The Cincinnati Reds had a deal completed to send Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves and the details are still coming out.
The Cincinnati Reds had a trade to send Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves and Phillips blocked it. That is of little surprise. He blocked deals to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals.
The Atlanta Braves suddenly decided to try to compete as they play in their new stadium. They have already added Jaime Garcia, RA Dickey and Bartolo Colon to their rotation. Adding Phillips would have been a move to solidify their infield.
The rumored deal revolved around Matt Kemp coming back to the Reds. He came over during the season from the San Diego Padres. He played better with the Braves, but is an unnecessary part.
The Reds lack a true back-up centerfielder and don’t have a clear back-up outfielder aside from utility man, Jose Peraza. Adding a right-handed bat to back-up Scott Schebler in right and Billy Hamilton in center would be nice. Kemp could also be flipped mid-season if he is healthy and productive.
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The essence of the deal being reported was Phillips and reliever Blake Wood for Kemp, a prospect and money. Much of Kemp’s salary is being paid by the Padres and some of that money was being forwarded to the Reds. With this deal blocked, the Reds have been unable to find another home for Phillips this off-season.
The Cincinnati Reds had Phillips traded to the Braves back in November, since then Phillips had said he’s open to Southern California.
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The second week of November Phillips let slip that he would be willing to accept a deal to Southern California. At the time that was a curious comment, because the rumors on the Phillips’ front had been so quiet. Now that comment makes sense.
Phillips was telling the Reds that he might accept a deal to SoCal, but the Braves deal was dead. Shortly after Phillips blocked the deal, the Braves signed utility man Sean Rodriguez away from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since then there have been intermittent rumors about Phillips going to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but nothing substantive.
In the meantime the Reds were approached about the availability of Hamilton, Anthony DeSclafani, and Dan Straily. None of those players were really on the market, but Straily ended up going to the Miami Marlins. Hamilton is a player that the Reds see as the core of the 2018 team that they hope challenges for the playoffs and DeSclafani is the number one starter for now.
Phillips has become a selfish player since his 10 and 5 status has come into effect. He would have had a shot at the playoffs with the Washington Nationals last year and maybe with the rejuvenated Braves this season. Instead he is forcing the Reds to keep him around and blocking the players of the future from being able to play everyday.