The Atlanta Braves have acquired Brandon Phillips via a trade with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds will receive minor league pitchers Andrew McKirahan and Carlos Portuondo as reported by Zach Buchanan. Cincinnati will also eat a large portion of Phillips’ contract for 2017, making this trade a slam dunk for Atlanta.
Multiple baseball sources: Reds to receive 27-year-old LHP Andrew McKirahan and 29-year-old RHP Carlos Portuondo.
— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) February 12, 2017
Atlanta Braves Acquire Brandon Phillips from Reds
Why Atlanta Pulled the Trigger
The reasons for Atlanta making the trade were not immediately clear. After all, the team has two highly touted second base prospects in Ozzie Albies and Travis Demeritte. Super utility-man Sean Rodriguez was also signed this offseason with the expectation that he would see lots of playing time at second base. The issue, as reported by Mark Bowman, seems to be that Rodriguez may have been injured during a car crash with his family in January.
The Braves initially thought Rodriguez was not injured during a Jan. 28 crash, but they’ve recently became more concerned about his shoulder
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) February 12, 2017
Other reports indicate that Rodriguez may miss between three and five months as a result of shoulder surgery. Phillips, who attended Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia, gives the Braves a veteran presence at second base while their young studs round into form.
The Braves were able to fill a need without surrendering anything of significance or paying a large sum of money. McKirahan and Portuondo are two players without a legitimate shot of breaking through in Atlanta. The Reds were also willing to pay a large portion of Phillips’ salary simply to make room for young infielders Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera. Moving Phillips, a fan-favorite in Cincinnati, was a hard decision at such a low cost, but the Reds want their young players to see playing time. For the Braves, the trade met a need without sacrificing any of the young talent they have acquired over the past two seasons. Bringing Phillips home looks like a win for Atlanta.