Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has hit just .234/.279/.297 in 68 plate appearances this month and has an underwhelming .725 OPS on the season. But he’s a pretty talented defender and does have some power, albeit inconsistent.
The Reds seem to like him and are probably going to exercise his $12 million club option for 2012. They may even consider signing him to a long-term deal when he gets closer to free agency.
Phillips, though, wants the future to be sorted out this summer. He wants an extension, and he was fairly open about the matter on Saturday while speaking to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“Hopefully, it happens,” said the two-time Gold Glove winner. “If it doesn’t happen this year, I feel in my head and my heart, it’s not going to happen.”
“I told the Reds and the whole world this is where I want to be. If it doesn’t happen, I’m going to be very, very disappointed. I feel like I’ve made this a second home. I bought a house here. This is where I want to be, man. The fans just took me in. I feel like I need to stay here and give back.”
“It was bothering me for a while. Even if we talked about it, I would have been OK. But nothing about it? It kind of bothered me. All I can do is go out and play and not even worry about it. I ain’t gonna lie — it was bothering me for a minute.”
Because productive middle infielders are hard to find and because Phillips is still in his prime at age 29, the asking price on that extension is going to be high. So high that the Reds’ front office is unlikely to rush into it.
Phillips may sound as if he’s willing to give the Reds a “hometown” discount, but that basically never happens.