Cincinnati Reds Spring Training Preview – Is it good or bad that Brandon Phillips is gone?

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently Brandon Phillips blocked the first trade attempt from the Cincinnati Reds to the Braves. Is it good that he wanted to remain with the Cincinnati Reds (it’s not the first time he’s blocked a deal) or is it good that he moved on?

Oh, Brandon Phillips, he was the most beloved Cincinnati Reds player that didn’t understand when his time was up. Judging him purely on his on the field contributions, no one wanted to see him go.  Judging him on his contact with the media, few wanted him to stay.  He blocked a deal in November before accepting one in February.

Fans outside of Cincinnati proper may not realize that Phillips was one of the major contributors to the Reds Community Fund in both action and time. He had a celebrity bowling benefit, he had a commemorative glove made by Wilson to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Atlanta in 2012, and he donated time and money to help build urban baseball fields in greater Cincinnati among many other charitable initiatives.  That is the part of Phillips that Cincinnati will miss the most

In history Phillips will likely go down as the second best second baseman in Reds’ history. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan was a superior offensive talent and an elite base runner.  After Morgan, Phillips is probably the next best second baseman.

While it may be a bit painful, the Cincinnati Reds needed to move on from Brandon Phillips.

From a baseball vantage point, thank goodness Phillips has moved on. His defense and base running both tanked in 2016.  He also was blatantly disrespectful about the Reds trying to trade him the past two off-seasons.

Phillips is still an average starting MLB second baseman defensively and offensively. He is making money like a top ten second baseman, which he was in his earlier years.  However, the Reds need second base clear to play Jose Peraza.

Phillips also repeatedly tweeted about his disagreements with the front office without addressing the specifics. The Reds tried to trade him to the reconstructed Arizona Diamondbacks and the Washington Nationals where he buddy Dusty Baker manages, last off-season.  This off-season it took two attempts to trade Phillips to his hometown Atlanta Braves before he finally accepted the deal.

He should be remembered as a great Cincinnati Reds player, but that he is gone is good. He allows Peraza to play every day and may allow the Reds to keep top outfield prospect Jesse Winker around as the back-up outfielder.  Phillips isn’t eating up the roster spot or at-bats anymore.

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The hope is that in retrospect Phillips realizes that this is best for his career.  It also fulfills a life long dream.  The Reds’ fans are sorry to see him go.

They are glad that the drama is over, though.  Now they can focus on younger players.   Peraza, Winker, and Dilson Herrera who came over in the Jay Bruce deal last year are all ready to play.