Reds' second baseman Brandon Phillips has made it no secret that he would like a contract extension, but talks were not progressing as of June. He spoke to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon today about how negotiations are going and his feelings about the situation.
"I've always said from Day One that this is where I want to be at," said Phillips. "I thought there might be some talks going on during the season but I haven't heard anything all year. I was very disappointed about it … I can't really trip about anything that much. I came here and got my career back to where it should be going."
GM Walt Jocketty, meanwhile, does not believe the lack of talks are unusual, acknowledging that he has not spoken to Phillips' agent but believes he would "at some point between now and the next month or so." The Reds hold a 2012 club option that would pay the 30-year-old infielder $12MM, but Phillips said he will test the free agent waters if the team simply picks up the option without a contract extension.
"If they just pick my option up and don't extend me, I feel like that's a slap in my face," he said. "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."
Cincinnati gave contract extensions to Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and Bronson Arroyo this past offseason, though Votto's did not buy out any free agent years. Phillips is hitting .295/.345/.433 with a dozen homers this season, and he would be the cream of the middle infield free agent crop after next year.