I wish I had thought of it on Ash Wednesday. But it came to me a week late. Some well-meaning Twitter follower asked if I thought the Reds would get a deal done with Brandon Phillips.

My reply: I gave up answering contract questions for Lent.

Actually, that's like me giving up "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" – no sacrifice at all. I'm tired of talking about whether the Reds will sign Phillips and Joey Votto.

With all the moves that have occurred this offseason, with all the anticipation of a new season, you'd think two topics that won't affect the Reds until at least late July would be way down the list.

But they seem to be of pressing concern to many out there in Redsland. Votto is the Reds best player and Phillips is the runner-up in the category.

The Reds are keenly aware of this.

"We're going to try to get them both signed," owner Bob Castellini said. "But we don't want to talk about it (to the media)."

A lot of fans want to see Phillips signed – period. That's understandable. He's the most fan-friendly player I've ever been around.

The Reds have made offers. Phillips obviously hasn't accepted. He wants what other top second basemen are making.

It would be difficult for the Reds to justify paying him $13 million a year like the Atlanta Braves are paying Dan Uggla. It would be disastrous to pay Phillips $13 million in three or four years if his numbers drop off. Phillips turns 31 in June.