Ten minutes ago Ken Rosenthal unleashed this rumor on the Cincinnati Reds twitterverse:

We’ve been down this road before. Heck, we’ve been down this road before with this specific team. This will be the 4th different time, that we know of, that the Reds have traded Brandon Phillips. Is the 4th time a charm in order to get the current Reds second baseman to waive his 10-and-5 rights and allow the trade to go through? I guess that we will find out soon enough. Phillips himself may be giving us a hint, though, tweeting this just after 11pm:

If Brandon Phillips were to be moved to the Braves he’d be heading home as he grew up in the Atlanta area. Phillips is coming off of a solid, but unspectacular offensive season. He hit .291/.320/.416 with 34 doubles, a triple and 11 home runs. It’s the second consecutive season he’s topped .290 in the batting average category after being in the .260’s the previous two seasons. His walk rate did drop for the third straight season though, coming in at a career low 3.1% in 2016.

Brandon Phillips is owed $14,000,000 in 2017. How much of that the Cincinnati Reds have to take on to push this deal through is unknown, but I’d be very surprised if they didn’t have to take on at least some of that money. What comes back isn’t likely to be much, though how much money the Reds send along with Phillips certainly could change what kind of player comes back.

One other thing that could be beneficial for the Reds, aside from clearing up a spot to play Jose Peraza on a daily basis, could be the clearing of a 40-man roster spot. It would appear that the team is going to need at least one roster spot to fill out their 25-man roster out of spring training. That, of course, may not be available immediately depending on the player(s) that come back in the deal.

Update: The Reds are receiving LHP Andrew McKirahan and RHP Carlos Portuondo in return

The good news is that the Cincinnati Reds acquired two players for eating most of Brandon Phillips contract. The bad news is, there might not be much to either of them. Andrew McKirahan missed all of 2016 with his second Tommy John surgery. Usually, that’s a nail in the coffin for pitchers. The left hander pitched in the big leagues in 2015, but struggled, posting a 5.93 ERA in 27.1 innings. When he was healthy, he threw hard for a lefty, averaging nearly 94 MPH with his fastball. He also mixed in a lot-to-mid 80’s slider.

Right hander Carlos Portuondo signed with the Braves out of Cuba in February for $990,000. Baseball America’s Ben Badler called him a non-prospect this morning. The now 29-year-old didn’t take the mound until July, pitching in Advanced-A to get his feet wet. After a month he headed off to Triple-A for three weeks before returning to Advanced-A for a week. He then made one final appearance in Triple-A to end the season.

He hadn’t pitched in Cuba since he was a 25-year-old in 2013. His time there wasn’t very good as he walked nearly as many batters as he struck out and posted an ERA of 5.75 in his career while there – including marks of 6.39 and 5.19 in his final two seasons. An article on the Havana Times says that when he first arrived in the Dominican Republic he was throwing his fastball at 85 MPH, but was able to get up to 94 MPH before signing with the Braves.

This trade was never about the return for Brandon Phillips. It was always about trying to save as much money on the contract as possible and clearing up playing time in the middle infield for either Jose Peraza or Dilson Herrera. We don’t know how much money the Reds saved just yet, but that will come out soon enough. What is more interesting, is something that Steve Mancuso relayed on twitter a few minutes ago – if true, of course:


If this were true, and honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if it were, then getting any sort of salary relief and two live bodies in return is a good move. On paper, it may seem like a lot to pay, but if that was the plan all along, then it’s hard to look at this deal and think it’s bad in any sort of way. That is, unless you think the Reds should have just continued playing Brandon Phillips in the final year of his contract.

104 Responses

    • Doug in Dallas

      SUNDAY, 8:58am: Atlanta will send 27-year-old left-hander Andrew McKirahan and 29-year-old right-hander Carlos Portuondo to Cincinnati, tweets Buchanan. The Braves outrighted McKirahan in October, which came after he spent last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Portuondo is only a year removed from joining the Braves as an international free agent from Cuba. In his first year of minor league action, he combined for 34 2/3 innings between High-A and Triple-A and logged a 3.63 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9.

