The Reds offered Brandon Phillips a four-year deal

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Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio reports that the Reds are offering a four-year contract extension to Brandon Phillips.

Phillips is on the option year of his last deal and I’m sure the Reds would love to keep him, but he’s probably going to get longer offers once he hits the market. Whether those offers would be wise for a guy who will be entering his age-32 season in 2013 is an open question — second basemen don’t age particularly well — but he’ll likely get them if he has another year like the last five he’s had in Cincinnati.

The Reds aren’t widely expected to give him something great, though, what with them backing the money truck up to Joey Votto.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.