According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty says he is not shopping second baseman Brandon Phillips, but would not go so far as to guarantee his return to the club in 2014.
“[Phillips] texted wanting to know if we were trading him. I told him that I have not spoken to anybody about that. I’m not talking to any clubs about him.”
Phillips had a ‘down year’ by multiple accounts, but still set a career-high with 103 RBIs, hitting .261 with 18 home runs. He could be in line to pick up the National League Gold Glove for second basemen, as it appears to be a two-horse race between Phillips and Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs.
The biggest issue in dealing Phillips is his contract, which has four years and an estimated $50 million left on it. This will no doubt limit the number of suitors for Phillips, according to Sheldon.
The Atlanta Braves had previously been linked to Phillips, but any deal would reportedly have to include Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla – who was left off the organization’s postseason roster after a dismal season.
Phillips is likely to remain with Cincinnati, or so it seems, but again, Jocketty would not promise that the franchise second baseman would be back with the Reds heading into Spring Training.
“I’m not saying that. We’ve got some things we’ve got to look at on how we’re going to improve our club. I’m not going to say nobody is untouchable. Obviously, we want to keep as much of this club intact as we can.”