  1. Mjc

    He’s gotta another tweet even more revealing (what a day lol) back in ATLien

  2. DHud

    Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Reds are eating most of the salary and not receiving much in return, i.e. a straight dump move

    Zach Buchanan is also saying BP has already given his consent. Apparently ATL agreed to some minor changes in his deal

  3. DHud

    If this deal does go through, I would like to see Herrera playing everyday at 2B and keeping Peraza in the same projected role. If you plug Peraza at 2B, you get him playing every day, but you still have Herrera stuck at AAA. By playing Herrera, you get both prospects significant playing time

    • MK

      Brandon going to another organization where he has no future with Swanson and Albies ready to man the middle infield.
      If rooting for Herrera you have to hope Columbia gets knocked out of WBC early so he has a chance to show something this Spring.

  4. Simon Cowell

    This should make every Brandon Phillips hater happy. It is baseball chew em up and spit em out when they are no longer of any use.
    Should make for opportunities with the youngsters but even I will have a tear seeing him go. Mainly because most Red reporters and writers hate the guy and I just loved the way BP would play them like a fiddle. Oh well every drama play must come to an end.
    Who’s ego will fill his shoes?

    • Doug Gray

      I think you’re confusing BP Hate with people telling others who think BP is significantly better than he is, that he’s not. For years now, general Joe Reds Fan has been of the belief that Brandon Phillips is significantly better than he’s performed.

    • DHud

      I don’t think I’ve seen a single person on this website “hating” on BP, but acknowledging that it is time to move on.

      Yes, baseball is a business. Yes, BP is past his prime. Yes, it is time to try something new

    • sixpacktwo

      I think hate is the wrong word. The Reds are in rebuild and BP (35) is not part of the plan. He has turned down 3/4 trades with some putting him on much better teams. Maybe this is his last year to play?

      I like BP as a Player but in Baseball you can not have 25, 40 year olds. Also if you have had a good career you do not have to work anymore.

  5. Jim Delaney

    Happy for BP. He goes home, and the Braves could be a dark horse surprise contender in there division or wild card. Braves have vastly improved there lineup the past year. Adding Swanson, Kemp, Inciarte and Phillips. If the veteran starters Colon, Dickey,, and Garcia can give them solid seasons I wouldn’t be shocked at all seeing them making moves in July to add to there roster. They have a very deep loaded farm system, opening a new ballpark. The Braves rebuild was quick and shows how it can be done when you bring in strong, experienced players personnel executives.
    For the Reds it again emphasizes a concern that they lack the right people leading there organization….

  6. Steve

    Paying about 10 of the 14M would leave us 4M to try and sign Luis Robert. 4M signing bonus with minor league contract. Hoping he will be available in time.

  7. Steve

    I guess the Braves don’t have confidence in Jace Peterson holding down the position until Albies is ready later this year. Or maybe Peterson is the player coming back to the Reds. Waiting anxiously for the specifics of the trade

      • Steve

        Dayton’s OFs weren’t so good last year. Friedl in Dayton or Daytona? Dayton should be pretty good with Trammell, Siri, Beltre, maybe Gordon and White

      • MK

        Steve, I have no confidence in any player with great numbers or prospect status coming out of Billings. Dayton has been burnt time and again with these expectations.

      • Doug Gray

        Who were the players in Billings that actually had great numbers who went to Dayton and sucked? Plenty have had solid numbers there and gone to Dayton and sucked, but I don’t recall any that had great numbers (and I am counting strikeout-to-walk ratio as well, not just AVG/SLG) who then moved up to Dayton and fell flat on their face.

      • MK

        Aquino, Aldazoro, Ervin, Jose Ortiz, Buckley, just to mention a few.

      • Doug Gray

        Everyone you mentioned, short of Ervin, had poor strikeout-to-walk ratios in Billings. And Ervin hit well in Dayton before hurting his wrist. He’s never been the same. Guys that actually hit in Billings and showed an ounce of plate discipline haven’t fallen apart with the promotion.

  8. The Duke

    Fantastic! Now let’s move Cozart and see what a middle infield of Peraza and Herrera looks like in 2017 and if it’ll work going forward.

