Reds fans are probably getting dizzy from all of the back-and-forth rumors regarding Brandon Phillips.
One moment Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Reds are unlikely to trade the second baseman, and a week later Phillips' name is involved in trade rumors.
On Dec. 11, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the New York Yankees rejected a Phillips-for-Brett Gardner trade. Heyman followed that report with another tweet saying that the Phillips wanted to add money to his contract if he were to be traded, which the Yankees rejected.
Gardner is in the final year of his contract. He could wind up being another rental player, so it wouldn't be wise to make a trade without getting him to commit.
Phillips would be tough to deal. He is still owed $50 million over the next four seasons, and Rosenthal tweeted that the second baseman can block a trade to 12 teams, including the Yankees. It was a wise move for Phillips to put the Yankees on his list of teams, considering that Robinson Cano was a free agent. He could demand more money from them or reject a trade.
There is no way this team would be better off by trading Phillips. He is a four-time Gold Glove winner and a three-time All-Star. He just knocked in a career-high 103 runs in 2013 thanks to a .338 average with runners in scoring position.
Yes, his average and on-base percentage dropped this past season. However, most people fail to mention that he was playing injured. He was leading the offense before getting hit by a pitch on June 1. He missed the next four games, and his numbers dropped the rest of the season:
|Before June 1
|After June 1
As he showed on his Instagram account, he got the injury taken care of after the season.
If the Reds are going to lose Choo, they can't afford to deal Phillips. That's too much offense to lose and still expect to contend for the National League Central crown. The club would be wise to hold onto the star second baseman and watch him rebound next season, especially if he hits high in the lineup.
The Yankees are the only logical fit for Phillips, but they appear to be looking in another direction. Cincinnati would be wise to hold onto one of its core pieces.