According to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, the Reds have agreed in principle to a long-term deal with second baseman Brandon Phillips. The arbitration hearing is off. The AP says it’s a four-year, $27MM contract. There is also a fifth year option that becomes mutual if he’s traded.
The deal buys out one year of free agency. Sometimes I have trouble evaluating deals of this nature, I’m not going to lie. The question is, what is the projected amount of savings the Reds are getting here? Chase Utley signed his extension in January of ’07. For his fourth through seventh years in the bigs he’ll get $38MM, plus a $2MM signing bonus. Robinson Cano will make $39MM for the same slice of his career if his 2012 option is exercised. Viewed that way, the Phillips deal seems solid.