Phillips is sort of happy about this, as he expressed in a news conference:
"I cried about this. This is where I wanted to be," Phillips said. "I'm still ... you know ... loss of words right now, for me to play in the city I really love. The fans have embraced me and they love me and I love them back."
The word that comes to mind with the Reds is "small-market", but they're not spending like it, with $82.2 million on the payroll, 17th in the majors. Between last week's contract for Joey Votto -- 10 years, $225 million -- and a variety of other rich signings over the past few seasons, the Reds are primed to contend for while.
"I think this puts us in a pretty good position to build around two premier players on the everyday side, and with some of the pitchers we have to be a contending club for years to come, hopefully," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "It's not easy. A lot of things have to go right for you."
Slightly disconcerting is the length of the deal -- Phillips will be 36 when it ends, and earning $14 million for his services. That said, Reds fans will probably be pleased to keep a popular player who hit a career-high .300 last season.
For more on Philips' deal and the Reds, check out SB Nation's Red Reporter.
Without checking, I'm going to guess that this is the must lucrative day in baseball history for second basemen.
The 30-year-old Phillips has been with the Reds for over six seasons now, hitting .280/.331/.448 for the Reds with 139 steals, two All-Star appearances, and three Gold Gloves. Phillips blossomed in Cincinnati after he was acquired as a reclamation project from the Indians for a player to be named later.
Phillips will be 36 at the end of the deal, so there is some substantial risk involved. But these quite clearly aren't the penny-pinching days of Marge Schott, and that's almost certainly the message the Reds are trying to send.
Earlier Thursday, it looked like Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds were on a path towards parting ways. The Reds were said to have offered Phillips a four-year contract extension. Phillips wanted more, as players do. Later Thursday, it looked like Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds were nearing an extension agreement. What could have changed? This could have changed:
According to a Reds source...the Reds have offered Brandon Phillips a five-year contract in the "neigborhood" of$62.5 -$65 million dollars
Phillips wouldn't be real happy with a four-year offer. Phillips would apparently be happy with a five-year offer. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but players get pretty serious about contract length, and after the Reds guaranteed big money to Joey Votto through 2023, they couldn't really tell Phillips that they're risk-conscious anymore. That kind of went out the window with the decade-long contract that starts in two years.
We don't actually know if Jim Bowden's report is correct. But it vibes with John Fay's report from earlier, so from current indications, Phillips and the Reds are close to getting something done. We're now beyond any Opening Day negotiations deadline, but not by much.
Earlier Thursday, where by "Thursday" I mean "today", our own Grant Brisbee wrote a piece titled "Brandon Phillips, Reds Preparing To Part Amicably". So it is with no small amount of delight that I provide for you the following:
Jocketty told Marty, Brad Johansen that he's confident that Phillips deal will be done in a week. For Walt to say that, ink must be drying.
Grant wrote what he did because the Reds were reportedly offering Phillips four years, while Phillips wanted more. It was perfectly sensible to believe that Phillips would end up becoming a free agent.
But now here we are, and it looks like Phillips and the Reds are close to an agreement. What kind and size of agreement, we can't be sure, but as John Fay notes, we wouldn't hear about this from an executive if the pieces weren't in place. Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds have evidently found something both sides are comfortable with.
Being that Brandon Phillips is 30 years old and a second baseman, there's reason to be nervous about his long-term future. Given that Brandon Phillips has been a good player for several years in a row, there's reason to be excited about his long-term future. Phillips will come undone at some point, like everybody does, but the Reds can try to protect themselves from only so much risk after committing ten years to Joey Votto, starting two years from now. The Reds accepted a huge amount of risk with him, so they'll probably end up accepting a fair amount of risk with Phillips.
We'll find out more. From the sounds of things, we'll find out more soon. And it would certainly appear that Brandon Phillips is going to stay where he is for quite some time.