Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he hopes to stay in Cincinnati, where he established himself as an MLB star. Just don’t expect him to give the Reds a hometown discount if they want to talk extension this offseason.
“No bueno,” he said. “This is my last contract. There’s no homeboy hookup. That ain’t going to work. I want to be paid what I’m worth.”
The Reds can sidestep questions about Phillips’ long-term role on the team by exercising their $12MM option for the 30-year-old’s services in 2012. Though Phillips told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon this month that it would feel like “a slap in my face” if the Reds pick up the option without talking long-term deal, that remains a perfectly viable option for the team.
Phillips says he’s glad Reds GM Walt Jocketty expects to have him back in 2012 and that he hasn’t heard anything official about his option for next year. The sides have had some talks about an extension and, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested this morning, a backloaded deal might work for the Reds given their limited financial flexibility heading into 2012.