Over the weekend, Reds fans rode the emotional roller coaster involving the negotiated trade of former All Star and Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips. After a deal was reportedly in place, the Reds have either failed to convince BP to leave Cincinnati, have failed in negotiating financial terms with Phillips and/or the Nationals, or have failed to convince the Nationals to agree to Phillips's terms. In short, the Reds failed.
Taken another way, Brandon Phillips overplayed his hand, initially indicating he'd agree to a trade before altering the stakes in the 11th hour, pushing bigger and longer financial commitments that the teams weren't willing to comply with. Remember, there was a time where a deal was considered to be 85 to 90 percent likely.
Unfortunately for a lot of fans, there are only two competing ways for this to have gone down. Either the Reds have utterly failed, again, to get anything out of one of the last assets they have left to facilitate a rebuild, or Brandon Phillips is an incredibly selfish baseball player who's more than willing to collect checks from a losing baseball team unless he can shoehorn another team into playing him even more money over an even greater length of time, despite being very nearly over valued at his current compensation.
There is no in between.
Fortunately for you, the fine folks of the Red Reporter community curb stomped that dead horse into oblivion all weekend long (along with various Star Wars opinions, and more than one wrong Rocky opinion). You can read all about that right here.
Unfortunately for all of us, the Brandon Phillips trade weekend might continue, just as Aroldis Chapman trade weekend has gone on longer than some wars. Reds.com front man Mark Sheldon reported earlier today that the Reds and Nationals deal isn't necessarily dead, just dormant for the time being, while both teams wait to see if Brandon Phillips will change his mind.
At this point, a deal involving Brandon to the Nationals seems unlikely at best. Really, any deal involving Brandon Phillips seems unlikely at best, unless his feelings regarding both wanting to be in Cincinnati and wanting to be paid more for longer change drastically.
A potential new team is going to have serious doubts about committing to a 37 and/or 38 year old Brandon Phillips. As they should. As it is, many teams are going to have serious doubts about committing to a 35 and 36 year old Brandon Phillips. That, at least, makes this would be deal a very interesting one for pro-rebuild Reds fans; what were the Reds about to get here? Was this deal going to look net something particularly worthwhile? Or was this going to resemble more of a salary dump?
Were the Reds just looking to get rid of the $27 million of BP salary? If so, how is the feeling, "My employer just tried to get rid of me and my salary for a bucket of balls because they no longer believe that I am worth it," going to sit with Brandon Phillips, who very obviously holds the keys to his future?
It may have been a failure on the Reds part, or selfishness on the player's part, but it just made the whole off season that much more interesting. And peculiar.