Brandon Phillips goes off on Cincinnati Enquirer baseball writer C. Trent Rosecrans

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Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips apparently took issue with something written recently by the stat-minded C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer and went off on Rosecrans in the visitor manager’s office Wednesday evening at Busch Stadium with manager Dusty Baker looking on.

ESPN 101, a St. Louis-based radio station, just posted audio of the heated altercation online:

Here is our attempt at transcribing that exchange (with the requisite edits) …

Phillips: “Hey Dusty, the fat motherf***er on the end is worried about my on-base percentage. Why don’t you tell him to have me bat eighth with my on-base percentage.”

Rosecrans: “I don’t care about …”

Phillips: “Fat motherf***er. Make him happy, Dusty. Fat motherf***er. I’m tired of you talking that negative sh*t on our team, dog. I found out your Twitter name now motherf***er. It’s a wrap.”

Rosecrans: “Wow, took you how many years? Congratulations.”

Baker: “I ain’t in that, man. That’s between you and him.”

Rosecrans: “That’s between him and him.”

Baker: “OK, even better.”

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UPDATE, 9:45 PM ET: The Cincinnati Enquirer has issued a response about the incident:

There was a situation that arose this evening prior to the Reds and Cardinals game involving our reporter C. Trent Rosecrans and Brandon Phillips.

Phillips took exception to our analysis concerning his on-base percentage and a follow-up tweet after being moved into the second spot in the lineup. It is a fair subject to consider, and one our readers would expect us to address.

While we are disappointed in Phillips’ reaction, we understand it is a pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival. This isn’t the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a reporters questions and it won’t be the last. It is part of covering the team day-in day-out.

This will not affect our coverage of the team or Phillips. We plan on moving on from this and we hope Phillips does too.

 

Yankees trade Sonny Gray to the Reds

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The deal was much talked about all weekend and now the deal is done: The Cincinnati Reds gave acquired starter Sonny Gray and lefty Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

The key to making the deal happen: Gray agreeing to a a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension. The Reds will likewise hold a $12 million club option for 2023. The deal had been struck and a window granted through close of business today to get Gray to agree to the extension and, obviously, he has.

The Reds will get a pitcher coming off of a bad season in which he posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He was hammered particularly hard in Yankee Stadium but pitched better on the road. Great American Ballpark is not a great pitcher’s park itself but any change of scenery would be nice for Gray, who had become much unwanted and unloved in New York. In Cincinnati he has the assurance of a spot in the rotation and, even better for him, he will be reunited with his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who joined new manager David Bell’s Reds staff earlier this offseason. If he bounces back even a little bit, the Reds will have a useful starter at a below market price for four years. If he doesn’t, well, they haven’t exactly gone bankrupt taking the chance.

The Reds will also get Reiver Sanmartin, 22, who started in the Rangers system before being traded to the Yankees. He’s a soft-tosser who figures to be a reliever if he makes the big leagues. He played at four different levels last season, with one game at Double-A and the rest below that, posting a composite 2.80 ERA in 10 starts and 13 overall appearances while striking out 7.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees will get Shed Long, who is ranked as the Reds’ seventh best prospect. The 23-year old second baseman hit .261/.353/.412 at Double-A in 2018 and has hit very close to that overall line for his entire six-year minor league career. He strikes out a bit and may not stick at second base long term, shifting to a corner outfield slot perhaps, but he’s a legitimate prospect.

The Reds get another starter with some upside. The Yankees get rid of a problem and gain a prospect and a draft pick. Sonny Gray gets some job and financial security at a time when it is not at all clear what his future holds. Not a bad baseball trade.

UPDATE: Welp, the Yankees don’t have a prospect anymore. They just traded long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers was a second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 21 and batted .260/.380/.410 with five homers and 20 steals over 58 games in Short-Season ball in 2018. He’s ranked by MLB.com as the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, but now he’s New York bound.