Reds trade Phillips to open spot for young infielders


The Reds' Brandon Phillips hits a single off St. Louis' Mike Leake during Thursday's game in Cincinnati.


ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves acquired three-time All-Star Brandon Phillips on Sunday from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two pitchers.

The Braves traded away left-hander Andrew McKirahan and minor league right-hander Carlos Portuondo.

Braves general manager John Coppolella called Phillips a “Gold Glove-caliber defender who will also deepen our offensive lineup.”

“We are thrilled to ‘welcome home’ Brandon to Atlanta, where he will play in front of his family and friends and many of his fans,” Coppolella said.

Phillips graduated from Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia, in 1999, when he was drafted in the second round by the Montreal Expos. He made his debut with the Cleveland Indians in 2002.

Phillips, a 35-year-old second baseman, is signed through the 2017 season.

He had a full no-trade clause, having at least 10 years of playing experience including five with his current team. After being traded to the Braves, his contract reverts to a partial no-trade clause, which lists 12 teams to which he cannot be traded.

Phillips rejected a trade to the Braves once before and also reportedly turned down trades to the Yankees, Nationals and Diamondbacks.

Moving Phillips opens the way for young middle infielders like Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera to get more playing time for the Reds.

Phillips has a .275 batting average with 334 double and 197 home runs in his 15 seasons in the majors. He is only 137 hits shy of 2,000 for his career.

McKirahan, 27, was claimed off waivers by the Braves from the Miami Marlins in 2015. He had Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss last season.

Portuondo signed with the Braves as a free agent last year after eight seasons in the Cuban league with Santiago. He pitched in 17 games for Single-A Carolina and Triple-A Gwinnett.

Reds general manager Dick Williams issued a statement saying “We appreciate Brandon’s contributions to our organization. He excited our fan base and was an important part of several seasons of winning baseball. We wish him well with this next opportunity.”

The Reds' Brandon Phillips hits a single off St. Louis' Mike Leake during Thursday's game in Cincinnati.
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_08.05.16.phillips.jpgThe Reds' Brandon Phillips hits a single off St. Louis' Mike Leake during Thursday's game in Cincinnati.
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