    • DHud

      I wouldn’t even be in so much of a rush now to move Cozart. If someone gets injured or doesn’t perform, we’d be pretty thin

  9. Steve

    Mark Sheldon reports that we will get 2 players in return in the BP trade with Atlanta. No names though.

  10. Norwood Nate

    Oh happy day! What a thing to wake up to. Kudos to Dick Williams in being able to pull this off. I had resigned myself to be frustrated watching Phillips trot out there everyday for the 2017 Reds while Peraza sat on bench. Now I can invest into this team as they’re actually showing the willingness to make tough decisions.

    I’ve said all along that Williams first offseason will be judged primarily by moving at least one of Phillips and Cozart. Combined with the Straily trade and low cost/high reward of the Storen signing I’d say his first offseason has been very good. If we could trade Cozart it’d move to an A+.

    Now the question may become, does Herrera take over at 2B or Peraza? Does Peraza move into the super utility role still? 2B isn’t Peraza’s future position but Herrera has options. At the same time if Peraza could get on the field 4-5x week and Herrera could develop at 2B that may also be good. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out.

    Hopefully the prospects will at least be on the level of the Broxton trade, with Astin and Shackleford coming back. Both those guys may help fill out the bullpen at some point. That’d be about the best we could hope for I’d guess.

    • sixpacktwo

      Herrera belongs in AAA to start the year. Peraza at 2nd. Trade Cozart in July and bring Herrera up then, moving Peraza to SS. Got to spread some of these Players out a little.

  11. Troy McKevitt

    Happy to have playing time created for Herrera and Peraza.. and I will assuredly acquire a Brandon Phillips jersey for my trips to Sun Trust Park this year.

  12. Hoyce

    Looks like reds got 2 old RP scrubs in return.
    Doug- I’m sure u have a Better take on these 2. But both look like waiver guys to me

  13. Norwood Nate

    Looks like McKirahan is a 27 LHP who spent all of last season recovering from TJ after reaching the majors in 2015. He was outrighted in October meaning he doesn’t have to be on the 40-man roster. Overall his numbers look ok as a reliever. Steamer projects a 8.4 K/9 against a 3.5 BB/9 with a 4.03 xFIP (about average). Don’t know when he’ll be ready to pitch for the Reds, but bullpen depth is nice to have, especially as a lefty.

    Portuondo has only pitched 1 year in the minors for the Braves after coming over from Cuba. RHP, a bit older at 29. Reached AAA but for only 10 IP. Steamer projections are a little lower on him, but he has much less track record.

    If either end up providing reliever value for the Reds i think that’s a win.

  14. Anthony

    Possibly a dumb question but ill ask it anyway. If the reds aren’t getting anything in return to help their rebuild and we’re eating more than half of his salary…..What are they actually gaining from this? It sounds like they’re continuing to pay for him only to have him play for another team. This sounds like a pointless deal if not one to hinder our rebuild since Phillips can provide some leadership and teaching to younger players. Is literally the only reason they’re doing this is to play a prospect at 2B?

    • Norwood Nate

      They’re opening up playing time for guys that will actually be here when the Reds try to compete. That’s the most important part of this deal. The development time is vital for guys like Herrera and Peraza. There will be an adjustment time, and getting that out of the way during a non-competitive season is the best practice. In the instance the players don’t look like they’ll pan out, it gives the Reds a jumpstart in looking for better options. The money was a sunk cost. They were either going to pay him to play and block prospects, pay him to sit on the bench, or pay him to accept a trade somewhere else. This was the best outcome for the Reds and seems to be a nice landing spot for Phillips going back to his home town.

    • greg

      They’re gaining a spot in the lineup to play a younger player, which helps the rebuild, not hinder it. Phillips has virtually zero trade value this offseason. Phillips can’t teach a younger player anything if that player is on the bench every day. And if Phillips is the one on the bench, how does an angry Brandon Phillips help teach a younger player anything good?

    • Dave

      You are assuming that he would help the prospects. Do you think that he would be happy to be a bench player for this team after being a starter for 10 years. In his mind he thinks he is still the best option for this team and I don’t think he would be a happy camper being a bench player.

  15. Jim t

    About time. Need to get on with evaluating what we have in Peraza and Herrera. Next we move Cozart. With Senzel fast tracking Suarez can be our fall back plan at either SS or 2nd.

