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Amid trade rumors, Phillips appears at Redsfest

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- With weeks of trade speculation likely delaying his commitment to attend, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips appeared at Redsfest on Friday night after all.

Phillips declined to talk to reporters.

CINCINNATI -- With weeks of trade speculation likely delaying his commitment to attend, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips appeared at Redsfest on Friday night after all.

Phillips declined to talk to reporters.

"I'm just here for Redsfest," he said.

Phillips, who was not on the list of attendees in the days leading up to the event, was greeted warmly by teammates with hugs and handshakes and several kids took pictures and got autographs. During the team introduction on the main stage, he received the loudest applause and a standing ovation.

On Tuesday, general manager Walt Jocketty tried to stem trade rumors when he called Phillips to personally tell him he actively wasn't trying to deal him. Jocketty did leave the door open however, saying that if something came along later, he might look at it. Rumors could start again now that the Yankees need a second baseman after Robinson Cano reportedly signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners.

Phillips was wearing a black brace over his left forearm, the same spot where he was hit by a pitch on June 1 and missed four games. His offensive production in 2013 sagged after the injury.

While players gathered backstage before their main stage introduction, Phillips shook hands and spoke privately with Reds president/CEO Bob Castellini.

Castellini believed things were good with the club and Phillips.

"Brandon is part of the team, boys," Castellini said.

Castellini maintained that the Reds are doing anything as a franchise to improve.

"Walt was just exploring," Castellini said. "You have to understand what he's up against. He's got to look around. Brandon Phillips is an integral part of this franchise."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.

 

Cincinnati Reds, Brandon Phillips