Posted July 19, 2013

Joey Votto understands Brandon Phillips’ comments about contract

MLB
Joey Votto is OK with comments Brandon Phillips made about Votto's contract. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Joey Votto is OK with comments Brandon Phillips made about Votto’s contract. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto said he is OK with comments teammate Brandon Phillips made about Votto’s 10-year, $225 million contract, according to an Associated Press report.

In the upcoming issue of Cincinnati Magazine, Phillips said he is “still scarred” that the front office gave Votto a lengthy extension. Phillips thought his days with the Reds were numbered because he was entering the final year of his contract when Votto received his deal. According to Phillips, Reds GM Walt Jocketty and owner Bob Castellini told Phillips they didn’t have money for an extension for Phillips. Phillips would later agree to a five-year extension worth $72.5 million.

Phillips’ comments about Votto’s extension:

“Do I feel like they lied to me?” Phillips said. “If someone tells me they don’t have no money and you find $200 million somewhere, what does that sound like? You tell me. I’m very happy for Joey, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for everything that happened to Joey. I thought for myself, I was done. I was mad that I thought I wasn’t going to be a Cincinnati Red anymore.”

Votto responded by saying he as a tremendous amount of respect for Phillips and he likes him even more for his comments because of his honesty. Votto and Phillips both represented the Reds in the All-Star game this past week.

Votto’s response to Phillips’ comments:

“What he said has nothing to do with me, but what he had to say makes me like him even more. He’s honest. Most players stick to using catch phrases — like I’m doing now — but he will tell you how he feels at that moment.”


13 comments
Michael10
Michael10

Phillips has produced about 3.1 wins per 162 games over his career while Votto has produced 6.3 -- so Votto is roughly twice as valuable on the open market and three years younger to boot. If Phillips really wants to use Votto as a yardstick, he should have only gotten $50MM over the five year extension...

Robert18
Robert18

phillips is definatelt and above average hitter... maybe not elite but very good.... and his glove is by no means overrated he has won plenty of gold gloves not to mention he came in second last year and many thought he was robbed of it at that even those outside of ohio... so im sorry if u dont like the guy u dont have to but at least speak truth and not partial bull crap.... and btw if u guys would actually read the article he said he was hurt til they slapped him in the face with the 70 some million he got which si fails to mention cause they want to stir the pot but read the full article he says something like it was the best slap he ever got... witht he 70 some million that is.

plenum
plenum

What did Phillips expect from Castellini, "marry my daughter" (to quote Blazing Saddles)? Whereas Castellini actually would want fellow paisan Votto to marry his daughter.....

duecegeez
duecegeez

"Punk with a big mouth..." "Attitude problem..." SERIOUSLY??? I love it when people get on these sites to hate on players and wallow in the mediocrity of their own lives. If you KNOW baseball then you know that Phillips is lauded as one of the games great guys both in his work off the field and personable demeanor. Both teammates and opposing players LOVE HIM. You would also understand that he is widely considered to be the best defensive second baseman in the game, and arguably the best of ALL TIME. Add that to the fact that he hits CLEANUP in a very potent Reds lineup, and LEADS MLB second basemen in RBI. His 77 either tie or best every FIRST BASEMAN in the league (except for Chris Davis) which everyone knows is the infield position most expected to produce power and drive in runs. In 2012 Phillips hit (.281/18/77) while fellow all-star Dustin Pedroia hit (.290/15/65). And it just so happens that Pedroia is on the verge of signing a multi-year deal at $20MM per year. Robi Cano, the league's very best 2B will get $25MM per. So just because Phillips makes more money than YOU do, doesn't mean he shouldn't earn fair market value for his talents. His contract could easily be sandwiched somewhere in between.

Dave C
Dave C

Just another punk with a big mouth who thinks he is entitled to something.  These guys just don't get how lucky they are...talented or not.

Michael10
Michael10

Phillips must not be very good at reading between the lines.  What they meant was, they didn't have the money to pony up $18-20MM a year for a league average hitter with an overrated glove and an attitude problem...

Michael10
Michael10

@Robert18 He basically got the same deal Yadier Molina -- a year younger and far more valuable -- did last season. Of course, B.J. Upton also got $75MM over five years, so go figure...

Michael10
Michael10

@duecegeez Phillips is not Pedroia or Cano or Utley with the bat nor is he Alomar or Sandberg or Mazaroski with the glove (he's not even the best second baseman in the league; his last Gold Glove was three seasons ago). 

He's a CLEANUP hitter for the same reason Zack Cosart is a TWO-HOLE hitter -- because that's where Dusty pencils in their names. He has an OPS of .733 (the worst of his career), below league average not just for cleanup hitters, but ALL hitters. That means you could plug over half the players in the league into Phillips slot behind Choo and Votto and get as many RBI out of them (this is the only time in a 12-year career Phillips has been anywhere near the top ten in RBI).

And, yes, outside of Ohio, he is known much more for his mouth than his bat or glove...

duecegeez
duecegeez

@Michael10 @duecegeez Ok Mike, here we go. 

1. Cano is the best in the league right now and I said that. Utley and Sandberg can't even be compared with Phillips because neither has/had any range. Masaroski played in an era that doesn't even begin to mirror the makeup of baseball's talent today. Alomar is the only realistic competition for Phillips when you're talking about making both the mundane and jaw-dropping spectacular play look routine. 

