Certainly, none of us here at BlogRedMachine was in Florida last night when the proposed trade, that could have shaped the basis of the franchise, was made.
After weeks and months of reassuring Brandon Phillips that he was going nowhere, the Reds front office put together a deal that would have sent the Reds All-Star second baseman to the Evil Empire in the Bronx. In return, the Reds would have received a hard-nosed, run-through-a-wall type player, in Brett Gardner. Where the deal apparently fell through is when Phillips asked for more money before accepting to be traded to the Yankees.
I have been a huge proponent of keeping “Dat Dude” in Cincinnati due to his brilliant defensive flash and his electric smile, but maybe it was because I feared the package that would be coming back. It may not have been a franchise player in Brett Gardner, but living on Long Island and getting to watch the Yankees play on a consistent basis, I can assuredly say that everyone in Reds Country would love Gardner. He would have seamlessly transitioned into not only centerfield, but the leadoff spot as well. It can be assumed that Billy Hamilton would have been the attempted second baseman and combining those two in any lineup would cause nightmares for opposing batteries.
The story may seem somewhat ironic that it was the almighty Yankees backing away from signing (in this case, trading for) a player who commanded a hefty salary. With Alex Rodriguez’s appeal hearing not having been decided, it is incredibly difficult to decipher what the Yankee payroll may appear to look like. Should Rodriguez’s appeal be denied, and his suspension upheld, the Yankees suddenly have an additional 20+ million of cap space to fill a vital need.
A lot can still occur before the Reds get to camp in just over two months time and do not expect this issue to be resolved lightly. One way or the other, I think all Reds fans agree about just wanting this situation to end and for the ballclub to be better for it.