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11/29/11 7:32 PM EST
Reds: Phillips extension has 'ways to go'
Jocketty answers second baseman's tweet with optimism
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- In very much 21st-century fashion, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips hinted Tuesday night that he and the club are closing in on a long-term contract extension, though Cincinnati indicated it could still be a while before a deal is reached. "Just talked to my agent @Baseball_ACES and it feels good to know that we're moving in the right direction to make me a #Red4Life," Phillips posted on his Twitter feed, @datdudeBP. When reached for comment, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty didn't believe a deal was near.
"I think it's still a ways to go," Jocketty said. "We're still hopeful to get something done. We're glad he feels that way."On Oct. 31, the Reds exercised Phillips' $12 million option for 2012, but he has long maintained a desire to sign long term this year. He can become a free agent for the first time after next season. In past winters, Jocketty has managed to sign players to significant deals during the club's popular Redsfest fan event, which is being held this weekend. Last year, starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo was signed to a multiyear extension and Arthur Rhodes signed a two-year contract as a free agent in Dec. 2008. "I don't think we're that close [with Phillips], no," Jocketty said. Phillips, 30, batted .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs this past season. He earned his third National League Gold Glove Award and his first NL Silver Slugger Award.