    • Norwood Nate

      The Braves removed McKirahan from their roster in October. I believe that means the Reds don’t have to add him as he would have already passed through waivers. Portuondo has only had 1 season in the minors after coming over as a IFA. As far as I understand the same rules would apply as an IFA would, meaning the Reds should have a couple of years of control in the minors before adding him.

  16. cinvenfan

    This move had to be done. No complains on the return – he had about zero trade value.
    But count me on with the ones that wish BP the best luck and greatly enjoyed his time as a Cincinnati Red.

    • Hoyce

      Reds pay all of contract other than $1M. And Keith law describes the 2 players the Reds got in return as “nonprospects”. Haha. That’s funny
      I still consider it a win for the reds

      • sixpacktwo

        Also Reds open up spot on the 40. A way to look at it is they got three players two from Atlanta and one from their own farm teams.

  17. Brad

    I may be in the minority here, but with everything I have read, I may prefer to have Herrera at 2B after starting in Louisville to extend control by one year. Have Peraza play the Javy Baez role: 2x/week at SS and 2x 2B, another in CF and 1 every 2 weeks in LF.

    • Doug Gray

      If Herrera is in Louisville most of the year, why not just play Peraza at 2B all of the time? Who else are you going to play there? Iribarren? Renda?

      • Brad

        My idea is to play Peraza everyday at 2B until Herrera is called up.

    • Brad

      By my questionable math:

      Herrera has 21 service days. To stay under the 178 for one year of service, he will need to start in Louisville and remain for 22 days.

      • Norwood Nate

        Baseball reference has Herrera listed at 119 service time days. The Reds would have to keep him down until sometime in August to gain that extra year.

      • Doug Gray

        Correct. Herrera had 49 big league games played and spent plenty of days on the bench not playing. He’s going to have to stay in Louisville quite a while to get an extra year from him.

  18. Michael B. Green

    So who is our 2B and SS?

    Do we stick with Cozart at SS until Trahan is ready (or A-Rod) or can we expect Peraza at SS – allowing Herrera to slot in at 2B?

    It is confusing if Peraza moves to 2B and Herrera goes to AAA. You end up with Peraza blocking Herrera.

    • Norwood Nate

      Ideally Herrera plays 2B and Peraza plays SS. That’s a little complicated by Cozart’s presence on the roster. Maybe Herrera makes the team and Peraza goes to a super sub type role. 2x a week at SS, 2x at 2B, and once a week in the OF gets him regular ABs until Cozart can be moved, or Peraza out plays him. This gets Cozart rest and will aid in his return from injury and it allows Herrera some off days to help ease into the role.

      I do agree it becomes confusing to move Peraza to 2B while the future 2B stays in AAA. Which is why I think it’s become more likely Herrera makes the team out of the gate, as it helps the bench and alleviates roster decisions. Jennings fills BP spot on the 40-man and becomes the primary back up OF. Alcantara and Peraza back up the INF, and the Reds decide on whether Turner stays or goes based off Mes’ health. If not, a corner INF probably makes the team as that would be the area lacking.

  19. Datdudejs

    Man that return is pretty awful for the amount of money we are eating. Considering BP still has some value, especially at only 1.5 mil that the braves are paying for him, it seems to me the reds could have gotten an actual prospect at least. I know everyone is happy it clears room but I feel like they would have been better off just focusing on trading Cozart instead and letting Brandon finish his contract here. If he plays poorly and Herrera is tearing up AAA then you just release BP at that point and it’s still pretty much the same thing

    Of course if either of these two pitchers turn out to be anything of value then I am obviously wrong at that point but I just don’t see it

    Unrelated but Hopefully they sign Luis Robert, that would help me regain a little faith in dick.

    • Doug Gray

      He doesn’t have value, though. That’s why he was moved for what he was moved for.

      Chase Utley just signed for $2M with the Dodgers. Utley was a slightly better hitter in 2016. He was significantly better on the bases and in the field (at least according to both versions of WAR). Phillips had next to no value.

