Speculation has run amuck that the Cincinnati Reds want to trade their All-star Golden Glove second baseman, Brandon Phillips. Where it originated I cannot say assuredly. Cincinnati Enquirer writer, John Fay wrote that the Reds seem interested in trading him. The reason Fay cited was that the Reds have shown interest in Cuban phenom Alexander Guerrero. The young Cuban plays middle infield and should make a dandy second baseman. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Brandon Phillips
Let us play franchise owners for a moment, you and I. Let us say you have two very good or great players (depending on whom you ask).
The one player (cough, cough Votto) plays a position that is saturated with good talent and long ball hitters. The other plays a middle infield position yet hits like an outfielder.
You are in a small market (let’s say the Yankees are Wal-Mart and you are Food City). With your payroll currently around $80+MM you don’t have a lot of room to expand the horizons.
Your infielder is arguably the best in the National League, perhaps all of baseball. You don’t have a truly bona fide backup in your farm system who could make an immediate impact.
Your first baseman is a former MVP who has the same agent (Dan Lozano) who represents Albert Pujols, late of the second biggest contract in MLB history. You have at least one, maybe two players you feel confidently that could contribute fairly soon.
The one contract will expire after this year, the other next year. You only have money enough to make an attractive deal to one. What to do?
Okay, let’s quit playing and talk now. Joey Votto is the better hitter for sure, and he knows it. His agent is going to be seeking every dime he can get, as evidenced by the Pujols covenant.
He is also the more easily replaced of the two. There is not money enough in the coffers to finance both incomes.
Brandon Phillips will not be easily replaced. He now makes about $11MM and change. Dan Uggla makes approximately $13MM and ex-king of the hill Chase Utley brings in upwards of $15MM. There is a ceiling!
The money it will take to maintain Votto is astronomical. The first basemen of his caliber and above are making late-night TV hosting money. Pujols is knocking down $25MM per year for one decade. Prince Fielder signed with the Detroit Tigers for $23.8MM per annum for nine years.
Statistical comparisons with the three slugging first basemen shows Votto to be the meat in the sandwich. So, he realistically could be looking for $24-25MM. That is serious money to be talking about a man in his fifth full MLB season.
Votto stands to make $17MM in 2013 and if the Reds sign him to a seven year deal it could well cost them $187+MM. That is including the $23.5MM the Reds owe him for 2012 and 2013. That assessment was taken from MLB Trade Rumors.
Phillips is basically playing for donuts in comparison. We are talking Jimmy Fallon money to Conan O’Brien.
If the Reds wait to barter with Votto in his FA year (2013) it will probably be too late.
You do what you want, Mr. Franchise Owner, but I will sign Phillips and keep him smiling, and try to make a deal with another team for Votto. He is a Canadian, perhaps the Reds could get him for Jose Bautista? That deal was echoing through the pipes last summer.
What would you do?
If Rip van Winkle went to sleep after the 2007 season and just woke up the other day, what would he think? What would he say?
In just five short years the Reds can now only boast six players of the 51 who saw any duty at all in the 2007 season. That is roughly an 88 percent turn-around. Really?
It is amazing but the Reds have sent more people home than most companies have. Fast food chains have a very big turnaround, but I don’t know if it would hit 88 percent or not. They do have managers and assistant managers who hang on for quite some time. Yes?
Let us open up the archives and see who the six are and what has happened to the rest of the crew.
The Reds had two managers that year, Jerry Narron and Pete Mackinin.
Position players include Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan. The pitching corps consists of just starters Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and relief pitcher Bill Bray. That is a short list isn’t it?
Moreover, the only three who were on the 2006 roster were Arroyo, Phillips and Bray. Nobody on the current roster was a member of the Reds during the 2005 season. My, how time changes things.
Let us take a gander at the ones who have moved on, where they went and how it worked out for them.
First up, starting catcher David Ross. He was released by the club in August, 2008. He was snatched up by the Boston Red Sox for a post-season run and granted free agency after the season. He was picked up in December of the same year by the Atlanta Braves and makes about $1.63M per year backing up Brian McCann.
First baseman Scott Hatteberg played with the Reds for three seasons before giving way to Joey Votto in the 2008 season. He was released by the Reds in June of 2008 and hasn’t been seen since.
Shortstop Alex Gonzalez came to the Reds in 2006 and was traded during the 2009 season to the Boston Red Sox with cash for Kris Negron. He has done time with the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves. He was recently signed by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion whom I dubbed as “Double E”. That wasn’t necessarily for the two names but for two errors per game. Edwin could hit the long ball, and could make plays for the highlight reel. The frequency with which he botched routine plays was too much to live through.
He led the Reds in home runs in the 2008 season with 26 which doesn’t bode well for the team. He was traded right at the deadline in 2009 to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Josh Roenicke and Zack Stewart for potential Hall of Famer Scott Rolen.
The left fielder in 2007 was Adam Dunn. He gave the Reds four consecutive 40+ HR seasons before being traded in August of 2008 to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Dallas Buck, Wilkin Castillo and Micah Owings. He was signed by the Washington Nationals prior to the 2009 season and played one year before being signed by the Chicago White Sox for mega bucks. He is signed through 2014 and will make $14+M each year.
Center fielder Josh Hamilton has had a colorful career. He was touted for greatness when signed by Tampa Bay as the No. 1 draft pick in 1999. His battles with alcohol and drugs are well chronicled.
He came to the Reds in 2006 and was beginning to show flashes of greatness. After the 2007 season Hamilton was shipped to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera. Hamilton has an American League MVP trophy on his mantel. Volquez had a good first season with the Reds then was suspended for 50 games due to PED misuse. He then blew up and was traded with the farm to the San Diego Padres for Mat Latos this off-season.
Was that a bad deal? You tell me.
Right fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., is destined for the Hall of Fame without question. However it wasn’t his years with the Reds that will have pushed him over the top. He came to the Reds in 2000 and was a mainstay until trade deadline of 2008 when he was shipped to the Chicago White Sox for Nick Masset and Danny Rychar.
Griffey continued to slide downhill and was signed as a Free Agent by the Seattle Mariners where he retired in 2010 after his career had gone full circle.
Time or space won’t allow me to discuss the entire 51 players who at least shared a cup of java with the Reds.
To highlight a few of the names I will start with Aaron Harang. After the Reds declined the option on his 2011 contract he was signed by the San Diego Padres where he went 14-7 with a career best 3.64 ERA. The Los Angeles Dodgers picked him up this off-season.
Oh what a difference a half-decade makes. Rip van Winkle would still be rubbing his eyes.
For a complete list of the 2007 Reds with statistics click here.