After the disappointing loss in the NL Wildcard game Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips placed the blame on the team and
then eventually himself for the teams collapse in the last two weeks of the season. Now there is talk that the Cincinnati Reds could be exploring options to trade Brandon Phillips and his unreasonable contract.
Brandon Phillips has irked Reds fans one to many times this season with his comments and his actions on the field. This season alone there have been at least three occasions where Phillips has said something that has irked the front office and the fans of the Reds.
The first came in July when Phillips sat down with Cincinnati Magazine to discuss his new 6 year $72.5 million dollar contract. This transpired:
“I just feel like they didn’t have to sign Joey to that contract. He still had two more years on his,” Phillips said. “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 said. “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 said. “For [Bob 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.”
This quote/article immediately fired up some Reds fans. Some played it off as Brandon just being Brandon. To publicly say that your $72.5M contract is “a slap in the face” is a slap in the face to Bob Castellini and the Reds front office. Then to in a sense attack Joey Votto who may be a bigger fan favorite than Phillips is out of line as well. At the end of the day Phillips should be happy he even got a long term contract with the Reds.
After that quote some fans were annoyed. Phillips remained relatively silent until Phillips attacked Cincinnati Enquire reporter C. Trent Rosencrans during a series in St. Louis at the end of August.
“Hey Dusty, the fat motherf***er on the end is worried about my on-base percentage. Why don’t you tell him to have me bat eighth with my on-base percentage.” Said Phillips, he continued. “Fat motherf***er. Make him happy, Dusty. Fat motherf***er. I’m tired of you talking that negative sh*t on our team, dog. I found out your Twitter name now motherf***er. It’s a wrap.”
If you were to listen to the clip you can hear Phillips demeanor and tone. Phillips meant it everytime he said it, it said it with such anger it is one of those moments you know someone absolutely means for it to hurt. C. Trent just stated the obvious and Phillips went off. This annoyed fans as well. Their team was in the news because Phillips was acting like a fool.
While Phillips continued to struggle down the stretch, he would eventually go hitless in the one game NL Wild Card playoff. Following that game and his poor performance Phillips had this gem as a quote:
“We choked. I don’t care how my teammates feel about what I am saying now, because it’s truth. Either you win or you go home. And I’m going home. The last place I want to be is on my couch … I choked.”
Phillips says it right there, he doesn’t care about his teammates. Some of his teammates played their hearts out, Shin Soo Choo and Todd Frazier gave it their all. Phillips comments this time ignited the Reds fan base.
Now comes the talk that the Reds are exploring possible trades for Brandon Phillips. Cincinnati has been interested in in Cuban defector Alex Guerrero a young short stop who could be moved to second base. Guerrero is asking for a 5 year $32M deal, the Reds can easily afford this.
Getting rid of Phillips means getting rid of the headaches and the awful plate appearances. His laughing after errors and grounding out has been annoying for far to long.
Phillips has provided us with some gems at second. He makes incredible defensive plays. His gold glove defense has been mesmerizing but his bat has been less than incredible.
Trading Phillips also opens up some payroll. Payroll that could be used to re-sign Shin Soo Choo who gave played his heart out every game this season.
The only problem is Phillips is getting older, his numbers were less than good this year and his contract is unreasonable. But there is a silver lining, the Dodgers and the Yankees both have deep pockets. The Dodgers are looking to upgrade at second after their loss in the NLCS while New York may have to replace Robinson Cano. Those are the two most likely candidates.
Brandon Phillips time in Cincinnati has come to an end. As soon as the rumors start it is best to make the trade happen as soon as possible. A great ambassador for the Reds off the field, unfortunately his mouth may have cost him this time.