Yes, you read that right. The Atlanta Braves need to acquire Brandon Phillips. He is the missing link that this team needs. Assuming BJ Upton actually plays like a baseball player this year, the second base position is the biggest hole in the lineup. I know that is a big assumption considering how poorly B-UP played last season. Point is, second base is a huge hole for the Braves. Dan Uggla is a beloved Brave. He is a good guy as far as the eye can see. However, he is getting paid too much to walk to the plate, flex and strike out four times a game. Let’s not forget money is always an issue. Especially for a team like the Braves who don’t just give it away or blow it most of the time. If the Braves are going to pay big money to a guy, at least make it worth the price. Phillips is worth it.
So here’s the plan. Either get Uggla to take a pay-cut and remain a Brave as a pinch-hitter and an infield relief. He would play when guys needed a day off or in case of an injury. Or, it is time for Uggla to go? Let some other team take his contract off the books and use that money on a player who hits, fields and doesn’t hurt the team but actually helps it.
It’s obvious to see, the player the Braves desperately need this upcoming season could be and should be Brandon Phillips, the second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. Phillips had a monster year last year and is still a very good player. He is an above average fielder, winning a gold glove last season. He hits for decent average, a career .271 average. But most of all he’s a hitter. He hits home runs and drives in runs. He was the unsung hero for the Reds last year who without him wouldn’t have even gotten the chance to be booed out of Pittsburgh. You’re sitting there thinking he is too old and not worth the money he will probably ask for. Correct, at 32 years old he is not the young kid on the block. But don’t question his ability. He had the fourth most RBI in the NL last year with 103. He’s still got it. If you’re going to mention his age, don’t forget how much experience and leadership comes with that. He’s seen a few things, dealt with adversity and is still around to tell the tale. He would be a perfect fit for a young team full of raw talent, a team such as the Braves. Perfect fit any way you look at it. In fact, if the Reds will take a straight up Uggla-for-Phillips deal, book the next flight.
If the Braves make this much-needed move they add an experienced, good hitter at the hole that was second base, sure up their defensive as well as offensive lineup and only need to rely on BJ Upton to turn things around this year. If they make this move the Braves could be a scary team for any pitcher to face. If the price is right, acquire Phillips. This Braves team needs him!
David Galleher is an Atlanta Braves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @theDaveGalleher.