The Braves are welcoming home a former All-Star second baseman, Brandon Phillips, after getting the Atlanta-area native from the Reds in a Sunday trade for two minor league pitchers who weren’t prospects.
So eager were the rebuilding Reds to trade Phillips, 35, they agreed to pay $13 million of his $14 million salary in 2017, a person familiar with the situation said.
The Braves’ renewed pursuit of Phillips, a former All-Star and Gold Glove winner who’s from Stone Mountain, came after the team learned that utility man Sean Rodriguez was injured more severely than initially thought in a January 28 car crash and won’t be ready for opening day — and perhaps not before the All-Star break.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Rodriguez would have shoulder surgery and miss three to five months.
Rodriguez would’ve been the primary second baseman to start the season while prospect Ozzie Albies continued his development at Triple-A. Phillips is now expected to handle second-base duties, with Jace Peterson also getting some starts at the position and serving in a utility role.
Left-hander Andrew McKirahan, 27, and Cuban right-hander Carlos Portupndo, 29, are the minor league pitchers headed to the Reds in the trade. The Braves have a deep pitching supply and those two weren’t considered prospects or expected to compete for spots on the opening day roster.
Braves trade for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Feb 12