“I just feel like they didn’t have to sign Joey to that contract. He still had two more years on his.” He also added that he is angry that the front office signed Votto before they signed him, “they knew I was going to be a free agent.” Phillips shook his head and added “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?”
If you’re unfamiliar with Votto’s deal, it is a 12-year deal worth $251.5 Million, Phillips’ deal is a six-year, $72.5 million. Reds team owner, Bob Castellini, is the chairman of a multi-billion dollar produce distributing company, but told Phillips the $72.5 million was all the money they could offer him, but Phillips doesn’t buy that; “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 then paused for a moment, then added “But how can someone slap you in the face with all that money? It’s a good slap in the face!”
Brandon Phillips has the right to speak his mind, but this could lead to issues between Votto and Phillips. If you’re Joey Votto, and you read Phillips’ comments about your contact, would you be happy? No. I don’t know about you, but I would be very upset that my teammate spoke that way, pretty much saying he doesn’t deserve the money he is getting.
While the comments he made make it sound like he only cares about money, that is not at-all true. At another point in the interview with Cincinnati Magazine, he says he loves playing baseball, loves the fans, and loves the city of Cincinnati.