In an attempt to field a respectable team during the inauguration season of SunTrust Park in 2017, the Atlanta Braves have added Brandon Phillips a veteran at second base in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds.
In January, Phillips invoked the 10 and 5 no trade clause that blocked his trade to Atlanta. Phillips he has done that a number of times during his career. He blocked a deal last offseason to the Washington Nationals and the offseason prior to that he blocked a trade to the New York Yankees.
Phillips, who is 35, was raised outside Atlanta, so he might have changed his mind and made the decision to approve this trade. In 2017, Phillips will be paid $14 million, which is the final year on his current contract.
Cincinnati will have to pay $13 million of this year’s contract with Atlanta responsible for just $1 million. In return, Cincinnati will receive Andrew McKirahan a southpaw hurler and Carlos Portuondo a right-handed pitcher.
McKirahan, who is 27, did not play last season following Tommy John surgery. During 2015, he pitched in 27 games for Atlanta with an ERA of 5.93.
He has an ERA of 2.20 for his minor league career, but the majority of that was in Class A or AA.
Portuondo, who is 29, signed with Atlanta from Cuba prior to the start of last season. Between Class A and Triple-A last season, he pitched in 17 games with an ERA of 3.63.
Neither of the two pitchers is looked at as a prospect and with Cincinnati assuming the vast majority of Phillips’ salary, the obvious part of this trade is Cincinnati was just making room for a spot on the roster.
In Atlanta however, the Braves motive for this trade was an injury suffered by Sean Rodriguez a utility infielder who was just signed recently. Rodriguez along with his family suffered a car accident in January and he will be sidelined a number of months following surgery to his shoulder.
Cincinnati is going through a complete top to bottom rebuild and does not have use for a veteran infielder whose talent is in decline. The trade gives Jose Peraza a talented prospect who hit .325 with 21 stolen bases in 72 games a season ago, a full time spot.
Last season, Philipps played a number of positions in the infield along with some in left field. He hit .291 with 11 homers.