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Rumor: According to Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports, he believes the Reds might be better inclined to trade Phillips so they can free up payroll for a new Jay Bruce contact extension. Passan goes on to mention that power hitters are becoming a rarity and the Reds should hold on to their right fielder.
The possibility of a Phillips trade is the number one concern through this offseason. Some fans feel like the Reds will lose their team identity if he’s traded. The Reds front office could be thinking of an early exit plan on Phillips’ contact since he’s still owed $50 million.
The Reds are going to have a tough time finding a home for the aging second baseman who is still set to earn a ton of money. The team not only has to worry about his contact, but his persona as well.
Phillips is a fantastic player for the game. He’s an eccentric personality in a league filled with boy scouts. However, the Reds might have had enough when he called his contract "a slap in the face" midway through the season (per Cincinnati Magazine).
The Reds’ front office probably see this as the best time to move Phillips. The New York Yankees are still waiting on Robinson Cano’s decision and Phillips could be their plan B (per CBSsports.com). This would be the best bet for the Reds since the Yankees could handle a large portion of Phillips’ contract.
But that’s the major issue. Who is going to take all of Phillips’ $50 million? In all honesty, probably no team can afford that this winter. The Reds might be pulling the trigger too early on one of the premier second basemen in the league.
However, many believe (including Passan) that Phillips is out of Cincinnati. Even though it leaves a huge gap at second base, the Reds still seem eager to make the move.