Yesterday Brandon Phillips took to Twitter to suggest that negotiations with the Reds over a long term deal were progressing. Reds GM Walt Jocketty — while hopeful himself — walked that back a bit last night:
When reached for comment, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty didn’t believe a deal was near. “I think it’s still a ways to go,” Jocketty said. “We’re still hopeful to get something done. We’re glad he feels that way … “I don’t think we’re that close [with Phillips], no”
We’ll hear when we hear, obviously. But I find this less interesting from the perspective of where Phillips’ deal with the Reds stands than it is in terms of social media dynamics. Brandon Phillips is a pretty savvy Twitter user. I wonder how much of his tweeting about a deal is designed to exert a bit of pressure on the front office. It resulted in Jocketty having to answer questions last night. Fans will certainly take greater notice of the negotiation now.
While it likely won’t happen here, I could foresee a situation one day where a player — if he handles it just so — could really exert some pressure on the front office by creating an impression that a deal is closer than it really is. Subtle suggestions, say, that ownership is cheap or something. Sure, players and their agents have done that sort of thing for years via proxies in the media, but direct contact with fans seems like it could be a different, more effective thing.