According to the Enquirer, the Reds have at least spoken to Brandon Phillips’ agent concerning a possible extension (and plan to continue those talks this spring), which Phillips says he would like…

“That’s what I want,’ he said. “I want to stay here. I love it here. Love the city of Cincinnati. I love the fans. The Reds gave me a second chance to come here and live my dream. I’ve been blessed. I want to give back to the city. I want to be the type of person Barry Larkin was to the city. It would be nice to be here for the rest of my career.”

Even if you believe the Reds should keep Phillips, I don’t see how it makes fiscal sense for this team or how it’s possible. They just invested big money in Votto, Bruce, Arroyo, and Cueto AND have a multi-year deal on the table with Volquez.

You have to assume that Stubbs and maybe Bailey would be next in line.

I just don’t see how they can afford to keep Phillips; I would think that even with a “discount,” he’s going to want at least what he’s scheduled to make next year, and I don’t see how this team can afford a guy on the backside of his career at anything like $12M/year. Deferred money isn’t the answer either, as kicking money down the road just screws up your ability to compete in the future.

So, what’s the answer? A trade this year? Next ? Keep him until the end of his contract?