      • Datdudejs

        Just because the reds dumped him for nothing doesn’t mean he has no value. He would start for a lot of Major League Baseball teams, especially if they could get him for 1.5 million like the braves just did. Even if Rodriguez was healthy Phillips is still a significant upgrade over him. The Reds just wanted to clear room for him so badly that they let themselves be fleeced. It’s not the first time they have traded someone for less value then they could have, so defending his value by how the Reds treated him is a poor argument that relies on the Reds being perfect.

        Utley is not better than Phillips At defense. Period. Uzr isn’t a perfect tool for measuring defense, and while I agree Phillips wasn’t as good as he used to be, he’s still a decent defensive 2b.

        If you couldn’t get anything of value in a trade for him they would have been smarter to keep him and let Herrera develop in AAA

        The Reds got Eugenio Suarez for alfredo Simon for crying out loud, you can’t tell me that they couldn’t have gotten more for Phillips than what they got. Now if Atlanta was paying more of his salary I could see the prospects they got being reasonable but that’s just not the case.

        You are letting your dislike of Phillips blind you from an obviously bad trade for the Reds. Put yourself in an Atlanta braves fans shoes, you just got Phillips for 1.5 million and two players you probably would know because you love minor leagues, but most people would have no idea who they are. You would be be happy about that trade

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t know why you think that I dislike Brandon Phillips. I don’t dislike him at all. I just understand that he’s a below-average baseball player these days. As C. Trent Rosecrans noted earlier today, the Braves were the only team that had any interest in Brandon Phillips. And that’s with him only needing to be paid $1M. He had no value at all. And teams still weren’t interested.

        I’ll agree with you that UZR isn’t perfect. Neither is DRS (which is what is used in the Baseball Reference version of WAR), but Phillips is a shell of what he used to be defensively. His range isn’t good any longer. He’s still got incredible hands – if he can get to the ball, it’s an out. But he just doesn’t get to nearly the stuff he used to. At this point, there’s a lot of evidence that he’s simply not an average second baseman anymore. That’s not surprising, the guys 35. Defense tends to peak in a guys mid-20’s when the combo of pure athleticism and smarts come together.

        And yes, I can tell you that Alfredo Simon had more value than Phillips does today. We know that because we know what each player got in return and they frankly weren’t close.

        If I’m a Braves fan, I’m happy because we now have a second baseman and we didn’t yesterday. But I also understand that we didn’t get an average big leaguer, either.

      • Norwood Nate

        If you read the comment section at MLBTR you’ll see a lot of Atlanta fans didn’t want Phillips and would rather see their top prospects come up and play instead of a veteran coming in. The ones who wanted Phillips were stating batting average, RBI’s, and GG defense (are there Brenneman Braves fans?) which were quickly shot down by other Braves fans who have a working knowledge of advanced metrics. Maybe they changed their tune after the prospects were revealed. But initially it seemed most Atlanta fans didn’t even want him, even understanding that a lot of the money was going to be paid by the Reds and it’s for 1 year.

    • Bill

      Another aspect to consider is BP’s no-trade clause. In other words, Atlanta may have been the only team BP would accept a trade to. Also, there is little market demand for 2B this year.

      Simply, releasing BP would have been a tough PR move for the Reds. BP has been a solid asset to the Reds as a player and in the community. IMO, it was a great decision to find a way to part amicably.

      All things considered, this worked really well for all parties.

  20. Jeff

    This is a million dollar PR deal for the Reds. They will save a million dollars on BP’s 2017 salary–maybe not that big of a deal in today’s environment, still, one million is better than no million.

    And it is better for the Reds to be able to trade BP to a team that plays in the town where BP has his house than to simply release him unceremoniously before the season began, leaving him with no place to play.

    This seems to be the best possible scenario (in the real world, that is; I know there are those who think the Reds could have traded BP for more than two non-prospects, but that wasn’t going to happen) for all involved.

    My best to BP this year in Atlanta. Now let’s get on with the future in Cincinnati.

  21. Roy

    Hey Doug, With Brandon being traded, that opens a roster spot,do you think the reds will sign a free agent or put some one from the minor leagues?

    • Daryl

      Desmond Jennings. He will have to be added to the 40 man if he makes the team and I think he will.

