Friday, December 13, 2013

Report: Reds, Dodgers 'briefly spoke about' Phillips-Kemp trade earlier in offseason

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Reds and Dodgers "briefly spoke about" the possibility of swapping All-Stars Brandon Phillips and Matt Kemp earlier this offseason.

Here is the precise excerpt taken from Sherman's recent piece:

The Dodgers and Reds briefly spoke about a Kemp-for-Brandon Phillips swap early in the offseason. But Los Angeles backed away feeling it did not want to take back a big salary (Phillips is owed $50 million for four years), generally want to get younger and also did not think it was near equal value if Kemp is healthy.

For a club who consistently complains about lack of funds, this trade sure wouldn't have made a lot of financial sense for the Reds. Although Phillips still has five years and $50 million remaining on his current contract, Kemp's contract is much more burdensome. The 29-year-old is owed approximately $140 million over the next seven seasons, which would be a steep price to pay for the Reds and their mediocre payroll, especially considering they are already on the hook for roughly $200 million made payable to Joey Votto over the next decade or so. From a baseball-only perspective, though, yes, the Dodgers had every right to be weary or skeptical they were getting the short end of the deal. I think it's a good bet that, barring injury to either player, Kemp has more production left in his career than Phillips. But Kemp is also set to get paid about three times as much as Phillips, too.

In closing, I can't imagine there were ever serious talks involved with this rumor outside of a casual proposal made by either one side or the other. If true, my guess the pitch would have initially come from Cincy's side.

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