Reds, Diamondbacks discussing swap of second basemen
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Would second baseman Brandon Phillips leave the Reds? This might be the offseason when we find out.
The Reds’ trade discussions about Phillips include a proposal in which he would go to the Diamondbacks for second baseman Aaron Hill, according to major-league sources.
A number of obstacles could prevent a Reds-Diamondbacks deal from happening, starting with the fact that Phillips has the right to veto any trade as a player with 10 years of major-league service, five with the same team.
Securing his approval likely would be difficult; Phillips is comfortable in Cincinnati and one of the most popular Reds. Teams sometimes offer financial inducements such as contract extensions to persuade players to waive no-trade rights, but the D-backs might not want to do that for Phillips, who is 34.
The discussions between the Reds and D-backs have yet to progress to a serious stage, according to one source. If they advance, the deal could grow to include other players as well as some kind of financial exchange.
Hill is earning $12 million next season and Phillips $13 million, but Phillips also is under contract for $14 million in 2017 — a likely roadblock for the D-backs, one sources said.
The acquisition of Phillips could free the Diamondbacks to trade one of their younger infielders, possibly Chris Owings or Brandon Drury, in a package for a starting pitcher.