With just a couple days until Spring Training officially gets underway, the Braves made headlines in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday to acquire second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Reds in exchange for left handed pitcher, Andrew McKirahan and right handed pitcher, Carlos Portuondo.
Phillips hinted at the potential deal in a Tweet shortly after 11pm Saturday, saying “I see ya @Baseball_ACES making dreams come true! Always getting things done especially when they need to be.”
The 35 year old native of Stone Mountain has spent the last 11 years with the Cincinnati Reds, coming off a 2016 season that saw him slash .291/.320/.416 with 34 doubles, one triple and 11 homers in 141 games. In 15 seasons in the Majors, Phillips is a lifetime .275 hitter, four time Gold Glove Award winner and three time All-Star.
Atlanta figured to have Sean Rodriguez get the bulk of playing time at second base. However, following a recent car accident in South Florida, Rodriguez will miss three to five months following shoulder surgery. Rodriguez and his family were riding in their SUV when they were t-boned by a stolen police cruiser which killed the suspect.
Phillips is owed $14 million for 2017, the majority of which is expected to be picked up by Cincinnati.
In addition, Phillips will be a free agent at season’s end, thus not blocking the potential arrival of top prospect Ozzie Albies who suffered a fractured elbow last September. Meanwhile, former Braves prospect Jose Peraza could see an increased role in The Queen City with the departure of Phillips.