The Cincinnati Reds had Brandon Phillips traded, once upon a time, only for him to veto the deal with his well-earned 10/5 rights. Twice even, with both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals involved.
The Reds even, at one point, had Phillips traded to the Atlanta Braves, only for the stalwart 2B to once again use his veto power to nix the deal - the third such time he’d done so in the last year plus.
So, when news broke late Saturday that the Reds had again reached a deal to trade Phillips to the Braves, it came as a bit of a shock. However, this time it seems as if it might actually materialize, as FOX's Ken Rosenthal reports.
If BP finally, finally agreed to waive his no-trade clause, it's a move that causes a notable ripple effect in Cincinnati. Not only would it call time on a Reds career that will go down as one of the more impressive from any infielder in team history, but it will be one of the final dominoes to fall in this multi-year rebuild - one that has brought in ready made replacements at the keystone in both Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera.
Phillips, of course, has roots in the Atlanta area and attended high school in suburban Atlanta in Stone Mountain. The Braves, for what it's worth, are opening a new stadium in nearby Cobb County in 2017, and a move to bring in Phillips falls in line with their decisions to bring in veteran pitchers R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon for just such an occasion, too.
Atlanta's farm system ranks among the absolute best in baseball, but that's relatively unimportant at this point, I'd assume. The Reds won't be getting any of the best of the best Braves prospects in return, seeing as BP had all the leverage to make this deal work, is owed $14 million for the 2017 season, and will turn 36 years old later this summer. Still, if the Reds walk away from this having received any tangible prospect, shed a decent amount of money, and opened a door for their young infielders to play everyday, it's a deal that's worth making 10 times out of 10.
Back when the Braves had flirted with acquiring Phillips the first time around, it was widely reported that they moved on to signing free agent IF Sean Rodriguez when the BP deal fell through. Rodriguez, however, recently was involved in a major car crash, and Rosenthal's report on the new BP deal coincided with him breaking that Rodriguez would need shoulder surgery in the wake of that accident. It's hard, at this point, to think these developments are happening independent of one another.
We'll have more as it develops, but it sure does seem like there will actually be something developing this time around.