Last we heard, the Reds had tabled long-term negotiations with second baseman Brandon Phillips due to differing opinions on his market value.
And it seems not much has changed.
Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon on Tuesday that the team isn’t any closer to locking up Phillips, who is currently on track to become a free agent after the 2012 World Series.
“Hopefully in the next few weeks, it’s something we can address,” said the Cincinnati general manager.
Phillips, 30, batted .300/.353/.457 with 18 home runs, 38 doubles and 82 RBI in 674 plate appearances last season for the Reds while playing his usual brand of elite-level defense at second base. He told reporters back in late-September that he would not be offering the Reds a “homeboy hookup” in long-term talks.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.