Earlier this week, it was reported the Reds and Nationals were nearing a deal involving second baseman Brandon Phillips. The two sides had apparently agreed to the framework of a trade, but were waiting for Phillips to waive his no-trade clause.
It now appears the trade is unlikely to happen. Phillips was seeking an extension in order to green-light the deal, and the Nationals, unwilling to give him one, will instead look elsewhere to fill their hole at second base, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman reports.
This does not necessarily mean the trade is completely dead. The Reds and Nats could rekindle talks at some point, or Phillips could decide to OK the move without requiring an extension, but for now Washington is covering their bases and looking at alternatives.
Phillips, 34, has full no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player, meaning he's played at least 10 years in the big leagues, including the last five with the same team. He's owed $27 million over the next two years.
The Nationals traded away Yunel Escobar earlier this offseason and currently have Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Danny Espinosa penciled into the infield. Adding a new second baseman would presumably push Espinosa back into a bench role.
Phillips, 34, hit .294/.328/.395 (97 OPS+) with 12 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2015, which was his best offensive season since 2012. He has a relationship with Nats manager Dusty Baker dating back to Baker's time with the Reds.
Potential alternatives to Phillips include free agents Howie Kendrick and Daniel Murphy. Both received qualifying offers and are tied to draft-pick compensation. Ken Rosenthal initially reported the Nats' plans to move forward without Phillips.