By Robb Hoff
When the Cincinnati Reds decided to sign second baseman Brandon Phillips to a six-year, $72.5 million extension three years ago, the Reds’ management knew Phillips would be 36 years old by the time his contract expired in 2017. The decision to reward Phillips for his play and commitment to the Reds may be limiting the club from a payroll perspective now, but his deal is by no means the worst deal the Reds have done recently when considering the looming contract busts of Joey Votto (10 years, $225 million) and Homer Bailey (six years, $105 million).
Last year, Phillips was the subject of rampant trade speculation. That won’t happen this year, because Phillips has full no-trade protection as a 10/5 player who has at least 10 years of service and five or more of those seasons with the same team. Even if Phillips did agree to a trade, the Reds would be ill-advised to trade him, because they don’t have any other player on their current roster or in their minor league system who is capable of replacing Phillips as the everyday second baseman.
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