The Reds sent their long-time second baseman Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, as the three-time All Star will put on a different uniform for the first time since 2005.
Although Phillips is not the 20/20 threat he once was, he continues to put up above-average numbers for a second-baseman, finishing 2016 with a .291 average with 12 home runs and 64 RBI’s while stealing 14 bases. He also continued to play stellar defense as a four-time gold glove winner.
Phillips will be the starting second baseman for the 2017 Braves as their number two prospect Ozzie Albies, who plays shortstop and second base, continues to develop in the minors at just 20 years of age.
The 35-year-old will make $14 million in 2017, in the final year of the 6-year, $72.5 million deal he signed back in 2012. The deal wasn’t as much of a salary dump for the Reds, who still will pay 13 out of the $14 million Phillips is owed this season. The Reds did receive two pitchers in the deal, in 27-year-old Andrew McKirahan and 29-year-old Carlos Portuondo.
In the midst of a rebuilding effort, the Reds main objective in the deal was to open up a starting spot for their top second-base prospect Jose Peraza, who ended 2016 with an impressive .324 batting average in 241 at bats. Dilson Herrera, who was acquired from the Mets for Jay Bruce, will also compete for the job.
The Reds had been trying to move Phillips for almost a year, as Phillips has previously exercised his no-trade clause to veto deals to Washington, Arizona, and even Atlanta earlier this offseason. They will continue to shop shortstop Zack Cozart and catcher Devin Mesoraco as the offseason comes to a close.
Meanwhile, Atlanta had been searching for an upgrade from second baseman Jace Peterson, who has struggled since being acquired for Justin Upton in 2014 and will likely find himself in a utility-role next season.
The Braves signed infielder Sean Rodriguez earlier this offseason, however his season is in jeopardy after injuring his shoulder in a frightening car accident late last month. They also acquired Micah Johnson from the Dodgers last month, who started 32 games at second base for the White Sox back in 2015.
The two pitchers the Reds acquired in the deal are unlikely to crack the 40-man roster, as McKirahan recovers from Tommy-John surgery and Portuondo continues to develop, having spent most of the 2016 season in Single-A. *
*Statistics from MLB.com
-Featured image from Huffington Post