The Cincinnati Reds are ready to make some changes this off season. We have already seen one change made by them in letting manager Dusty Baker go, not even a week after the season ended. The Reds have the talent to win games but they have a lot of money locked up in just a few players. One of those players is Brandon Phillips. Phillips is due $11 Million in 2014 at the age of 33. That is a lot of money for a player of his age. So should the Reds trade Phillips? YES and here is why.
The Reds owe Phillips a lot of money and they still need to try to re-sign Shin-Soo Choo. Choo was the catalyst of the Reds offense in 2013 and without him next season they could be in trouble. It won’t be easy to trade Phillips because of the money he’s owed but it is worth a shot. Also, Phillips won’t take a pay cut because he has already complained about the contract that he signed.
“To this day, I’m still hurt. Well, I don’t wanna say hurt. I’ll say scarred. I’m still scarred. It just sucks that it happened. For [Castellini] to sign somebody for $200 million, there must be a new vegetable or fruit coming out that we don’t know about. For him to do something like that and tell me they didn’t have any more money, that’s a lie. But what can I do? I just feel like it was a slap in my face.” – Brandon Phillips
Phillips has a lot of nerve to be complaining about his contract, with the amount of production he has given the Reds in recent years. Phillips’ defense is flawless but that doesn’t make up for his lack of offensive production. Phillips has hit .300 and had a .300 On Base Percentage once in his eight seasons in the Queen City. His OPS has also dropped each of the past four seasons. He will give you 18 home runs a season but as a second baseman he doesn’t attempt to steal nearly enough bases. He was put into the cleanup spot because of an injury, but that doesn’t take away his ability to run.
Of course I have to bring up his 100 RBI season. Yeah, it’s great and all but he had the fourth most at-bats with runners in scoring position. What do you expect when he has the two best on base players in the National League hitting in front of him? You could put Zack Cozart in the four spot and have a good chance of him having 85+ RBI with Joey Votto and Choo on base ahead of him. The game is now about On Base Percentage and that is not Phillips’ game. So in my opinion, it is time for someone new to play second base for the Reds.
Another reason they should trade him is Alexander Guerrero. Guerrero signed a contract with the Dodgers in July, but the contract was cancelled because he wasn’t cleared by the U.S Office of Foreign Assets Control. He has since been cleared and is going back out on the market looking for a contract over $30 Million. If the Reds trade Phillips they could sign Guerrero and still have money left over to re-sign Choo to a multi-year deal.
The final reason is hustle. At-bat after at-bat Phillips forgets how to hustle. It is the new cool way to play the game but it has gone too far. Phillips is all about “swag” and how he looks during each play. You could sit on your couch at home and predict where Phillips will get to on a ball to the short stop. It is absolutely pathetic. He takes two hard steps out of the box and sees it is fielded and stops. He doesn’t make it 60 feet on most occasions.
I was at Great American Ball Park and remember a play between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds. Brandon Phillips is at the plate and hits a hard ground ball at Jean Segura. Segura fields it cleanly so Phillips stops running. Well Segura loses his footing and falls down, but Phillips doesn’t notice. Segura was able to stand up and make a perfect throw and still nab Phillips by six feet. That is what gets under my skin. When plays like that happen, and then he has the guts to complain about money. Maybe if he would hustle every once in a while on the offensive side of the ball, he would get more money, until then he doesn’t deserve it.
So those are my reasons why Brandon Phillips should be wearing a different uniform in 2014. Feel free to put your insight in the comment section below on why or why not the Reds should trade Phillips this off season.