    • Doug Gray

      They’ve said they’re done signing big league guys – so I’m guessing it just stays open until they need it at the end of spring training to fill out the bench.

  22. Steve

    Conclusion to the next inevitable step in the rebuild. Everyone knew this day would come, just didn’t know when or how. The Reds save a million. Herrera gets some valuable PT with the Reds. An open roster spot for roster flexibility. All positive things for the rebuild. Pitchers and Catchers report tomorrow, so let’s look forward to a better 2017! It’s Baseball season!

  23. jbonireland

    Everyone wanting Herrera to start at 2nd base this year remember one thing. Herrera has agreed to play for Columbia in that spring tournament and could possible lose 2 weeks not with the Reds. Lost time = probably starting in Louisville. Peraza at 2nd base until the trading deadline if someone will take Cozart at that time. Until then I’m fine with Cozart assuming he is healthy.

    • Doug Gray

      That certainly is working against him. Colombia is in a very tough region though, with the US, the Dominican Republic and Canada – they may be the 4th best team in the pool. Stranger things have happened, but if I were to bet on it, I’d bet on them not making it out of their pool.

      • swayback8

        Quick thought. What would be the harm in moving Cozart to 2b and letting Peraza play ss. Shows flexibility and opens up more teams to deal him to. Then you can bring Herrera up and hopefully it will be after the cut off for service time. Cozart is only going to be around for a year and I believe that he’s not too big of a diva that he won’t accept the change.

      • Doug Gray

        The idea that you moving Cozart to second means you don’t think his knee will allow him to play shortstop anymore, which hurts his future trade value.

  24. Datdudejs

    Doug again, your point that the return for Phillips proves he has no value is just not true. If the angels called the Reds and offered us mike trout for josh smith and paid 90 percent of trouts contract the Reds would make that trade. So does trout have no value in that scenario? Absolutely not, the GM of the angels just made a horrible trade. I’m not suggesting Phillips is trout. My point is just similar; the Reds just made a bad trade. They were desperate to free playing time so they let the braves fleece them.

    Also simon did not have more value than Phillips. He was coming off of a poor second half, proving his first half was a fluke and had pending rape charges. It’s a small miracle the Reds were able to get anything for him, and is one of the better trades they have made in a while.

    The only point I’m trying to make here is that the Reds could/should have gotten more for him. Even if it was more money saved or an actual prospect, even if it was only a top 30 guy

    Also not sure why I couldn’t reply to your last message, so I just posted a new comment

    • Hingle McCringleberry

      I agree. The reds front office is sooooooo bad, a different GM could have gotten more. VeRy short sighted in the office. If i’m gonna eat that much money, You’re gonna give me something. Poor decision making. We got a bag of baseballs for a guy who was still productive.

      Watch the language

      • earmbrister

        Short sighted??? The Reds have been trying and trying to trade BP. Phillips had the ability to veto any trade; a right which he exercised repeatedly. There was no read demand in the marketplace for second basemen. And because of those factors, the FO had ZERO leverage.

        The contract was a sunk cost. I’d rather pay him to play elsewhere, than pay him to block the team’s progress in their rebuild. If you’d rather be watching BP this year than Peraza or Herrara, you are living in the past.

        I don’t get how EVERY trade has to be blatantly slanted in the Reds favor for some fans to be satisfied. The lion share of the trades in the past decade have favored the Reds, but we’re going to get hung up on the return for a 35 yr old 2B (whose best days are clearly behind him, and who offered NO position flex) that no one really wanted or needed?

    • Champ Summers

      What Mr Armbrister said. It’s so clear. I don’t get how this isn’t universally accepted???

  25. Gaffer

    How is this any different than releasing him? Why did we waste all this time and effort to get back 1 million and 2 guys who will never play for this team?

    • Doug Gray

      Well, $1M isn’t a bunch of money, but it’s not nothing, either.

      But, I think the biggest thing here is this: They didn’t have to release him. And from a PR perspective, that’s huge. Granted, lots of “Average Joe Reds fan” types are still furious about this deal, even more would be if he went to spring training, and did ANYTHING and still got released.

      • Champ Summers

        Exactly. It’s a PR move. Good faith and BP will be back here without any hard feelings when he’s inducted into the reds HOF. And It’s still a million dollars and 2 guys who help out in the organization to fill innings.

