Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is “more willing” to consider waiving his no-trade clause. Phillips has just one year and $14 million remaining on his contract.
The Reds tried to trade the veteran — now 35 years old — last offseason, but Phillips vetoed two separate trades that would have sent him to the Nationals or Diamondbacks. As a result, the Reds lost interest in trying to facilitate a deal.
Phillips has been more or less average over the past five seasons, averaging about two Wins Above Replacement and an adjusted OPS of 95 according to Baseball Reference. While he is no longer the All-Star-caliber second baseman he once was, he still appears to have plenty left in the tank and could be useful for a team with a gap to fill at the position.
Dilson Herrera and Jose Peraza would be in line for playing time at second base in the event Phillips is traded.
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer had a terrific rookie campaign, finishing 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 132/42 K/BB ratio in 159 innings. He and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez are in the running for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, which will be announced on Monday. The Tigers acquired the right-hander from the Mets at the trade deadline in 2015 in the Yoenis Cespedes deal.
With the baseball season over, Fulmer hasn’t had to look hard to find things with which to occupy his time. For the second offseason in a row, Fulmer is working as a part-time plumber, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. He is working for the uncle of one of his friends, joining Cyrus Wright Plumbing when the son of his boss took another job.
Fulmer said, “[My boss] called me, and I said, ‘All right, we’ll see how it goes from here.’ And I’m still doing it, so it’s fun.”
Fulmer’s boss, Larry Wright, said, “He digs ditches and gets dirty and does whatever needs to be done.” Fenech describes Fulmer’s job responsibilities as including ditch-digging, changing sewer lines, replacing old Orangeburg pipes with new PVC pipes, exchanging water heaters, replacing sinks and faucets, and fixing leaky toilets.
Manual labor helps Fulmer get ready for offseason preparation, saying, “It’s a different kind of workout. Digging out of six-foot ditches all the time and shoveling quite a bit. So, it’s a different type of workout, and it helps before I start working out in the offseason.”
Free agent starter Derek Holland was recently on 105.3 The Fan’s Ben and Skin Show in Dallas. The lefty said he would let the Rangers match any offer he receives in free agency. The Dallas Morning News provides the direct quote:
It would be weird to go somewhere else but at the same time I’ve heard it many times, a special person told me, (former manager Ron Washington) was telling me, it might be good for you to have a change of scenery. And who knows, I might go somewhere else and they trade me back to the Rangers. We don’t know what lies ahead. I told J.D. when I get offered something, I want to throw that to them and see if they want to compete with it or whatnot. I want to give the Rangers a chance, no matter what. I’m always going to leave that door open. I’m not closing that door. If they close the door, then fine, I guess I have to close the door. But as far as I know it’s still open and I’m leaving it open for them as well.
Holland, 30, has been limited to 35 starts over the past three seasons due to injuries. But he still stands to draw interest in free agency as the market, particularly for starting pitchers, is weak.
The Pirates have been reported to have interest in Holland.