Reds trade rumors: Move Brandon Phillips to pay Jay Bruce

USA TODAY Sports

The outfielder has some of the best pure power in the MLB, something the Reds may want to lock up.

The Cincinnati Reds' attempts to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips may be in part to free up money to sign outfielder Jay Bruce to a new contract extension, reports Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports.

Power is becoming more of a rarity in the MLB, writes Passan, and Bruce is one of just three players to launch 30 home runs each of the last three seasons. Though Bruce is currently locked up through 2017, the Reds may hope to sign him to a new extension early in an effort to ensure his powerful bat stays in Cincinnati.

Bruce, 26, has hit 164 home runs through his first six seasons. In 2013, he hit .262/.329/.478. He has never failed to reach 20 home runs in his career. Bruce's agent says the team has yet to approach his client about an extension.

One executive is quoted as saying that Phillips is "gone" this offseason. The Reds have been rumored to be seeking a trade to rid themselves of the remaining $50 million he is owed through 2017. Philips was reportedly upset he did not receive more money after being told the team couldn't afford it prior to signing Joey Votto to a monster deal.

The Reds may also need the salary space to re-sign their starting pitching. Homer Bailey, Mat Latos, and Johnny Cueto are all set to hit free agency in the next two years.

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