Many expected going into the offseason that the Cincinnati Reds would be sellers after another brutal season which saw them sell of several of their veteran assets. The Reds have all but confirmed this theory as they have recently broadcasted to all opposing teams that they are open for business and ready to listen on several more of their talented veterans (as reported first by Baseball Essential’s Robert Murray).
The veteran infielder enjoyed another solid season with the Reds despite them not making the postseason. He hit .294/.328/.395 for 2015. Throughout his tenure with the Reds he has been nothing but consistent both offensively or defensively. With the Reds now in a selling mode, he becomes a trade piece for them to use to help jumpstart the rebuild.
Trading Phillips will not be easy though. Recent discussions have been rumored to revolve around them swapping him to the D-Backs in exchange for veteran second baseman Aaron Hill. Hill has slowly been declining for several years now with the D-Backs as evidenced by his latest season which saw him manage only a .230/.295/.345. He no longer fits into the D-Backs’ longterm plans as they are looking to improve their roster and get back into the fray of postseason discussion. Phillips would certainly represent an upgrade at second base for the D-Backs.
Phillips is due $27 million over the next two years while Hill is due $12 million through one more year. Phillips also has the right to veto any trade due to his 10/5 status (ten years of service time in the big leagues, including the last five with the same team). He likes playing in Cincinnati and may be reluctant to waive his veto for a trade to an unknown team. The D-Backs may be inclined to offer him a contract extension in order to entice him to waive his veto but due to his age, that does not seem likely. Talks right now are reportedly preliminary and have not yet progressed to a serious stage but as the offseason goes on, look for those talks to heat up between the D-Backs and Reds.