By Grant Brisbee – Editor @ SBNation.com
Brandon Phillipsis going to be a free agent after this year. He’ll be 31, and he plays a position that ages worse than any other position with the exception of catcher. He’s also really good. By several measures, he had his best season as a hitter last year, and his defense remains stellar.
Also, he projects as one of the few premium free agents. The Dodgers will have a fistful of bills and an indiscriminate eye. Some of the usual suspects will be set at second base — Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Rangers — but there will still be a market for Phillips. If someone wants him, they’ll give him five years.
It’s going to be an ugly contract at the end, of course. They all are. But it seems like teams aren’t worrying about that these days, especially the teams built to win now. Get the player, worry about the rest later. But the Reds probably aren’t going to be that team. They just signed Votto for a private island in the South Pacific and the secret of immortality. They have their franchise player.
There’s a parallel, and it’s a close one, both in context and geography. The Brewers had a star who was a couple of years from free agency, but they locked him up for the next decade for many millions. They placed the gold star on Ryan Braun instead of Prince Fielder. They sent a clear message that Braun was the face of the franchise. They would have sent the message overnight but, you know, everything was closed and stuff.
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