Counting on Brandon Phillips to play his way out of Fantasy relevance seemed like an easy call going into 2015. After years of steady production, Phillips ceased to be a base stealer in 2013, and in 2014, his power started to decline, even before he had midseason thumb surgery. The power didn't return for Phillips in 2015, but he made a statement, nonetheless, by batting .294 and stealing 23 bases in 26 attempts. At a time in his career when a player's contact skills are typically on the wane, Phillips set a career low with a 10.9 percent strikeout rate. Even with the lack of strikeouts, Phillips is a fringy choice for standard mixed points leagues, but he has value as a late-rounder in Rotisserie leagues.
The Reds are unlikely to try to trade Phillips again after he turned down two trades this offseason, one with the Nationals and one with the Diamondbacks, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. In both cases the trade broke down when Phillips, who has a full no-trade clause, wanted more money to approve the trade and a deal was not reached. The Reds would like to be able to trade Phillips and play Jose Peraza, but their plans may be put on hold.
The Nationals are "moving on" from Phillips and will instead pursue other options at second base, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Cincinnati tried to convince Phillips to waive his no-trade clause after reaching a deal with Washington late Thursday, but it seems either Phillips refused or the Nats grew impatient as negotiations dragged on. Either way, Phillips remains with the Reds for now, but after acquiring Jose Peraza in the Todd Frazier trade, it seems likely the team will continue looking for avenues to move Phillips.
As of late Friday, the Reds still have made no progress toward convincing Phillips to waive his no-trade clause, the Washington Post reports. The Reds and Nationals agreed to a deal late Thursday that would send Phillips to Washington, presumably for prospects, but Cincinnati still has yet to convince Phillips to OK the trade. It's assumed Phillips will not waive his no-trade clause and keep the terms of his current deal with the Reds, so the team may need to add some money to the existing years on his contract. Playing for a contender and under former manager Dusty Baker are selling points for the Reds, but money talks, and playing time may be a concern for Phillips as well.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the lineup on Saturday. Phillips will lead off in Saturday's game, returning after a biceps injury. Phillips left Thursday's game early and sat out on Friday.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips remains sidelined Friday against Arizona with a biceps injury that forced him out of the game Thursday. Ivan De Jesus is set to man the position instead. The loss of Phillips will be felt, especially considering he has hit safely in all but two games since July 30 and has sweetened his slash line to .286/.324/.383.