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Report: Nationals agree to acquire Brandon Phillips, who needs to approve deal

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The possibility was reported earlier this week and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals have an apparent agreement in place to acquire second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Reds. However, Phillips has full no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the majors and five with the same team) and needs to sign off on any deal. Those talks are in progress, though Phillips’ tweet earlier tonight would indicate that he’s D.C. bound…

Phillips, 34, bounced back from an awful 2014 by batting .294/.328/.395 with 12 home runs and 70 RBI this past season. He also stole 23 bases, his most since 2009. Still, he only finished with a 97 OPS+ and has a 95 OPS+ over the past four seasons. On the bright side, he still plays solid defense at second base.

Phillips, who lives year-round in Cincinnati, is owed $13 million in 2016 and $14 million in 2017. Rosenthal hears that he’ll require a “financial adjustment” to sign off on the deal, but moving to a contender while being reunited with Dusty Baker are two factors in Washington’s favor.

Assuming the deal gets done, the Nationals will likely use Danny Espinosa at shortstop until top prospect Trea Turner is deemed ready for the majors. The club recently dealt Yunel Escobar to the Angels and plan to move Anthony Rendon back to his natural position at third base.

The Reds acquired Jose Peraza from the Dodgers on Tuesday as part of the three-team Todd Frazier trade and he could get the first shot at second base if Phillips gets dealt. Cincinnati also has Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez in their middle infield.

Phillips has spent 10 seasons with the Reds while making three All-Star appearances and winning four Gold Glove Awards.

Mickey Callaway will not be fired over his blowup at a reporter

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As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.

Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.

The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.

Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?