Brandon Phillips Rumors
It's been a busy first day of the GM meetings, but we don't want to let anything fall through the cracks. Here's a collection of assorted links from throughout the day:
- The Reds don't intend to make Brandon Phillips available in a trade, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers confirms a rumor we'd heard about previously, telling MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that his team has interest in Hiroki Kuroda.
- The Red Sox aren't the only team meeting with David Ortiz's agent tonight. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets that the Orioles will also meet with Fern Cuza, and could be interested in Ortiz as well. GM Dan Duquette noted that Cuza also represents Vladimir Guerrero, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
- Former Angels pitching coach Marcel Lachemann has rejoined the team as an assistant to new GM Jerry Dipoto, says Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Earlier this week, we heard the Angels were eyeing right-handed relief help. DiGiovanna has more details on their search, naming Octavio Dotel, Todd Coffey, and Matt Capps as some possible targets.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer will explore the possibility of bringing back Kerry Wood, says MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- At U.S.S. Mariner, Dave Cameron explains why he doesn't think the Mariners should open their wallets to sign Prince Fielder.
- Craig Counsell is open to both playing and "non-playing" offers, tweets Tom Haudicourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Counsell isn't necessarily leaning toward retirement, but would seriously consider it for the right non-playing opportunity.
A pair of legendary former Cubs and Cardinals third basemen (Ron Santo and Ken Boyer) are among the 10 "Golden Era" figures to be considered for induction into the Hall Of Fame by the Veterans' Committee. Some other news from the NL Central...
- Rafael Furcal has told the Cardinals that he will wait for the team to hire a new manager before deciding where to play in 2012, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Paul Kinser, Furcal's agent, says six teams have already contacted him about Furcal's services but "we're not in a hurry."
- A number of Cardinals writers note in a Post-Dispatch roundtable that the club apparently has no problem in hiring a manager with no Major League experience.
- Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros will likely be approved at the owners' meetings in two weeks, reports Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Issues such as Crane's compensation for moving the team to the American League are still being negotiated but "for the first time since Crane and Drayton McLane shook hands on a deal almost six months ago, there’s a feeling within MLB that the deal will get done," Justice writes.
- The Pirates are trying to re-sign Derrek Lee, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer thinks the Reds are looking for an extension for Brandon Phillips in the neighborhood of four years and $48MM. Fay also discusses several other Reds-related topics with fans as part of the online chat.
- There are no hard feelings between Theo Epstein and Ryne Sandberg, Epstein tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The two exchanged complimentary phone calls in the wake of the Cubs' statement that their new manager "must have managerial or coaching experience at the Major League level," which Sandberg doesn't possess.
Congratulations to this year’s Silver Slugger winners. Here are the latest links from around MLB...
- Agent Joe Urbon told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Grady Sizemore is "open to anything" and "not limiting his choices at all." Several teams have already expressed preliminary interest in the free agent outfielder. Ideally he would play center field, but he's open to playing left or right.
- Over at FanGraphs, MLBTR writer Mike Axisa explains why Andrew Brackman was the most expensive draft bust in baseball history. The Yankees cut ties with the former first round pick yesterday.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner offers his offseason plan for the Mariners. It revolves around acquiring Joey Votto from the Reds and includes contract offers for former Seattle left-handers Jamie Moyer and Erik Bedard. In my offseason outlook for the Mariners, I suggested it makes sense for the team to pursue rotation and bullpen depth.
- Second baseman Brandon Phillips told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he has “some leverage” in contract talks with the Reds. Fay suggests Phillips is looking for a deal in the $38-62MM range. The Reds, who picked up Phillips’ $12MM option for 2012 earlier in the week, intend to continue discussing an extension.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Fay that he remains hopeful that the team can reach a deal with Francisco Cordero. Jocketty nearly arrived at an agreement with the closer earlier this week, but the sides didn't agree to terms and the Reds declined their option on Cordero.
- The Fielding Bible recently announced its 2011 winners. Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre and Troy Tulowitzki were among those rewarded for defensive excellence.
The Reds announced that they exercised Brandon Phillips' 2012 option and declined their option for Francisco Cordero (Twitter link). The Reds will pay Cordero a $1MM buyout instead of a $12MM salary and they'll pay Phillips a $12MM salary instead of a $1MM buyout.
Phillips, 30, hit .300/.353/.457 with 18 homers in 674 plate appearances for Cincinnati in 2011. He has made his desire for an extension clear, stating in September that it would feel like “a slap in my face” if the Reds pick up the option without talking long-term deal. But if the sides do discuss an extension, don't expect a hometown discount "There’s no homeboy hookup. That ain’t going to work," Phillips said.
