Brandon Phillips to Be Traded to Braves

The Braves sent left-handed pitcher Andrew McKirahan and right-handed pitcher Carlos Portuondo to the Reds. But after a left shoulder injury suffered in a recent vehicle accident he is expected to miss 3-5 months, which explains Atlanta's renewed engagement in trade talks to acquire Phillips. That marked the third time over the past two seasons that Phillips vetoed a potential trade, with the Nationals and Diamondbacks both having attempted to acquire his services last winter. In exchange of Phillips waiving that provision, the Braves agreed to add a $500,000 assignment bonus if he is traded by Atlanta. "We're very excited to give Brandon a chance to come back to his hometown and to be a part of our lineup and our infield this year", Braves general manager John Coppolella said. While he's unlikely to regain that form, at age 35 he's still capable of putting together a 15-15 season with a league average bat and passable defense.

Phillips is a three-time All-Star, and he won the 2011 Silver Slugger Award. Those numbers are inflated because he spent most of the season in hitter-friendly Las Vegas, but he does have impressive raw power as well as the tools to play second base. Phillips will also become teammates with Bartolo Colon, for whom he was traded as young shortstop back in 2002. Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, Kurt Suzuki, and others all signed one year contracts with Atlanta, which has hopes of fielding a competitive team for the inauguration of its new ballpark SunTrust Stadium while also leaving room for prospects like Ozzie Albies to graduate to Major League Baseball in the near future.

Atlanta needs a new second baseman after receiving news Friday that Sean Rodriguez likely will miss the entire 2017 season.

As for Phillips, he finally gets to play for his hometown team Braves. He did hit 11 homers and stole 14 bases, but only put up a weighted runs created (wRC+) of 92, the fourth straight season of below-average run production.

In return for Phillips, Cincinnati receives two pitchers. At 28 years old, Portuondo made it to AAA as a reliever.

McKirahan, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Miami Marlins in April 2015 and pitched in 27 games (27.1 IP) in relief for the Braves during the 2015 campaign.