CINCINNATI -- On the heels of signing Joey Votto to a mammoth contract, the Reds appear close to locking up second baseman Brandon Phillips. Negotiations on an extension for Phillips have nearly reached the end. "It's not done," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said after the Reds beat the Marlins, 4-0, in Thursday's season opener. "I feel good about it. Hopefully in the next week or so we will get it done."
On Wednesday, the Reds signed Votto to a 10-year, $225 million extension that will keep the first baseman with the club through the 2023 season. There is also a $20 million option for the 2024 season. It was a stunning development, especially because Votto had two years remaining on his existing contract. On the other hand, Phillips can be a free agent after the 2012 season. Talks between Jocketty and Phillips' agents, the Levinson brothers, have progressed slowly since they began in September. Phillips, who is making $12.5 million this season playing out the option year of his contract, has frequently voiced his desire to remain with the Reds and his displeasure that a contract wasn't done. But judging by Jocketty's most recent comments, Phillips will have his day pretty soon.