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11/17/11 4:32 PM EST
Phillips, Reds progressing on extension talks
Club hasn't met with rep for free-agent closer Cordero
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Always a prolific user of Twitter, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips mentioned Wednesday he hoped to learn about his future with the club, and then on Thursday, stated he was flying to Cincinnati from his hometown in Atlanta. None of that equated, however, to a deal being done. A contract extension between Phillips and Cincinnati is not imminent. General manager Walt Jocketty and Phillips' agents did spend time negotiating during the General Managers Meetings this week in Milwaukee. "We've made progress, but we're not close," Jocketty said Thursday from the airport as he prepared to fly back to Cincinnati. "It will take a little bit of time. It's a complicated contract." The Reds exercised Phillips' $12 million option on Oct. 31, but the three-time National League Gold Glove winner and reigning Silver Slugger winner has long trumpeted his desire to re-sign with Cincinnati for many years. Phillips, 30, has also been firm about his lack of willingness to accept a hometown discount to remain with the Reds. The most recent salary benchmark for premier second basemen is the five-year, $62 million contract Dan Uggla signed with the Braves last winter. "It gets down to trying to determine the number of years and amount of dollars," Jocketty said. "We're still a ways apart on both." As for Phillips, he replied to a question on Twitter about whether he heard anything good about the talks. "Naw not really... Smh #NoBueno," Phillips posted, with "Smh" meaning "shaking my head." As for free agent Francisco Cordero, there have been no developments in efforts to re-sign the veteran closer. Jocketty said he did not see Cordero's agent, Bean Stringfellow, in Milwaukee. Stringfellow revealed earlier this week to MLB.com that Cordero has drawn "seven or eight" interested clubs, including the Reds. Cordero's $12 million club option was not picked up by the Reds on Oct. 31. "We're still letting them sort out the market," Jocketty said. "While we'd like to bring him back, we're moving on also." There are several free-agent closers on the open market besides Cordero. "If we did not sign Coco, we'd first look outside of the organization," Jocketty said. Overall, the three-day trip for the GMs Meetings was not exceptional, but Jocketty accomplished a few things. "I made contact with a lot of clubs," he said. "I talked with a few agents. That part was productive."