Phillips cost twice as much.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      But Phillips signed more autographs!

  12. riverace19 - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Gdobs: good catch! My bad!

  13. philsieg - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    …from Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, who says there is a “For Sale sign on Phillips’ neck” …
    I know Hal’s no youngster, but this is a very unfortunate way to describe an African-American player, particularly in a town with Cincinnati’s racial history.

    • philsieg - Oct 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Ah, from the thumbs down it seems the White Grievance Committee is out in full force.

      • timburns116 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Isn’t it always?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Is Phillips black? I didn’t realize that due to my Colbertian inability to see skin color.

    • knowlegeforyou - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      It’s the same as saying there’s a price on Votto’s neck. Slavery existed well before the African American slave trade in the early Americas. Examples: Rome, Celtic Tribes, Great Britain and Ireland, Islamic powers, Mongols, The Vikings and Scandinavia, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Christian Slaves, Brazil, Other South American countries, British and French Caribbean, New Zealand. Maybe people are past the racial stuff and look at Phillips as a person with a who’s rights to play baseball under his current contract can be bought since he is owed 50MM. You are an idiot and that’s why you have so many down votes.

      • timburns116 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Thanks for telling how African-Americans feel about slavery, dude. That history lesson was awesome. Did you get it from Stormfront?

    • redlegz - Oct 21, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Its really sad that in 2013 a topic as important as racism is continually trivialized by ignorant p.o.s. trolling internet sites. You may think that race baiting is funny and trivial…it just shows what a sad racist YOU truly are. BTW, if u were to stop closing your eyes and screaming racism at EVERY post..facts would tell you that Cincinnati has a gay, black mayor. So get your facts straight…ghetto trash.

  14. louhudson23 - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    His RBI total is not due to Choo and Votto. His RBI opportunities were most assuredly due to them. You can’t stick just anyone(including the mythical replacement player) in the lineup and watch them drive in runs because there are men on base. Some people can do it,some can’t. Braves would love this guy,and of course,Uggla can plug right into his spot and go to town taking credit for Votto and Choo….

    • Reflex - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Your missing the point. The point is that he has no control of whether a person gets on base ahead of him or not, he can only control his hitting. Unless he chooses to slack off with nobody on, and then ‘hit better’ because someone is on base, then his RBI’s really aren’t a function of skill beyond his already existing skill as a hitter.

      • barrywhererufrom - Oct 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Mets? yanks.if they lose.cano..

      • louhudson23 - Oct 21, 2013 at 4:16 AM

        I am missing nothing. Situations dictate at bats for good teams and good players. Game score,RISP,number of outs,innings all dictate a plate approach,at least to those who are on the field to help the team win,as opposed to creating a nice individual stat line. Looking to drive in runs brings about a different attitude and methodology to a hitter. Not every player can consistently drive in runs. Putting the ball in play in an effective(situational) manner is what drives in runs(it is not what creates the opportunity to do so).The fact that the number of opportunities he has is dictated by others is meaningless in terms of his ability to deliver when given that opportunity.RBI ,like each and every stat are contextual. Discounting RBI is silly. As is over inflating their value.

      • Reflex - Oct 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        Evidence please. People say this but they can never back it up. All hitters hit better with men on base for a number of reasons, but what is important is does anyone hit better than the league average in those situations consistently. I’ve never seen anything about a player who can pull that off.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      Is RBI/Opportunity a stat? Really, it seems as though a legit cleanup hitter should have had 120-140 RBI with Choo and Votto getting on base ahead of him. If Phillips could put it in the people on a more regular basis, those Opportunities would be Ribeyes much more frequently than they were.

      • contraryguy - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        It’s part of a brand new stat called WARROOM, or, Wins Above Replacement Respective of Other Metrics. While I figure there will be some discussion about it, remember, as we were told in Dr. Strangelove, there is no fighting in the WARROOM.

  15. metalhead65 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    since I have no use for saber metrics I am confused by your dismissive attitude towards Brandon Phillips Rbi’s. you say it’s because of choo and votto and it is. but isn’t the cleanup hitter suppose to drive the guys who are on base in? I would ask how driving in runs does not mean anything but am afraid I will get some saber metric speech on how you know being responsible for scoring runs does not mean anything. again look at his average before he was hit on his forearm by the pirates. he will not use that as an excuse but you do not fall off that dramatically unless you are hurt more than is admitted. I think he missed only 4 games but should have stayed out longer. plus batting cleanup his job is to drive in runs and you can’t do that by being selective at the plate. he would have had more rbi’s to but moved himself up to the 2 spot because he could not take watching cozart not get on base any more. if they get rid of him it better not be for someone like uggla or another useless ex card. they better get a top prospect and at least a solid bench player so they do not have to depend on guys like hanahan and izturis anymore. they have not had a decent bench guy on the team in the last 5 years. they don’t have to get another starting second baseman as they can use plug in one of their top prospects like soto or rodriguez to take his spot. they can’t help the reds on the bench or in the minors and they would cost allot less.

    • Reflex - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      1) Since you refuse to use sabermetrics, you will often be confused by those who are more versed in what makes a team win and a player great.

      2) Yes, it is the job of *every* hitter to drive in those who are on base ahead of them. Since no player has demonstrated an ability to ‘hit better’ than the average league improvement in that situation consistently, it is justifiable to assume that any hitter of equivalent skill to Phillips would have driven in roughly the same number of runs as he did since RBI’s are based on opportunity. Since Phillip’s overall offensive numbers aren’t great, it would have been amazing to see someone like Beltran or Holliday in that cleanup spot all year.

      • drewy44 - Oct 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Consider the fact that Jay Bruce had MORE RBIs that BP hitting behind him tells you that better production out of the cleanup hitter would have stolen those RBIs from Bruce and made for a pretty impressive RBI stat. With Choo and Votto basically on base all the time, almost any average hitter would’ve put up 100+ RBIs like BP did. When BP failed, Bruce picked up the slack. Could you imagine a .300+ hitter like in that slot?

  16. metalhead65 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Phillips is not the only one who disappeared in Sept. what happened to Ludwick? he was supposed to be the answer once he came back. dusty babied for a month not playing him more than 2 days in a row and then when he finally did play on a regular basis he could not hit. and dusty putting him in the 2 spot effectively ended the Reds season.

  17. brownsapologist - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    I’d take him back in Cleveland, even though he hates the team for jerking him around all that time, but if he’d switch to shortstop we could finally get rid of Cabrera. I know it’s a huge stretch but I would do anything to not see him out there next spring. Take Chris Perez too while you’re at it.

  18. hvoigt21 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    Brandon Phillips… of the biggest racists in baseball.

    Proved it out withmhis comments about Votto.
    Surprised he didn’t get Al Sharpton to start an investigation.
    Glad the reds are cleaning house of them.
    They started with the biggest kingpin racist in all of baseball..Dusty Baker…

    the main thug, Cuerto should be,next.

  19. hvoigt21 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Jack Marshall….You are correct….Harold Reynolds says Brandon is the best 2nd baseman in baseball., Any chance he gets he puts in plug foe one of his black buddies. They all,stick together.

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