Sunday, February 12, 2017

MLB trade alert: Reds send Phillips to Braves

   The Cincinnati Reds have traded 2B Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves for LHP Andrew McKirahan and RHP Carlos Portuondo. Let's get into details.
    The Reds are obviously in a rebuild, trading for younger players, and shipping out stars Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Jay Bruce in recent years and SS Zack Cozart seems to be on the trading block. They also have prospects, like SS/2B Jose Peraza, who haven't had a starting job. Trading the 35 year old Phillips clears room for Peraza, and gets them 2 relievers (although they aren't big prospects) who can help them with minor league depth.
     The Braves have a top 3 2B prospect in Ozzie Albies, but he's isn't MLB ready. They signed utility man Sean Rodriguez to platoon at second with Jace Peterson. During this offseason, Rodriguez was injured in a car crash, and may require surgery in his shoulder. Braves wanted some insurance in the switch hitting Phillips. Phillips has 1 year left on his contract, and the Reds will eat up his $14 million that he's owed this season. They must have not had much confidence in 2B Micah Johnson. The 2 pitchers weren't relevant to their system, so it was worth giving them up if Phillips performs solidly. The Braves are starting to exit their rebuild, improving their rotation earlier this year. The Braves are opening a new stadium this season (Sun Trust Park), so they wanted Phillips to help bring in more fans with his 291/320/416 slash line last season. He also hit 11 HRs, 34 doubles, drove in 64 runs and stole 14 bags in that campaign.

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