BP Wants to Retire a Red


Yesterday, John Fay posted that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips would like a contract extension.

"“That’s what I want,’ he said. “I want to stay here. I love it here. Love the city of Cincinnati. I love the fans. The Reds gave me a second chance to come here and live my dream. I’ve been blessed. I want to give back to the city. I want to be the type of person Barry Larkin was to the city. It would be nice to be here for the rest of my career.”"

Bill Lack of Redleg Nation provides an interesting take on this.

"I just don’t see how they can afford to keep Phillips; I would think that even with a “discount,” he’s going to want at least what he’s scheduled to make next year, and I don’t see how this team can afford a guy on the backside of his career at anything like $12M/year. Deferred money isn’t the answer either, as kicking money down the road just screws up your ability to compete in the future."

I know there will be some that believe the Reds should do everything humanly possible to keep the two-time Gold Glove winner, but we do have to think future here, don’t we?

Think about it and Lack does make sense. But this could not only cause a fiscal situation. It could also cause an organizational situation. The fiscal part is something Reds fans hear frequently, so I’ll jump to the organizational part.

I’m referring to the likes of Chris Valaika or Todd Frazier. You might even want to put Zack Cozart in there, too. Keeping Phillips beyond 2011 or even 2012 runs the risk of stunting the growth of those with the farm system. A logjam has been created positionally. You could say that’s the case with Alonso at first base and you would be half right. Alonso doesn’t have the competition within the system that Valaika, Frazier and Cozart have.

The Reds do hold a $12 million option for next season and BP’s agent is to be meeting with Reds GM Walt Jocketty during the spring. Much of the Reds electing to pick up that option will be determined by BP’s play this season and the play of the aforementioned Valaika, Frazier and Cozart. Phillips would like either the option to be picked up or a new deal be in place so this doesn’t become an issue. To an extent it already has, but not like the issue involving Votto.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not forgetting Billy Hamilton. He’s just a bit down the road, but his growth could have a major impact on anything going forward as well.

No, I’m in no way trying to run BP out of Cincy. He’s one of the faces of the organization along with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Bronson Arroyo. There are many things to take into consideration here, but money usually wins.