Brandon Phillips has been a Pirates killer, but might be moved by the Reds this off-season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Reds Intend to Trade Brandon Phillips This Off-Season

Brandon Phillips has been a Pirates killer, but might be moved by the Reds this off-season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Brandon Phillips has been a Pirates killer, but might be moved by the Reds this off-season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The rivalry between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds saw a boost this season. A big reason for this was that the Pirates were competitive, and were competing with the Reds for the Wild Card spot. They swept Cincinnati in the final weekend of the series to get home field advantage in the Wild Card game. That was followed by a win at PNC Park in the Wild Card game, eliminating the Reds and leading to Dusty Baker getting fired.

There are other reasons for the rivalry, other than competitive reasons. There are the hit batters, with the Reds hitting Andrew McCutchen several times. There’s the departed Dusty Baker and Aroldis Chapman playing villains due to those hit batters. And of course there’s Brandon Phillips, who isn’t liked by fans of many teams due to his outspoken personality and his tendency for public complaints.

That part of the rivalry might disappear next year, as the Reds are looking to trade Phillips this off-season, according to Bob Nightengale.

It’s easy to hate Phillips if you’re on the other side. But trading him might be a good move for the Reds. Phillips was 32 this year, and saw a decline for the second straight season. In 2011 he had an .810 OPS. That dropped to .750 in 2012, and .706 this year. He is also owed $50 M over the next four seasons.

This might also be good for the Pirates. Even though Phillips has gone downhill, he still crushes Pittsburgh. He had a .302/.357/.460 line in 63 at-bats this year against the Pirates, including a .407/.485/.741 line in 27 at-bats at PNC Park. In his career he has a .301/.350/.479 line against the Pirates, with a .322/.377/.469 line at PNC. So while trading Phillips would be a smart move overall for the Reds, it would definitely help to see a Pirates killer getting moved out of the NL Central.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • skliesen

    I’m sure the Braves would be happy to give them Uggla for him, and they probably would throw in BJ Upton since money isn’t an issue.

    • Matt Beam

      He lives in ATL so I’m sure he’d love to become a Brave, but he’d seem to be the type of player, with the type of contract, that the Dodgers would gobble up

  • SportOMania

    Unless they eat some of the contract I don’t see them getting much value. I was happy when the Reds signed him to that bad contract.

  • emjayinTN

    Tim: He is still a player, but $50 mil over the next 4 seasons is ridiculous – they had an option for 2012, and instead of just agreeing to that, they saw 2012 and 2013 as their years to make the World Series and signed Phillips to a 5 year extension. They traded a lot of their future (Volquez, Alonso, Grandal) to SD to get Mat Latos and that was supposed to be all they needed. As it stands, the worst of his contract is that it accelerates each year ($10 mil in 2012, then $11, $12, $13, and $14 mil), so even if somebody wants him for the first two years of $11 and $12 mil, who will they find dumb enough to eat the final 2 years of $27 mil for when he will be 35 and 36? Cincy will have to absorb at least $20 mil over the next few years and possibly a prospect to get somebody to take Phillips.

    Cincy has talent, but they keep exchanging it for short-term results. Before this year they traded more of their future away in Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius – sometimes trying to get that last piece of the puzzle can be very dangerous.

  • Wilbert Matthews

    Absolutely no way do we want Brandon Phillips. Trust me on this. He has Derrick Bell written all over him. Headcases can ruin good chemistry. Would prefer a platoon over him.

  • leadoff

    Sounds like a Yankee player, if the Yankees were not going to drive up the price on players like Cano, they probably would take him. No problem with being stuck with a mere 30-40 mil for them.

    • jon6er

      Would love that, to see him out of the NL. I’ve seen enough of his antics the past several years.

    • piratemike

      The Yankees are trying to get younger and cut payroll to get close to 189m. I don’t know who they play at 2nd but I don’t think Phillips is on their radar.

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