Brandon Phillips (forearm) expected to return Friday

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Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips hasn’t appeared in a game since getting hit on the left forearm by a pitch on Saturday evening.

But his return is apparently imminent.

According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, both Phillips himself and Reds manager Dusty Baker insisted earlier this evening that Phillips will be back in Cincinnati’s starting lineup on Friday night in St. Louis for the start of an important three-game series against the division-rival Cardinals.

Phillips boasts a .296/.347/.481 batting line, nine homers and 45 RBI in 54 games this season. The Reds entered play Wednesday with a 36-23 record, trailing the Cardinals by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central.

Jack Hannahan is starting at second base in Cincy’s series finale tonight against the Rockies.

Red Sox want to trade Jackie Bradley Jr.

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Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are actively trying to trade outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. In fact, the Mets were discussing such a trade with the Mets before they ultimately acquired Jake Marisnick from the Astros last week.

The Red Sox have made it no secret that they plan to reduce payroll. They’re currently above $218 million, about $10 million above the competitive balance tax threshold. Bradley is projected to earn $11.5 million in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

While Bradley continued to play above-average defense, his offense has left a bit to be desired. He has an aggregate adjusted OPS of 90 over the past three seasons (100 is average), matching his mark of 90 in 2019 specifically. Bradley hit .225/.317/.421 with 21 home runs, 62 RBI, and 69 runs scored in 567 plate appearances.

Since an acquiring team would likely be on the hook for most or all of Bradley’s salary, the Red Sox wouldn’t get much in return in a trade. With the Mets out of the picture, the Cubs and Diamondbacks are a couple of teams that could match up with the Red Sox on a trade involving Bradley.