CINCINNATI — With every big deal, the small-market Cincinnati Reds show that they're serious about winning. The Reds made another significant financial commitment on Tuesday, giving All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips, 30, a six-year, $72.5 million contract. That came only five days after former NL MVP Joey Votto got 10 years and $225 million added to his deal.
They're all-in for a run of playoff appearances.
"I think this puts us in a pretty good position to build around two premier players on the everyday side, and with some of the pitchers we have to be a contending club for years to come, hopefully," General Manager Walt Jocketty said. "It's not easy. A lot of things have to go right for you.
"But we're getting deeper and deeper in talent. That's what it's going to take in a small market."
Phillips' deal is the last major one for a while. It's been in the works since last year.
The Reds couldn't agree on the length of a new deal with Phillips, so they exercised the 2012 option on his old contract that is worth $12.5 million. They remained at odds until the Reds agreed to a longer deal.
"We originally had a certain number of years in mind that we were going to do the deal," Jocketty said. "Then we realized that we'd probably have to extend another year, and that's what we did. We went another year on the contract. We were able to get the deal done rather quick after that."
The new deal adds salaries of $10 million for next year, $11 million in 2014, $12 million in 2015, $13 million in 2016 and $14 million in 2017.