For the past two offseasons the Cincinnati Reds have reportedly made great efforts to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips. Their efforts have not succeeded as he has used his no-trade clause to block some deals. This time it appears their efforts to trade Phillips may finally pay off as they are reportedly nearing a deal to send him to the Atlanta Braves per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Phillips batted .291/.320/.416 with 11 home runs and 64 RBIs with the Reds last season. Despite his aging, he still showed that he posses tremendous offensive skills. He was a huge part in the Reds’ previous success when they were National League contenders just a few years ago before committing to a full rebuild. He reportedly has been unwilling to waive his no-trade clause unless he receives an extension from the team that acquires him in order to keep himself from going on the free agent market. Phillips is in the last year of his long-term deal with the Reds so it remains to be seen if the Braves intend to extend him immediately.
What is most likely is that he automatically becomes the everyday second baseman for the Braves whom have added veterans on short-term deals in the offseason to complement their young core. It will be intriguing to watch Phillips team up with young shortstop Dansby Swanson to form the middle infield defense for the Braves. Originally, Sean Rodriguez was signed to be the everyday second baseman but recently got into a car accident with his family and is now set to undergo shoulder surgery within the week. He looks to be sidelined for a few months thus explaining why the Braves have rekindled their pursuit of Phillips.