While a deal involving Brandon Phillips between the Reds and Nationals appears unlikely, it is not officially dead, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. As of right now, both teams will wait and see if Phillips changes his mind and consents to the deal, but Washington could wind up taking care of its second base situation differently in the interim.
The two sides appeared to have a deal worked out last week, but Phillips reportedly wanted an extension as a condition of his approval of the trade. Since he’s already owed $27MM over the next two seasons, the Nats weren’t eager to meet those demands. As a player with 10-and-5 rights, the ball is in Phillips’ court on that matter.
Here’s more out of the Central divisions:
- The Pirates are still searching for a left-handed hitter to complement Mike Morse at first base, GM Neal Huntington told MLB Network (Twitter link via Adam Berry of MLB.com). Last week, the Bucs acquired corner infielder/outfielder Jason Rogers, a player who could conceivably give them additional first base depth, but they’re apparently still looking for an impact option that can hit from the other side of the plate. In 2015, Morse hit .231/.313/.336 with five homers in 256 plate appearances for the Marlins and Pirates.
- The Tigers, meanwhile, are probably done shopping, as Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes. On Saturday, the Tigers signed Mike Aviles to a one-year deal reportedly worth $2MM plus incentives. That pact could wind up being the last big league roster move Detroit makes this offseason. The Tigers set out to bolster their pitching and they have already accomplished that. Many wondered if they would make an impact move in left field, but it appears that they will roll with a mix of Anthony Gose, Cameron Maybin, Tyler Collins, and Aviles at the position.
- Over the weekend, it was reported that the Royals might be more interested in free agent hurler Wei-Yin Chen than other available options such as Yovani Gallardo and Scott Kazmir.