CINCINNATI -- As he has every winter since his 2006 trade to the Reds, second baseman Brandon Phillips hopped on a bus for the team's annual caravan across the region on Thursday. However, this isn't anything close to a regular winter, as Phillips and the club have been bogged down in prolonged negotiations for a contract extension. Cincinnati picked up Phillips' $12 million option for 2012 in November. The 30-year-old has made it clear since last season that he wants a long-term deal. After some initial talks early in the offseason, it's been very quiet of late. General manager Walt Jocketty has been immersed in several Reds acquisitions since the holidays.
"I have no idea. My agent hasn't called and told me anything about it," Phillips said about progress on his contract. "The best thing about it is I'm really not worrying about it. They're doing a good job of making the team better. I will have my day. I'm not really tripping about it. If it comes soon, it would be nice. I'm going to have my day, regardless." Phillips, who won his third National League Gold Glove after the 2011 season, batted .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs. He finished the year as the Reds' leadoff hitter, a role he will likely fill at the start of the season. After originally using some strong rhetoric last summer that he would not be happy to play without an extension, Phillips seems to have mellowed publicly. Asked if he would be willing to keeps talks going into Spring Training or the regular season, he did not dismiss the notion. "I'll leave it up to my agent. That's one thing I can't control," Phillips said. "I hope it gets done. I can't do it for them. All I can do is go out and produce and bring a championship to the Queen City."