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Brandon Phillips may finally let the Reds trade him

The veteran second baseman can veto any deal, but seems willing to let the Reds let him go.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Phillips is “more willing” to waive his 10-and-5 rights this year (players who have been in the league for ten years, and with the same team for five, cannot be traded without their consent), according to MLB’s Jon Morosi:

Cincinnati’s longtime second baseman has used that status to short circuit deals to the Nationals and the Diamondbacks last offseason, but now seems willing to move on from the rebuilding Reds.

That probably has something to do with all the extra second basemen the Reds have hanging around these days. Last offseason, they acquired Jose Peraza from the Dodgers in the Todd Frazier deal, and picked up Dilson Herrera at the trade deadline for Jay Bruce. Peraza, especially, had a strong 2016, hitting .324/.352/.411 while playing all around the field. Herrera spent all year at Triple-A, hitting .274/.335/.456. Both of them are better fits for the Reds going forward than Phillips, who only has a year, and $14 million left on his contract.

That’s actually not a bad deal for a 37 year old who has been a league average second baseman for most of the last four seasons. But in the past, Phillips’ value was always buoyed by his defense, which was above average. Last year, however, the various advanced metrics thought he took a step back. Combined with a slightly below average offensive profile (Phillips hit .291/.320/.416 while playing half his games at the relatively tiny Great American Park), he may be worth no more than a win above replacement going forward.

Also, with Neil Walker available as a free agent, and Brian Dozier potentially on the trading block, Phillips would strictly be a fallback option for teams like the Angels or Royals looking for help up the middle. Unfortunately for the Reds, Phillips’ willingness to allow a deal to go through may come a year too late.