CINCINNATI — Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips is keeping quiet while closing in on a contract extension.
Phillips said on Saturday before a game against Miami that he’s not going to discuss an extension that’s been in the works since last season. Owner Bob Castellini said earlier in the week that there’s enough money to give the popular infielder a new deal.
“I’m talking about winning and I’m here with the team,” Phillips said. “If it has anything to do with money, I’m not talking about it. It (money) does talk, but I’m not talking about that. Winning is better.”
Phillips has blossomed in Cincinnati, which got him from the Cleveland Indians for right-hander Jeff Stevens at the start of the 2006 season. He is a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner.
Phillips also is among the Reds’ all-time leaders in homers, RBIs, doubles and hits for a second baseman. He agreed to a four-year, deal before the 2008 season that included a $12 million option for 2012. He batted .300 with 18 homers and 82 RBIs last season.
The Reds picked up his option last October while negotiating a multiyear extension. It appeared there would be less chance of reaching an agreement after the club gave first baseman Joey Votto a new deal on Wednesday that added 10 years and $225 million.
Castellini said Votto’s deal doesn’t preclude an extension for Phillips or a new deal for manager Dusty Baker, who is finishing a two-year extension.
“It has no bearing on our conversations with Brandon Phillips and, hopefully, our conversations with Dusty as we go forward,” Castellini said.
General manager Walt Jocketty talked to Phillips about his long-term future with the club when they returned from spring training in Arizona. Jocketty is hopeful that something will be worked out within the next few weeks.
“I feel confident,” he said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
The 30-year-old infielder would become the third Reds position player to get a multiyear contract in the last few years. Right fielder Jay Bruce got a six-year, $51 million deal before the 2011 season.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
Reds’ Phillips mum while closing in on contract
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