      • Hoyce

        What if BP would have made it to spring training and gotten injured? Then the Reds wouldn’t have been able to trade him at all. So it’s good that he got traded now.

      • Datdudejs

        I can accept the PR argument, that’s fair. I still think they would have better off just attempting to trade cozart and letting Phillips finish out his contract but it’s really not that big of a deal. I’m a little irritated but I guess we can wait and see. Dick has done well in my opinion with his previous moves, not every move is perfect

  26. Wes

    So the braves signed a 29 yr old pitcher who hadn’t pitched in 5 years but when he did he wasn’t any good and paid him a million dollars?!?

    Makes me feel a lil better bout Alfrod signing.

  27. RedMaster

    I agree with Doug on this……

    From an organizational perspective — getting something for Brandon Phillips was better than not getting anything at all. I do think that eating most of that $14M is enough to warrant “better players” than what the Reds got here but nevertheless it was time to move on and clear room for Peraza/Herrera.

    I do NOT, however, believe for a second that Jim Bowden knows that Phillips would have been released after spring training — that in itself doesn’t make any logical sense on any level. Why after spring training and not before? It doesn’t save any money nor does it help to keep him in big league camp all March (taking away developmental time) only to release him after the fact. Say Phillips goes off this spring and molds into a clubhouse leader (wishful thinking) but whose to say you release a guy after that? Jim Bowden is a sideshow clown who will make up just about anything to get attention. Despite his shortcomings, Phillips still brings immediate value to the table for any club — releasing him for nothing doesn’t do anyone any good especially when Herrera is most likely bound to start the year at Louisville again.

    The move finally clears room for Peraza at 2nd (which is where he needs to end up long term or LF), I personally don’t see Peraza or Herrera as long term solutions at SS tho. I always come back to the fact that Los Angeles and Atlanta both came to the conclusion that Peraza wasn’t a long term solution at 2nd, much less at SS and both saw him a utility-esque player — I don’t see how Peraza ends up at SS with Cincinnati in the long run.

    The biggest bonus here is that Herrera, Peraza and Winker get developmental time in Cincinnati in 2017 — they absolutely have to. All three players are high BB-to-K guys with speed and put the ball in play consistently which this offense desperately needs. Paired with Votto, a healthy Mesoraco, Cozart, an improving Billy Hamilton and hopefully a speedy progress from TJ Friedl and Nick Senzel have things looking up for this organization from an offensive standpoint.

    • earmbrister

      Master — We differ on the “facts”. Your comment: ” I always come back to the fact that Los Angeles and Atlanta both came to the conclusion that Peraza wasn’t a long term solution at 2nd, much less at SS and both saw him a utility-esque player”.

      I see it as LA had Corey Seager about to break into the league as their SS. You know, the Rookie of the Year, 3rd in the MVP voting Corey Seager. Atlanta had just signed their SS Simmons to a 7 year deal running thru 2020. Neither team had a need for an MLB ready SS. As for 2B, Peraza was moved there because of these 2 players ahead of him. His offense certainly plays better at SS, than at 2B.

      Peraza was traded as a top prospect in two strong farm systems. Both teams had filled their SS need at the MLB level and used Peraza as a strong trading chip to shore up other areas of their teams. MLB pipeline had Peraza as their # 24 prospect and their #2 2B in 2015. He has performed well at every stop in the minors and also in MLB. I don’t understand the pessimism about his long-term future.

    • David

      I live in Phoenix, been to Spring training games for many years, and I can tell you that the 2017 Reds will again lose 95+ games…Do you realize that one of these so called “prospects” was banned from baseball for 80 games due to an illegal substance in his body, while the other “prospect” is 29 …in single A. What a joke the Reds have become! I had been a fan since 1964, but threw in the towel when they started “giving away” star players for next to nothing. Reds fans wake up! You are being “had” by this management. This isn’t a major league team anymore…they are the Double A Reds………

      • Doug Gray

        You do realize that the Reds aren’t counting on either of these prospects at all, right? They came over simply to be minor leaguers. The trade was always about two things: 1, opening up second base for someone else. 2, keeping the team from having to outright release him because they had ZERO plans to play him, but being able to trade him saves them some PR.

