The Atlanta Braves are just a few days into their off-season and already there is talk of a major trade or two that could be in the works if they are able to get the right details worked out. I should say that the deal could start getting worked up if all the pieces line out and it could also never see the light of day. The rumored deal would send Dan Uggla and probably a top prospect to the Cincinnati Reds for their all-star second baseman Brandon Phillips. This could have a few risks but would be a good deal for the Braves.
Phillips is a perennial MVP candidate and performs at an All-Star level each and every season. His skills wouldn’t be denied by anyone that sees him play. So why then would the Reds want to trade him? The answer to that lies not in his skills but in the things that have come out of his mouth for the last year-plus. Phillips has been a disgruntled player for the Reds this past season which could be to blame for what some call a down year in some areas.
For the Braves however, the risks of bringing in a frustrated player at second base might be well worth it. I mean they already have a frustrated and publicly disrespectful second baseman in Uggla. The difference between the two players has been dozens of RBI and over 100 batting average points. There is no doubt that there could be concerns about Phillips but then again, he has shown in the past to be a great teammate.
I think a change of scenery to a place like the Braves clubhouse would drastically change the unhappiness of Phillips while he would likely still continue driving in over 100 runs each season and hitting well enough that .260 is considered a bad season even if he comes with 18 home runs and 103 RBI. After what happened with Uggla this last season, I think the Braves would be very well off trading Uggla and a top prospect for Phillips. Do the deal if you can Frank Wren!