The Cincinnati Reds have remained rather quiet this offseason as the biggest move in Cincy thus far is the decision to remove Dusty Baker and promote Bryan Price from the club’s pitching coach to manager. Aside from that, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty hasn’t done anything of note. In fact, the Reds’ inactivity has been compounded by key players like Bronson Arroyo and Shin Soo-Choo testing the free agent waters.
As if losing the production of Soo-Choo, who is as good as gone, the Reds have also decided to put second baseman Brandon Phillips on the trade block. This news comes just a week after Jocketty all but shot down the rumors of Phillips being shipped. Even still, the Phillips rumors are very puzzling to say the least.
Sources: #Reds‘ Phillips definitely in play. Team will move him if it improves club in ’14.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
Despite a low batting average and .310 on-base percentage, Phillips was productive as usual in 2013 with over 100 RBI for the first time of his career. Perhaps the most questionable part of these rumors is the fact that the Reds gave the second baseman a six-year deal worth $72.5 million less than two years ago!
If the Reds were so hesitant about Phillips’ spotty OBP and sometimes volatile attitude, then why did they make him one of the richest infielders in the game in April of 2012? Either way, teams are reportedly interested in Phillips and the New York Yankees are an interesting team as they need to replace the recently departed Robinson Cano. So as the hot stove heats up, be sure to keep an eye on Phillips to see if the Reds trade away No. 4 despite making such a vast financial commitment to the slugger.