Turns out the Reds are actively shopping second baseman Brandon Phillips, despite GM Walt Jocketty's public comments last week on MLB Network Radio that they were not looking to trade the All Star.
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reported Thursday the New York Yankees rejected a deal that involved Phillips and Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told reporters at the Winter Meetings he has no intention of trading Gardner but listened to the offer out of due diligence, according to CBS Sports. Heyman says the team does have an interest in Phillips but at a lower price than what the Reds are currently offering him.
CBS Sports is also reporting that before the trade offer was made, Phillips asked the team to to add more money to his contract. Phillips does have a no-trade clause built in his contract. MLB.com reports the Yankees are one of the teams listed in Phillips' limited no-trade clause. The Reds would need his approval before they could deal him to the Yankees.
Phillips, 32, is owed $50 million on the remaining four years of his contract with Cincinnati.
The speculation surrounding Phillips' future stems from some off-the-field issues in 2013, as well as some sub-par batting average and on-base percentage numbers for the Gold Glove second baseman, despite him driving in more than 100 runs and catching anything short of a pebble thrown his way defensively.
Gardner would make some sense if he were available, as the Reds expect to lose lead-off hitting center fielder Shin-Soo Choo, and need more time to develop prospects like Billy Hamilton and Derrick Robinson. Gardner hit .273 with a .344 on-base percentage in 145 games last season, and is considered an above average defender.
Phillips did appear at this past weekend's Redfest, signing autographs, taking photos with fans and appearing with his teammates on-stage.
Might want to keep a watch on the stove, Reds fans. It's a hot one.
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