After over a decade with the organization, former All-Star 2B Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds have parted ways.
Sunday, Phillips waived his no-trade clause in order for the Reds to trade Phillips to the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Andrew McKirahan and Carlos Portuondo. The trade entitles that the Reds will stay pay the majority of Phillips contract.
On the outside looking in, the trade seems like a loss for the Reds who are giving up a 4x Gold Glove Award winner in return for two pitchers with minimal MLB sucess. His career batting average in Cincinnati hovered right around .280, and has been the most reliable player on an underachieving team for a while now.
However, in reality, the trade seems to make sense for not only each team, but for Brandon Phillips himself.
The Braves aren’t a team that look like they will have much success very soon, which makes it unclear why Phillips, 35, would wave his no-trade clause in order to be shipped to the Braves. Brandon Phillips is actually from Atlanta, attending high school in the city before turning pro. Nearing the end of his career, Phillips finishing his playing days in his hometown may be story book ending he is looking for. He also may be looking for a team where he will get playing time and get paid, all while having low expectations on a rebuilding on a team.
For the Braves, they are a team that really have no immediate needs for Phillips, who is in the last year of his contract. Their starting 2B Sean Rodriguez will miss the entire 2017 season, but Phillips still won’t be the kicker for a playoff push. The Braves may be doing for Phillips to come home to Atlanta and raise attendance by bringing in a star. Also, he will be a strong mentor for SS Dansby Swanson, who is one of the hottest young players in the game.
The Reds did not acquire much proven talent return for Phillips, and will still pay most of his remaining contract. While it seems like a complete bust, the move was mostly to make room for the up and coming talent in the Reds farm system. Last season, INF Jose Peraza hit .324 in a rotational role for the Reds, and will be first in line to take the starting role at second base. The Reds are hopeful that he can build on his strong year last year and fill the void left by the Phillips trade. Cincinnati also has INF Dilson Herrera, who was acquired in the Jay Bruce trade, who will get rotational time at second and shortstop as well.
While trading a longtime fan favorite player in Brandon Phillips, who has produced year in and year out for the Reds, it is a step in the right direction as the Reds really begin to rebuild. In just the past couple years, the Reds have traded talented players in Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, and now BP. Even now, the Reds have been open to shopping other players as well, such as SS Zack Cozart and OF Billy Hamilton.
Only time will tell how long (and if) the Reds roster overhaul will produce results. It has been several years since the Reds have made the playoffs, but Reds fans will take just getting out of the bottom of the National League, and begin to compete more. Reds pitchers and catchers reported today, and baseball fans all around the league are excited to see how the new look Cincinnati Reds far this 2017 season.