Report: Brandon Phillips vetoed trade to Atlanta in November
If Brandon Phillips is leaving Cincinnati, he’s doing so on his own terms.
According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on Thursday, the Reds second baseman exercised his no-trade clause to block a trade to the Atlanta Braves in November. The trade may still be possible, at least in theory, but talks are said to be “unlikely to revive.”
Phillips, 35, is entering the final year of his contract with the Reds in 2017 and is owed $14 million. He slashed .291/.320/.416 with 11 home runs and 64 RBIs in 141 appearances last season. Phillips was almost traded to another NL East team last offseason but vetoed that deal as well.
Rosenthal does add, however, that Phillips, a Cincinnati fan favorite, sees his refusal to accept a trade as “a matter of principle” and wants the Reds to address “certain, unspecified issues” before waiving his no-trade clause.
The Braves went out and signed veteran utilityman Sean Rodriguez, who seems likely to get regular run at second base, instead this winter. But the four-time All-Star Phillips is actually a native of Stone Mountain, Georgia and apparently owns a home in Atlanta, so this should definitely be a compelling storyline to watch as it unfolds further.