UPDATE: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that the Reds have offered Phillips a five-year deal in the “neighborhood” of $62.5-65 million. In other words, it’s a shade higher than Dan Uggla’s five-year, $62 million extension with the Braves from last offseason.
5:20 PM: This morning there was talk of the Reds only offering Brandon Phillips a four year deal that most folks think wouldn’t be enough. Now we hear — from Walk Jocketty himself — that he’s confident a contract extension for Brandon Phillips will be done in a week.
Who knows if it’s the Reds going longer — like maybe giving him the five years that the Braves gave Dan Uggla — or Phillips being willing to accept four, but either way, it would be pretty impressive if the Reds were able to sign Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto within the space of a couple of weeks.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.