Among star 2Bs, Phillips appears closer to deal than Kinsler

Two top second basemen are locked in contract negotiations with their teams, but the sense is that the Reds' Brandon Phillips might be closer to completing a deal with his team than the Rangers' Ian Kinsler.

It's actually more than a sense with Phillips. Reds GM Walt Jocketty told that he hopes to finish a deal with Phillips "in the next week or so.'' The Rangers and Kinsler have been talking a lot about a possible extension this spring but there are no indications that anything is imminent.

The Reds and Phillips were already in serious discussions when a little thing came up regarding Reds star Joey Votto -- OK, not so little -- and his $225-million, 10-year extension. Various reports have suggested Phillips and the Reds have been talking about deals of four or five years, with ex-Reds GM Jim Bowden suggesting they are discussing a contract "in the neighborhood of" of $62-to-$65 million. That makes some sense, if true, as the Braves' Dan Uggla has the biggest contract for a second baseman at $62 million over five years.

Reports have put the Kinsler deal at six years, but it's uncertain if those reports count the $10-million option for 2013 the Rangers are sure to pick up. There is no sign thus far that the Rangers and Kinsler are getting close to a contract, or even that it has reached the stage where it would be termed likely. Kinsler has said he'd like to have a deal done by opening day but didn't set a strict deadline. The sides have continued to work right up until Friday, so it's still possible.

Statistically, the two players are close. Kinsler might have a slight edge since his career OPS is .824 to Phillips' .755. Though Phillips, the more consistent defender, has won three Gold Gloves. Phillips had 18 home runs, 82 RBI, 14 stolen bases and a .300 batting average last year, while Kinsler had 32 home runs, 77 RBI, 30 stolen bases and a .255 batting average.

Phillips has made two All-Star teams and received MVP votes one time. Kinsler also has made two All-Star teams but has received MVP votes three times. Phillips can be a free agent after this season, while Kinsler isn't a free agent until after 2013 presuming the Rangers pick up his '13 option -- though that didn't stop Votto from cashing in big-time.

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