From MLB Trade Rumors:
The Reds offered Brandon Phillips a five-year, $60MM contract extension for the 2012-16 seasons, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link). One Reds source believes Phillips would sign if the Reds offer a sixth guaranteed season.
In Phillips last 4 seasons (ages 27-30) he put up a WAR of 1.0, 2.0, 2.6, 4.1. That’s improved every year, but does anyone sincerely believe that he’ll top that again this year? What about next? Statistical trends say that, at his age, if he’s not over his peak, he’s very, very likely to be at it.
His skill set would not seem to be ones that are going to age well. And the Reds are going to be paying him based on what he’s done the last 4 years, not on what he will do the next 5 (or possibly 6).
I would tend to believe that this is an owner driven contract (though I think all big money contracts are at least somewhat owner driven) and that ownership doesn’t want to face the brunt of the blowback from fans if Phillips is allowed to walk at the end of the year (or is traded at some point this season).
And while I have severe concerns about the long-term ramifications of the Votto contract in years 7-8-9-10, I believe his production now will make the contract “pay for itself” overall. I have no such illusion with Brandon Phillips. The difference, as I heard it came from someone in Reds management, is that Joey will compete for the MVP every year, Brandon will not.
If I could get Phillips for 3, maybe 4, years for $12M per..I’d probably say yes. 5 years or maybe 6? I’d have to thank him for his time in Cincinnati and wish him well.