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.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: