Cincinnati Reds trade Brandon Phillips to start new era

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds trade long time second baseman Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves for prospects.

Today, the Cincinnati Reds traded Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves for minor league pitchers Andrew McKirahan and Carlos Portuondo.  The Reds will be paying most of Phillips’ salary for 2017.  After Phillips waived his no trade clause, the Commissioner’s office still had to approve the deal due to the large amount of money involved.

McKirahan did not play baseball in 2016 while recovering from surgery.  The left-handed Texan projects as a lefty specialist when healthy.  Over 96 minor league games he has a 2.20 ERA to go with a 1.10 WHIP.

Portuondo is only entering his second season in North American ball after coming over from Cuba.  He is viewed as a multi-inning reliever in the vein of current Red Raisel Iglesias.  At age 29 he should contribute sooner than later, but he must work on getting strikeouts against advanced batters.

The real value in this deal is that Jose Peraza can now step in as the everyday second baseman for the Reds.  He will hold second until Zack Cozart moves on and then transition to second.  Where Peraza bats in the order will be interesting as Phillips batted clean-up much of last year.

Brandon Phillips leaves the Cincinnati Reds better of than when he arrived and himself better for being part of their team.

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When Phillips arrived in Cincinnati, he was down to his last chance.  As a cocksure shortstop, he had burnt bridges in the Montreal Expos and Cleveland Indians organization.  Cincinnati took a flier on the former top prospect in all of baseball and turned him into one of the best players in baseball at second base.

During his time with the Reds,  Phillips, who saw his defense collapse last season, earned four Gold Gloves and made the All-Star Game three times.  He also was extremely consistent, playing at least 120 games and having at least 120 hits.  He was also the first person in MLB history to record two 3-run home runs, 7 RBI’s, and two stolen bases in the same game.

That’s the side of Phillips that the fans will miss.  What they won’t miss is surly, me-first alter ego, DatDude.  He was rude to reporters, dismissive towards coaches and focused on making money.

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In total, though, the Reds’ fans will miss Phillips.  He donated his time and money to the inner city baseball community.  He also played the best defensive second base that the Reds have seen since Bret Boone.  It was just sad to watch him try to hang on when he time to move on had come.