Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips blocked a trade that would have sent him to the Braves back in November. Rosenthal notes that the Braves were trying to bring Phillips in at the same time they pursued Sean Rodriguez, who signed a two-year $11.5 million contract later that month. As a result, the Braves are almost certainly no longer interested in Phillips.
Phillips, 35, has one year and $14 million remaining on his contract with the rebuilding Reds. As the Reds have some younger players who could benefit from experience, namely Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera, Phillips is looking at reduced playing time during the 2017 season in Cincinnati.
Phillips hit a serviceable .291/.320/.416 with 11 home runs, 64 RBI, 74 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 584 plate appearances last season.
SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.
Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.
Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.
The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.
The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.