The Diamondbacks and Reds have discussed the framework of a trade that would send second baseman Brandon Phillips from Cincinnati to Arizona in exchange for fellow infielder Aaron Hill, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The talks aren’t said to have reached a serious stage at this time, he adds, and other pieces might well be required to create a match.
The motivation for each team in the swap seems relatively clear. With the Reds embarking on a rebuilding phase, it makes sense that the team would have interest in shedding the remaining two years and $27MM on Phillips’ contract. However, given that Phillips has been more good than great over the past couple of seasons — .282/.318/.385 with 20 homers, 25 steals — he probably doesn’t come with loads of trade value. His glove still grades out as a plus, though, and he had a much better baserunning season in 2015, both of which are points in Cincinnati’s favor in trade talks.
For the Diamondbacks, the remaining one year and $12MM on Hill’s contract is likely perceived as a sunk cost. Hill was brilliant in Arizona from 2011-13, but over the past two seasons, the veteran has batted a combined .238/.290/.359. Swapping out Hill for a comparable annual salary over a longer term would give Arizona an improved roster in 2016 and 2017, whereas the Reds would be shedding about $15MM in total salary and opening a roster spot for the 2017 season. Even in 2016, a trade of Phillips could open second base for intriguing young infielder Eugenio Suarez, who provided more than enough offense in 2015 to earn an audition as a regular player. However, with Zack Cozart coming back at shortstop in 2016, Suarez will need to shift to a new position.
There are, of course, some road blocks to consider. Firstly, the D-Backs would be taking on a good bit of salary in the deal. While I noted that they have the long-term flexibility to do so when previewing their offseason, Rosenthal says that the $14MM owed to Phillips in 2017 is at least somewhat of an obstacle in talks. Also, it has to be determined whether Phillips would even approve a trade. The 34-year-old has 10-and-5 rights (10 years of MLB service, with the five or more most recent years coming on the same team) thereby granting him the power to veto any trades. It’s now known whether Phillips would waive his no-trade rights, though the concept of playing on a team that is widely known to be rebuilding isn’t necessarily appealing to an aging veteran with playoff aspirations.
Rosenthal notes that the talks could eventually expand to include some form of financial compensation or exchange of additional players to balance out the swap. It’s worth noting, then, that former D-Backs GM Kevin Towers is a special assistant in the Reds’ front office, so he has an expansive knowledge of the players in Arizona’s system.
While there’s nothing to suggest that a trade of this nature is close, making the move could allow the D-Backs more flexibility to include a young infielder such as Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed, Jake Lamb or Brandon Drury in a trade for starting pitching help or a closer — both of which have been said to be priorities for Arizona GM Dave Stewart this offseason.
Interesting idea, and I wouldn’t be averse to it. However I would be shocked if BP approved a trade. He loves Cincy (Though not the Cincy media).
I think it is a very fair deal. Arizona gets the better player, Cincy gets salary relief and a reclamation project/bench player.
Isn’t BP like.. way better?
He was worth 3.5 WAR last year, Hill was worth -1.5 over the last 2 years.
Overall yes but he is also owed more than twice as much money and hasn’t been a league average hitter since 2012
He was roughly league average last year, mixed with quality base running (88% SB%)
Its hard for me to see Phillips approving a deal to Arizona. The DBacks are going to have tough time reaching the postseason in the same division as the Dodgers and Even-Year-Giants.
Yeah because the Reds are in a much better position behind the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs.
Difference is he has ties with Cinci. The postseason isn’t his only motivations he has for wanting to stay in Cinci.
That’s true and a relevant argument, but the argument that the OP was making was completely 100% wrong.
That´s a big chance the Dbacks have:
They Absorb Brandon Phillips Contract + Aroldis Chapman
The Reds Recieve: Aaron Hill, Chris Owings, + a Top 20 Prospect+ Cash from the Dbacks.
That’s not nearly enough to get Chapman.
Dreaming is free
Chapman is an amazing reliever but the fact is he only has one, pretty expensive year of team control reaming. Also if he is traded after the start of the season he will be ineligible for a QO. I don’t think the Reds will get a blue chip prospect for him. They should have traded him in 2015 when he had more than 1 year of control remaining.
You don’t think Owings, a top 1-5 organizational prospect and 20Mish in salary relief is worth 1 year of Chapman?
As good as Chapman is, its still only ~60 IP from him. If the DBacks offered one of Swansby, Blair, Shipley or Bradley as the ‘top prospect’ I think we’d see Chapman get moved.
Chris Owings was terrible last year. OPS plus of 58, WRC plus of 52 and a .587 OPS in his first full year. And his 2014 was very uninspiring as well.
Now for the second part of your post, yes I think that gets the conversation going.
While I still think Owings can be a capable second piece in a Chapman deal, I went to quickly look at his stats. For some reason, I thought he was alot better in 2014 than what he actually was. Maybe I got him confused with someone else.
CJ Wilson and Aybar for Phillips? Come on Reds what do you say?
I’m pretty sure the Reds would jump right on that.
Why would the Angels trade a 2-WAR SS and a decent 4th starter for a 2B whos been a league average hitting (.716 OPS) over the last 4 seasons.
On Cincy he wouldn’t even be a #4 starter, he would likely be the #1 starter.
Because CJ Wilson is earning enough $ to choke a horse and aybar has no spot due to Cozart coming back
CJ Wilson only has one year on his contract. Who the Reds could trade for prospects at the trade deadline. Now that Aybar is out of the equation, I doubt that the Angels unless they trade more pitchers would be able to get him.
That makes no sense for either team. The Angels need Aybar and Wilson and Aybar (both of whom have only one year of team control reaming) are of little value to the Reds.
The Angels need up upgrade at second base. And are looking for more money freed up to sign players. The Reds are looking for to dump contracts. That also would allow the Angels to try to get CarGo and LeMahieu from the Rockies. LeMahieu can play ss. That would leave 3rd base as the biggest position for the Angels to fill.
Upgrading 2B by opening an even bigger hole at SS is not a sound strategy.
Putting LeMahieu at ss would not a bigger hole. And LeMahieu is under team control. If the Rockies sign Daniel Murphy they will be looking to move LeMahieu
Why the heck would the Rockies sign Daniel Murphy especially if they trade CarGo?
The Rockies have interest in signing Murphy and Chris Davis. If they can move CarGo’s contract. The Angels and Rockies were close to a deal for CarGo before the trade deadline. But they couldn’t get the deal done before the trade deadline. CarGo and Phillips would provide the the Angels with what they were missing this past season. Good hitters with runners in scoring position.
I know Arizona had talked about trading for Chapman. This could be a decent foundation for a deal if Phillips waives his NTC. Phillips and Chapman for Hill and prospects. Would offer salary relief at the end of the year for the Reds while making sure that Chapman doesn’t walk for just a QO. Although depending on the prospect coming back you could argue that the draft compensation might be worth more.
The 2 rumored D-backs that the Reds were targeting at the July 31st deadline in a possible Chapman trade were Brandon Drury (#7 on MLB.com) and Braden Shipley (#4 on MLB.com)… both top 10 prospects. Owings could be a bounce back candidate in 2016. He was vexed by shoulder issues in 2015 and never got on track at the plate. He just loves to swing at the first pitch.
Phillips, Finnegan and Lorenzen to the D’Backs for Hill, Inciarte, and Collmenter.
Who hangs up first?