The beat writer cites the Reds interest in Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero as well as Phillips behavior during the season as indicators that Cincinnati will attempt to trade the second baseman. Guerrero projects as a second baseman, and previously signed a seven-year, $32 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers before the deal was nixed over visa issues.
The interest in a second baseman shows that the club may be ready to move on from Phillips. He made inflammatory statements earlier in the season regarding his current contract, essentially calling Reds owner Bob Castellini a liar:
"To this day, I'm still hurt. Well, I don't wanna say hurt. I'll say scarred. I'm still scarred. It just sucks that it happened. For [Castellini] to sign somebody for $200 million, there must be a new vegetable or fruit coming out that we don't know about. For him to do something like that and tell me they didn't have any more money, that's a lie. But what can I do? I just feel like it was a slap in my face."
The Reds signed Joey Votto to a ten-year, $225 million contract extension before the 2012 season that will kick-in next year. Phillips signed a six-year, $72.5 million extension one week later.
Phillips hit .261/.310/.396 over 666 plate appearances in 2013, but did collect 103 RBI. He is still owed $50 million over the next four seasons, which likely limits his trade market. The Dodgers are looking to upgrade second base, although they are still in the running for Guerrero, while the Yankees could need a second baseman if Robinson Cano signs elsewhere.