2. As far as Phillips hitting behind Choo and Votto, who I will give you are both among the best in the game in on-base percentage, that advantage is offset by the protection that a player like Pedroia has had with hall of famers and perennial all-stars (Manny, Papi, etc) hitting behind him his whole career. 

3. About Phillips being anywhere near the top ten in RBI, well yes that's true. Because thats a list that includes the entire league. But that's not the foundation of our little debate here...it's about Phillips contract and fair market value as a SECOND BASEMAN. So that said...let's compare the offensive seasons of he and the "soon to be $20MM per year man" in Boston. 

Since you're basically saying 2013 is a fluke for Phillips, again lets look at 2012. (.281/18/77) to Pedroia's (.290/15/65). VERY comparable. 2011? (.300/18/82) to Pedroia's (.307/21/91)...both great seasons and again, VERY comparable. We'll call 2010 a wash due to Pedroia's injury, and in 2009 it was (.276/20/98) to Pedroia's (.296/15/72). Do we see the pattern here? And in Pedroia's climatic 2008 MVP campaign, their stats were STILL eerily similar...Pedroia besting with a few more HR and RBI's, Phillips with a few more triples and SB, though Pedroia did hit for a much higher AVG that year. Oh and btw Phillips won the gold glove. 

I don't know what you mean by "known much more for his mouth...", but I do know that his teammates love him and he's known as one of the nicest and most fun guys in the league to be around. I also know that in a game predicated on statistics the numbers say that if Pedroia is worth $20MM per, then Phillips is indeed underpaid. 

duecegeez
duecegeez

@Michael10 @duecegeez Agreed Mike. It's funny, it's almost as if the Red Sox read our discussion and adjusted accordingly lol. You definitely know your baseball though, so it was fun. 

Michael10
Michael10

@duecegeez @Michael10 Well, Pedroia just established the premier second baseman market by signing for $14MM a year. At $14.5MM, Phillips salary complaints are now pretty much moot -- assuming Phillips = Pedroia -- which he doesn't out side Cincy -- but there you go. Problem solved. 

(This deal also likely sets Cano's threshhold at $18-20MM/year rather than $25MM).

duecegeez
duecegeez

@Michael10 @duecegeez No no Mike, please allow me help help you understand my stance. I'm in no way saying that triple crown stats are the only or even determining measure of a player's value to their team. However it is disingenuous to suggest that player salaries (which is the subject of our convo) are not largely, if not mostly predicated on power numbers. You're argument suggests that all of the less tangible ways you can help a team win will determine your market value...that's just simply not what comprises the business of baseball. Comparing strikeout to walk ratio? Adam Dunn has been one of the WORST in the league in both that stat and WAR, yet will make $15MM this year. Why? The two triple crown stats that put butts in the seats. So although in an ideal world we may wish market value was determined solely by your ability to affect wins and losses, thats not the reality of the game. 

At the end of the day we're comparing stats that really are more a matter of opinion than anything. I can argue that if Phillips wasn't the career cleanup hitter he's been and actually had the fortune of the likes of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz as protection, his OPS would easily be around .850 or .900. Also that if you put Pedroia behind Votto and in front of X player who offers little protection, pitchers would routinely pitch around Votto, go after Pedroia with their A-stuff and focus, and his stats would look very drastically different. As a former pro ballplayer who made it as high as Double-A, I can promise you that the stress you endure by having to carry a ball club and be responsible for the lion's share of RBI's is something that doesn't resonate in tangible statistics...but it is why if you look at salaries on a team-by-team basis, the largest ones are given to the guys with the power numbers. Driving in runs is what gets you paid and Brandon Phillips should be no exception. Period.

Michael10
Michael10

@duecegeez @Michael10 First of all, your assumption that Triple Crown stats are viable comparisons of player value is flawed and has been for at least two decades (even if RBI were a reliable measure of hitting prowess, you're comparing a career cleanup hitter to a career two-slot hitter; Pedroia only moved into the three-slot late last season). 

By all modern measures, Pedroia is well ahead of Phillips. His career slash of .304/.372/.458 is far better than Phillips' (.272/.321/.432) and his career OPS of .830 is 18% better than league average while Phillips' .753 is actually 4% below. Pedroia is a much better baserunner, a Gold Glove defender in his own right, and has much better plate discipline, walking more often than he strikes out (while Phillips Ks roughly 2.5 times per BB). Simply put, Pedroia is better at getting on base (BA & OBP), advancing bases and moving runners up (SLG & contact) -- basically everything that produces runs. 

When you translate those runs into wins (WAR), you find that Pedroia has been worth 6.2 wins per 162 games over his career while Phillips has been worth half that at 3.1 (yes, these figures take defense into account, too, and those numbers show Pedroia ahead as well). Given that the free agent market has been valuing such "wins" at around $5MM, the BoSox likely consider Pedroia -- at age 29 -- somewhat of a bargain at $20MM over the next five years or so. On the other hand, $15MM is full market value for Phillips, but still a significant risk for a 32 year old middle infielder who is very unlikely to maintain peak level into his mid-late thirties.

(For the record, Utley has been worth 7.4 wins/162 over his career but is two years older than even Phillips, thus will probably get something similar -- $15-18MM for 4-5 years. Cano, two years younger than Phillips, has been worth 5.2/162 -- which is even less than Pedroia -- but will likely get full market value of $25MM over 6-7 seasons because, well, because it's the Yankees...)