Jocketty: Reds “not close” to extension with Brandon Phillips

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Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips told reporters back in late-September that he would not be offering a “homeboy hookup” to Cincinnati once it came time to discuss terms for a new contract.

And he certainly seems to be sticking to that.

Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com on Thursday that the two sides are “not close” to reaching an extension, meaning Phillips will likely enter the 2012 season as a free-agent-to-be.

Phillips, 30, is regarded as one of the top defensive second basemen in the major leagues and batted .300 with an .810 OPS, 18 home runs and 82 RBI in 674 plate appearances this year for the third-place Reds. He’s talented, durable and — with his beaming personality — capable of becoming a fan-favorite in any city.

Phillips will earn $12 million next season via a club option that was exercised at the end of October.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”