Earlier Thursday, it looked like Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds were on a path towards parting ways. The Reds were said to have offered Phillips a four-year contract extension. Phillips wanted more, as players do. Later Thursday, it looked like Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds were nearing an extension agreement. What could have changed? This could have changed:
According to a Reds source...the Reds have offered Brandon Phillips a five-year contract in the "neigborhood" of$62.5 -$65 million dollars— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) April 5, 2012
Phillips wouldn't be real happy with a four-year offer. Phillips would apparently be happy with a five-year offer. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but players get pretty serious about contract length, and after the Reds guaranteed big money to Joey Votto through 2023, they couldn't really tell Phillips that they're risk-conscious anymore. That kind of went out the window with the decade-long contract that starts in two years.
We don't actually know if Jim Bowden's report is correct. But it vibes with John Fay's report from earlier, so from current indications, Phillips and the Reds are close to getting something done. We're now beyond any Opening Day negotiations deadline, but not by much.