"Dat Dude" really isn't all that anymore. Now, he did top a .290 batting average for a second straight season and again reached double digits in both home runs and stolen bases, but even so, he finished outside the top 15 fantasy second basemen. He grows more impatient at the dish with each passing season: his walk rate fell to just 3.1 percent in 2016 and his chase rate leaped to a career-high 41.7 percent. His 92 wRC+ for the season ranked 122nd among qualified hitters (out of 146), and for the first time in a long time, Brandon Phillips graded out as a net negative in the field. The Reds have made it clear they are looking to unload Phillips, and on any other team, he's probably not an everyday player. Fewer opportunities and further skills regression with age could result in Phillips losing 15-team mixed-league relevance. Invest at your own risk.
The Reds agreed Sunday to trade Phillips to the Braves, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports. The deal isn't expected to be officially announced until Monday, but Phillips, 35, will head to Atlanta in exchange for two marginal prospects, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. The Reds have engaged with several teams in trade talks about Phillips the past couple of seasons in an attempt to clear second base for promising prospects Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera, but it took a potential move to his hometown team before the veteran agreed to waive the no-trade clause. The Reds are expected to cover most of what remains on the final season of Phillips' six-year, $72.5 million contract. With the Braves, Phillips could push Jace Peterson for starting duties at the keystone, but at the very least, he'll make for a serviceable backup with Sean Rodriguez potentially needing shoulder surgery following complications from a January car accident, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
Phillips is close to being acquired by the Braves, Ken Rosenthal of FOX reports. Phillips, who turned down a previous trade proposal this offseason, has reportedly waived his no-trade clause, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, so this trade looks like it's on the verge of happening.
Phillips is still with the Reds after turning down another potential trade this offseason. As a result, he might lose playing time with the Reds wanting to find room for Jose Peraza. The Reds haven't outright said that Phillips will be benched, but quotes from GM Dick Williams have hinted at that possibility. "I don't know. Hard to predict," Williams said when asked how the club would handle the situation with Phillips. "I do expect Bryan and I to be open with him going forward, as we've been open in the past."
Phillips (hand) will sit out the season finale Sunday against the Cubs, Jamie Ramsey of MLB.com reports. Phillips will have missed the final five games of the regular season due to the hand issue, finishing his campaign with a respectable .291/.320/.416 batting line and adding 11 home runs and 14 stolen bases over 141 games. The veteran second baseman has one year remaining on his contract with the Reds.
Phillips (hand) is not in Saturday's lineup against the Cubs, the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans reports. A bruised hand will continue to keep Phillips sidelined for the fourth game in a row Saturday. Ivan De Jesus will start at second base and hit second against Jon Lester and the Cubs.