Reds GM Walt Jocketty said second baseman Brandon Phillips will be back next year, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Fay takes that to mean the Reds will pick up Phillips' $12MM option in the least. The two sides have had preliminary talks on an extension, so it may not come to that.
Phillips is opposed to the idea of the Reds picking up the option. He told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon earlier this month, "If they just pick my option up and don't extend me, I feel like that's a slap in my face. If the team wants you, they will make room. They will show you they want you here, period. They did it for some of the other guys. If they're going to have me for just one year, I feel like they don't see me in the future."
The Reds probably would prefer some kind of backloaded extension, because simply exercising the option would give them limited payroll space for 2012. Phillips, 30, is hitting .294/.346/.452 with 18 home runs in 648 plate appearances this year with above-average defense at second base.