The Braves have acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Reds for pitchers Andrew McKirahan and Carlos Portuondo, as first reported by FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal, which was pending Phillips’ approval, is official.
Cincinnati will pay $13 million of the $14 million owed to Phillips for next season, meaning Atlanta’s acquisition cost is simply the two pitchers (both considered non-prospects) and $1 million. Atlanta tried to acquire Phillips from the Reds back in November, only to have that deal blocked by the player.
Phillips, who has been with the Reds since 2006, will become the primary second baseman for the Braves in place of Sean Rodriguez, who signed with the club this winter but will be sidelined 3-5 months due to injuries suffered in a serious car crash last month. Rodriguez will require shoulder surgery, leading the Braves to make a move for Phillips to give them a more proven option than Jace Peterson at second.
Phillips, who turns 36 in June, hit .291/.320/.416 with 11 homers in his eleventh year with the Reds last season and is entering the final season of a six-year, $72.5 million extension he signed with the club in 2012. He previously blocked trades to the Nationals, Diamondbacks and Braves, but decided to approve this version, at least partly because he was raised in Georgia and went to high school there.
McKirahan, 27, has only 27.1 innings of major-league time under his belt, posting a 5.93 ERA in that span. Portuondo, 29, split last season between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Gwinnett and posted a combined 3.63 ERA in 34.2 innings. MLB.com does not have either pitcher ranked among the Reds’ top 30 prospects.