Brandon Phillips told reporters upon arriving to Reds’ camp last month that he hadn’t spoken with the club about a possible contract extension since December. That’s about to change.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty confirmed to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com this afternoon that he plans to meet with Phillips’ representatives when they arrive in Goodyear, Arizona next week.
“They will be here this coming week,” Jocketty said Saturday. “That’s all I am going to say. There’s nothing more to talk about until I talk to them.”
Phillips is currently due to make $12 million this season before hitting free agency. He has previously said that he’s not willing to give a “homeboy hookup” to the Reds and “just want(s) what other second baseman got.” If that’s the case, he’ll likely use Dan Uggla’s five-year, $62 million deal with the Braves as a benchmark.
Phillips, who turns 31 in June, has a .280/.331/.449 batting line with 124 homers, 135 stolen bases and a .779 OPS since joining the Reds in 2006. Only 12 players have more hits (997) during the same time span. Considered one of the best second basemen in the game, Phillips has won the Gold Glove award in three out of the past four seasons.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.