The Cincinnati Reds, on the verge of completing a monster contract extension with first baseman Joey Votto, continue to talk to second baseman Brandon Phillips about a new deal.
Problem is, the two sides have been talking for a year now and have yet to reach agreement, major-league sources say.
The pending 10-year, $225 million extension for Votto, on the other hand, seemed to come together in a matter of weeks, and perhaps even quicker than that.
Phillips, 30, will earn $12.5 million this season in the final year of his contract — his $12 million base salary increased by $250,000 when he won the Gold Glove Award and another $250,000 when he won the Silver Slugger.
The two sides remain apart on both dollars and length of contract, sources say.
Dan Uggla set a standard for second basemen when he signed a five-year, $62 million extension with the Atlanta Braves in Jan. 2011. Phillips would take a pay cut if he accepted the same $12.4 million average and likely wants a similar term.
The difference between Votto and Phillips is that Phillips’ situation is more urgent. Votto is two years away from free agency. Phillips is eligible to hit the open market at the end of this season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, under new ownership, would be one potential suitor for Phillips, though their second baseman, Mark Ellis, is under contract for $5.25 million in 2013.
— Ken Rosenthal