The Cincinnati Reds are getting interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Brandon Phillips.
When the Los Angeles Angels traded for Danny Espinosa, suddenly Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips looked like a better option for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Angels gave up two young pitchers that many thought were in their future plans. Espinosa will provide more power than the Angels had once Howie Kendrick left.
The trade took another option off the market for the Dodgers. The free agent options are thin and markedly without offensive upside. Until Justin Turner signed, the Dodgers had two holes and only one solution.
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Phillips suddenly is among the top options for the Dodgers. Even though his contract is large, being in the last year of his contract is an attractive situation for the Dodgers. They would be willing to give talent or pay the contract, but not both.
The Reds are also ripe for a trade. They returned to Cincinnati after the Winter Meetings disappointed with the outcome. They thought that they could move Phillips and sign some help, but they only flirted with the Texas Rangers over Billy Hamilton.
Interestingly enough, the deal of Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals is the same deal that encouraged the Nationals to complete the deal with the Angels. Much like last year with the Nationals, a trade of Phillips to the Dodgers would be good for both sides.
Of course, Phillips could always swerve and block the deal, just like he did to Atlanta in November. The question is what the Dodgers would send back as well. The initial conversation was Andre Ethier, but he has a no trade clause of his own.
With Brandon Phillips being courted by the Dodgers, Raisel iglesias is the Cincinnati Reds’ trade acquisition that the Miami Marlins wanted.
The Miami Marlins think that they have caught up to the New York Mets in the National League East, even with the last season death of ace Jose Fernandez. They think that they are a stud closer away from contending.
It appears that Iglesias is the back-up option the Marlins don’t want to be caught off guard if they free agents all sign elsewhere. There is a clear interest in getting a pitcher with an island background that can be a marketing tool. Both pitchers can fit that role.
Jensen was first made a closer by current Marlins manager, Don Mattingly. Their is a personal connection that could have made all of the difference. The Marlins did not have enough money to make it work.
Meanwhile, it is not clear how serious the Marlins are in chasing Iglesias. They signed Brad Ziegler to a two-year deal to be the set-up man, but he could close. However, after the Straily trade, the Marlins don’t have an apparent match for the Reds’ needs left right now.
Phillips and Iglesias are both on other teams’ radars. Whether these are leverage moves or true interest, only time will tell. In the meantime, the Reds need to keep trying to work their off-season plan.