Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has hit just .234/.279/.297 in 68 plate appearances this month and has an underwhelming .725 OPS on the season. But he’s a pretty talented defender and does have some power, albeit inconsistent.
The Reds seem to like him and are probably going to exercise his $12 million club option for 2012. They may even consider signing him to a long-term deal when he gets closer to free agency.
Phillips, though, wants the future to be sorted out this summer. He wants an extension, and he was fairly open about the matter on Saturday while speaking to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“Hopefully, it happens,” said the two-time Gold Glove winner. “If it doesn’t happen this year, I feel in my head and my heart, it’s not going to happen.”
“I told the Reds and the whole world this is where I want to be. If it doesn’t happen, I’m going to be very, very disappointed. I feel like I’ve made this a second home. I bought a house here. This is where I want to be, man. The fans just took me in. I feel like I need to stay here and give back.”
“It was bothering me for a while. Even if we talked about it, I would have been OK. But nothing about it? It kind of bothered me. All I can do is go out and play and not even worry about it. I ain’t gonna lie — it was bothering me for a minute.”
Because productive middle infielders are hard to find and because Phillips is still in his prime at age 29, the asking price on that extension is going to be high. So high that the Reds’ front office is unlikely to rush into it.
Phillips may sound as if he’s willing to give the Reds a “hometown” discount, but that basically never happens.
Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.
Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.
Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.
Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.
Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.