        Brandon Phillips isn’t a star player. He hasn’t been an above-average player for a few years now. Last year he was a well below-average one.

        Also, The Reds are going to do much better than 95 losses in 2017. Guarantee that one. Carve it in stone.

  28. Redsvol

    The biggest mistake was letting Phillips get 10-5 rights to stop any trade. You don’t let a middle infielder get that type of protection unless he is 2nd coming of Derek jeter. Once that happened the front office had no leverage in trades. I would have preferred they keep him and try to trade by June. Feel like he would have had more value with a decent start and don’t think 2 months wud have stunted much growth of others.

    • Doug Gray

      The Braves were literally the only team with remote interest and it took a severe injury to get them talking. Making the move when they had the chance beats hoping someone else gets hurt, BP performs well and is the only available option to that team and that BP is actually willing to go there.

      • RedMaster


        I think other factors that played into this too were how has Phillips been in the clubhouse (attitude/character-wise) over the last few years? They’ve tried dealing him four separate times now, he’s had his bouts with the media, was he really a leader for the younger players? Was he really open to coaching at this point in his career? Ultimately what role would he be serving other than to take away much needed developmental time from the younger guys? Phillips needed to go.

  29. DanD


    Who do you expect to see as the back up INF now? Renda, Iribarren or possibly Dixon? Can any of these backup Suarez at 3b? Still concerned about the bench. Curious how the ex Cubs prospect will also do.

    • Hoyce

      I wouldn’t mind seeing peraza and cozart switching at SS and 2B every other day. Let the masses see cozy can still play SS. And get peraza some PT there. See if he can handle it

    • Doug Gray

      Iribarren and Renda would seem to be the favorites heading into spring training. Dixon is a long shot IMO – no AAA experience at all, and not really a good defender anywhere.

    • Norwood Nate

      Alcantara will back up 2B, SS, 3B some, CF some. It really depends on if the Reds carry three catchers if they want to add a corner bench guy.

  30. Hoyce

    Rumor has it. The Reds are in the hunt for osvaldo Hernandez. 19 year old lefty that goes up to 94mph. Go get em Dick

    • Kap

      He didn’t show up on any prospect lists and the reds are over their international spending limits. So I doubt they do.

      • Hoyce

        He didn’t show up on the prospect lists because he wasn’t able to sign. Now he is. And the Reds are listed as interested. I would think that they are over their spending limit would give more reason to sign him.

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds can just keep spending until June 15th. Then they are incredibly hamstrung for the next two seasons. Now is the time to spend if you can because you won’t be able to for a while.

  31. Sultanofswaff

    I like the trade but I’m slightly disappointed that for the amount of money the Reds ate we couldn’t at least get a lottery ticket prospect in the deal. Still I appreciate what the front office is trying to do.

    I will be incredibly enthusiastic if Cozart becomes the back up at shortstop and second base. We would have a strong middle infield group in that scenario.

    Doug, what happens to the compensation pick when Phillips contract runs out? I wonder if that something the Reds could’ve bargained for in some way shape or form.

    • Doug Gray

      The only way you get a comp pick is if you offered a player something like $17.2M on a 1-year deal. That was never happening.

      • Datdudejs

        So the Reds wouldn’t have gotten a comp pick from Phillips after this season if they kept him? I’m not 100 percent on how it works

    • victor vollhardt

      nice article in the Enquirer about Phillips by Paul Daugherty—and it more or less says it all—and captures my feelings as well. That’s hard for me to write because most of the time I find it very hard to agree with anything Mr.Daugherty writes , especially about baseball, but this time I think he got it right.

    • Datdudejs

      I also want to know this, do they have to offer him a QO to get comp pick?

    • Bill

      Sultan & Datdudejs,
      To get a compensation pick, the Braves will have to make a “qualifying offer” to BP following this season (likely $17-18M/1 year contract offer). Given that the Reds just ate $13M to facilitate this trade, I do not expect the Braves to make that offer.

      Compensation for QO free agents has changed; more complex than in the last CBA. Here’s a link to a Baseball America article with details: