Impending FA, Arbitration and Draft Pick Compensation
Although the CBA is due to expire after this season and therefore could render all of this moot, the Reds have three players up for Free Agency that would currently qualify as a "Type A" Free Agent. This means that if the Reds offer these players arbitration, the Reds could get up to 2 first round picks (the team that signs them if they draft in the lower half of the first round must give up their pick, in addition to a guaranteed sandwich round pick). Assuming this part of the CBA is renewed, given the risks and potential rewards of offering arbitratation, what would you do?
Personally I would pick up Phillips' option, and offer arbitration to Cordero and Hernandez. I am admittedly bias, as I'm a sucker for having multiple high draft picks.
I think the trade market is showing us that there will always be interest in someone like Hernandez' services, so even if he accepts he should still have some trade value.
Ditto for Cordero, who is quietly having a career year. As Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman have shown in recent years, closers who have made it this long can continue to be good through their late 30s, and therefore I believe Cordero should have trade value if the Reds determine he is too expensive to keep should he accept. My guess, however, is that he would decline arbitration and get a 2 or 3 year deal elsewhere (with a contender) leaving the Reds with two additional first round selections to restock the farm (not to mention payroll flexibility).