Report: Reds offer Brandon Phillips five-year extension

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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.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.