The Cincinnati Reds just can't get rid of second baseman Brandon Phillips.
They've tried multiple times, but keep failing. In fact, they've tried three times in the past two offseasons that we know about (the other two involved the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks).
The reason: Phillips has a full no-trade clause and he's blocked a number of efforts that the organization has taken to get rid of him.
One of these attempts came in November, when the veteran blocked a trade to the Atlanta Braves, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Despite the fact that he might lose playing time with the Reds based on an overall lack of production defensively and Cincinnati's rebuilding status, Phillips doesn't want to leave town.
Last season, he hit .291 for the Reds with 11 home runs and 64 RBI's, which are strong offensive numbers for a second baseman. However, his career-low negative-9 defensive runs saved made him a liability defensively at the position.
He's due to make $14 million in the final year of his current deal.
According to Rosenthal, staying in Cincinnati will result in seeing some added time on the bench for Phillips.
"The Reds, in the middle of rebuilding, could reduce the playing time of both Phillips and shortstop Zack Cozart in favor of two younger middle infielders, Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera. Both veterans are entering their free-agent years, but the Reds also have yet to find a taker for Cozart, who cannot block a trade," Rosenthal wrote.
According to Rosenthal, there are meaningful reasons why Phillips keeps blocking trades. "He considers his refusal to accept a deal to be a matter of principle, and would want the team to address certain, unspecified issues before waiving his no-trade protection, sources say."
As an active member of the Cincinnati community and a fan favorite in Cincinnati, Phillips previously signed a six-year, $72.5 million extension with the club back in April of 2012 when he could have probably made more elsewhere in free agency.
Since he showed loyalty to the organization and the city by signing that deal, it's entirely possible that he wants to stay put until the end of his contract, even if him being the everyday second baseman isn't a part of Cincinnati's long-term plans.
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