It's a bit complicated, apparently.
As noted in early reports on the proposed deal last night, Phillips, the 34-year-old veteran of 14 major league seasons, has to approve any trade since he has ten+ years in the majors, five of them with the same team.
He would have "to waive his full no-trade protection" for it to happen, as FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, among others, wrote back on Tuesday, in one of the initial reports on the potential deal.
Phillips is owed $27M over the final two years of the 6-year/$72.5M extension he signed with the Reds back in April of 2012, $13M in 2016 and $14M in 2017.
Since he signed the deal, however, "[t]he market since has inflated," Rosenthal noted, "and it is standard for players who waive no-trade rights to receive an added benefit, generally through an extension or salary increase."
"Phillips with 5/10 rights has not approved the trade yet and is not expected to until the Reds work out some type of fair compensation for him to waive his rights," former Reds and Nats' GM Jim Bowden wrote on Twitter last night.
Bowden's colleague at ESPN, Buster Olney, wrote this morning that things were far from "a slam dunk":
Lots of hurdles for Reds and Brandon Phillips to work out before a trade is approved. Far from a slam dunk.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 18, 2015
"Phillips has a chance to play for a winner, and for a manager he loves, yet once again he is said to be trying to wrangle some financial inducement to leave Cincinnati," CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman wrote this afternoon in a fairly critical piece on the second baseman's role in the process:
"He should just be thankful there's a trade for him to a better place. But of course, he has done this before -- he wanted money to accept the Yankees a couple years ago. So even though he's overpaid, he wants more. Nice."
MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported tonight that a source told him "there is an '85 to 90 percent' chance that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips will waive his no-trade protection and become a member of the Nationals."
He did, however, note a Washington Post report by Chelsea Janes in which the WaPost beat writer said talks, "... were at a standstill Friday because Phillips had not yet agreed to waive his no-trade clause."
"The onus is on the Reds, not the Nationals, to persuade Phillips to consent to a deal," Janes wrote, citing a "person with direct knowledge of the negotiations", adding that according to an anonymous source who spoke to the Post, "... [a]s of late Friday, Phillips and the Reds had made no progress toward that agreement."
Bowden weighed in on the ongoing talks again in another report on Twitter tonight:
"There has been no progress made in the negotiations with Brandon Phillips on the proposed trade from the Reds to Nationals and now [it's] looking unlikely the deal is consummated unless the Reds change their stance dramatically according to a club source directly involved in the negotiations."
So will the deal actually get done? Will Phillips get what he's looking for and reunite with Dusty Baker in D.C.? Baker managed the infielder from 2008-2013 with the Reds.
Phillips is coming off a coming off a .294/.328/.395 campaign with Cincinnati in 2015 which saw the second baseman hit 19 doubles and 12 HRs in 148 games and 588 plate appearances, over which he was worth 2.6 fWAR.