The Reds discussed an extension for Cordero, a Type A free agent, toward the end of the regular season. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained in his recent offseason outlook article that the Reds "can't afford to commit $5MM a year for two more seasons of Cordero."
The World Series is tied at a game apiece after the Rangers' thrilling 2-1 victory over the Cardinals tonight. As we look forward to Game Three on Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, here are a few news items to round out the evening...
- The Diamondbacks will receive "a significant level of financial relief – and perhaps total relief" when and if Josh Byrnes becomes the Padres' new general manager, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Byrnes had five and a half years remaining on his contract with Arizona when he was fired on July 1, 2010, but the Snakes could be off the hook for the remaining four years left on that deal should Byrnes get another GM job.
- There is nothing new to report on the Reds' negotiations with Brandon Phillips or Francisco Cordero, Reds GM Walt Jocketty tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- Koji Uehara has told people close to him that he wants to return to the Orioles, reports MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. After being dealt to Texas in July, Uehara struggled in the first two rounds of the playoffs and was left off the Rangers' World Series roster. The Japanese right-hander made enough appearances to activate a $4MM vesting option for 2012, so if the O's want Uehara back, the Rangers would probably be happy to unload him.
- The Red Sox have given the Athletics permission to interview pitching coach Curt Young about the pitching coach vacancy in Oakland, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link) reports Young and the A's are already in negotiations. Young served as Oakland's pitching coach from 2004-2010 before going to Boston to replace John Farrell last winter.
- The Tigers have enough money coming off the books this winter that Tom Gage of the Detroit News thinks Brandon Inge's contract could be swallowed if the team can find a better third base option on the trade market. Inge is set to earn $5.5MM in 2012 and the Tigers hold a $6MM club option on their longtime third baseman for 2013.
The NL Central's two playoff representatives both play tonight. The Cardinals host the Phillies in St. Louis and the Brewers could eliminate the D'Backs in Phoenix. Here's the latest on the division's non-playoff teams as we await today's games...
- Prospective Astros owner Jim Crane hasn’t received a formal proposal from MLB regarding compensation for a possible move to the American League, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle. However, Crane has had increased dialogue about a possible league change.
- The Pirates will make a run at re-signing Derrek Lee, according to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch. Lee didn’t reveal much about his 2012 plans during the season and has maintained that he’s keeping his options open, even retirement.
- The Pirates announced that their entire coaching staff will return in 2012.
- The Reds haven't discussed possible extensions with Francisco Cordero or Brandon Phillips since the season ended last week, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The GM hopes to resume talks next week with Cordero, who will likely agree to a two-year deal, and Phillips, who won't be giving the Reds a hometown discount.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes previewed the Cubs’ class of arbitration eligible players this morning.
The Reds extended GM Walt Jocketty through 2014 earlier this week, and now the GM is focused on getting some of his big name players under contract beyond this season. Let's round up the latest...
- Jocketty met with the Levinson Brothers today, representatives for second baseman Brandon Phillips. MLB.com's Mark Sheldon says talks were preliminary in nature. "It went fine," said the GM. "We had talked a little bit in the past. It was more a kind of guidelines of what we're trying to do. Once the season is over, we'll talk again."
- Jocketty added that if they can't find a middle ground, they will exercise Phillips' $12MM option for next season and then "keep working on it."
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (on Twitter) that Jocketty said he's optimistic about getting something done with closer Francisco Cordero in the near future. An extension will "probably" be a two-year deal. Like Phillips, the Reds hold a $12MM for Cordero's services in 2012.
Seth and Sam Levinson, the agents for for Phillips, are the same pair that helped the 30-year-old second baseman work out the current four-year, $27MM contract that he's currently finishing up. It's already all but decided that the Reds will exercise Phillps' $12MM option for the 2012 season, but it's been well-publicized that Phillips would consider merely exercising the option a "slap in the face."
Current discussions are expected to be preliminary, and Jocketty tells Sheldon that the negotiations could very well carry on into the winter. We've seen a few September extensions from other teams this season (Chris Carpenter, Tim Byrdak, and Lance Berkman), but none of those three signed a deal that would be of the size or magnitude that it would require to lock up Phillips.
Phillips has certainly upped his stock in September, batting .326/.402/.628 with six homers entering play today to raise his season line to .301/.352/.459. His .811 OPS would be his highest since the .816 mark he posted in his 30-30 season in 2007, while his OPS+ of 120 would be a career-high.
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.
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.