trade rumors: Nationals in pursuit of Reds' Brandon Phillips

Baseball Throughout the offseason, we'll be taking a look at the top news

and rumors from the Hot Stove League.RUMOR: The Nationals are in trade talks with the Reds about second baseman Brandon Phillips. MORE: Best current players at each uniform number, 1-97 | Senator says Nats need to dump PapelbonREPORTED BY: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports THE DETAILS: The Nationals, who traded infielder Yunel Escobar to the Angels and are set to lose shortstop Ian Desmond as a free agent, are in need of infield depth. Phillips, a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, would be an instant upgrade. However, Phillips is 34 and has had injury issues in recent seasons. He also is owed $13 million in 2016 and $14 million in ’17 in the final two years of a contract he signed in 2012.Phillips would also have to waive his no-trade clause for this deal to get done. But if the teams have already begun "talks," then it might be fair to assume Phillips has given his go-ahead.LAST SEASON: Phillips finished with a .294/.328/.395 slash line, 12 home runs, 70 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. He was also named a finalist for the Gold Glove for second base.OUR TAKE: It's hard to get excited about a 34-year-old middle infielder who's set to make $27 million over the next two seasons, but there's no denying that Phillips would be help the Nationals. The Reds are in full rebuilding mode, so they will likely want young talent in return. It's unlikely the Reds would have interest in starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez even though Washington has ben actively shopping him.It's also worth noting that Dusty Baker, who managed Phillips from 2008-13 in Cincinnati, is the new skipper for the Nationals.


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