The sound you hear is the log jam breaking. Not final yet, but dis is happening.

Reported terms: Reds getting two players in return. Reds pay most of Phillips 2017 salary. Phillips (35) will make $14 million this season; the final year of a six-year, $72.5 million contract. There may be a connection between how much money the Reds send to Atlanta and how good the prospects are in return. [update: never mind]

Phillips passed physical, gets no-trade protection. I’ve always suspected Phillips’ desire to control where he plays (which he has earned) slowed down the trade talks last year. Phillips didn’t want to go somewhere else only to be traded again from that club. The 10-5 no-trade protection he has with the Reds doesn’t follow him to the next stop. Now, according to this report, he has that assurance from Atlanta.

Atlanta’s beat writer Mark Bowman uses phrase “nearly all” to describe how much of Phillips’ salary the Reds will pay.

Reds eating $13 million of $14 million.


Player pages for Andrew McKirahan and Carlos Portuondo. Jim Bowden just characterized this return as “practically nothing” on his MLB Radio show, said that’s how both front offices described it.

Mark Bowman characterizes the minor league players going to Cincinnati this way:

Neither of the two Minor Leaguers involved in the deal have ever been considered highly-regarded prospects within the Braves’ system.

The major Atlanta newspaper is the Journal Constitution. Here’s how their Braves beat writer David O’Brien characterizes the trade.

Trade is done, just getting league sign-off since transfer of cash-money is involved.

Phillips tweeted this late last night:

Wayne Krivsky acquired 24-year-old Brandon Phillips from Cleveland for a PTBNL on April 7, 2006. The Reds sent pitcher Jeff Stevens a couple months later to complete the deal. Phillips would become the fourth-best second baseman in Reds history.

WINTER HAVEN, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Brandon Phillips of the Cleveland Indians poses for a portrait during the Indians' media day on February 26, 2003 at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Florida. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Phillips graduated from Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia, about  30 miles from Atlanta’s new ballpark, scheduled to open this spring.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 78 Comments

  1. Well good for the Reds and BP (and, at least some fans). This is as good as it could have turned out at this juncture. Hopefully, we’ll get confirmation of approval this morning and then it’s time to move forward!

    • I get that this is about the rebuild and clearing up the logjam in the middle infield, but I still think since we ate 13 of the 14 million, we could have received something back besides a guy who’s had 2 TJs and a PED issue, and a guy with a almost 1 to 1 BB/K ratio.

      • It think it comes down to his age, 1 year left on his contract, and that the Braves were probably the only takers out there. I would have been shocked if they got a real prospect in return given the circumstances.

      • Kind of where I’m at with it. This practically amounts to a DFA, which I’ve stated wasn’t the the right thing to do. Apparently the Reds think it is. Oh well.

  2. I won’t celebrate this until we have confirmation that it’s all signed off – no-trade waiver, medical, money – but if that happens this is very good news. It clears the way for the infield of the future, reduces a sunk cost, eliminates having to alienate and/or embarrass a future Reds hall of famer, and avoids possible clubhouse distractions. Well done Dick Williams, and thank you BP – for agreeing to leave with dignity, and for many productive years as the second sacker.

    • Oh, and I suppose there’s even a small chance that the players coming back from Atlanta will prove to have some real value…

  3. What a debacle. Paying a player to play for another team. Just plant him on the bench and use as an utility/back. Surely be more cost effective.

    • I thought the same thing, but I believe it’d have been way more trouble benching Phillips than just paying him to go away which we are doing.

    • You’re also essentially buying the 2 players coming back in return, however lowly of prospects they may be

    • You might not like it but you can’t say you didn’t see this coming. Bellyache about it if you want but it makes more sense to accept and move on. Why pay a guy $14MM to sit on the bench and risk possible dissension in the clubhouse? Reds aren’t going to win any more games with him on the team. It’s time to figure out what they have with the prospects.

    • I am not sure why this is a debacle. U need to look at the overall value of the contract not just the return this year. When it was signed everyone pretty much knew this year would not be a good value or any value at all

      • I do not think anyone is disputing its a terrible contract, but it is asinine to pay a decent player with + WAR ( Reds show an uncanny knack for finding negative WAR players to stock their bench) to play for another team because you too afraid he will be a distraction if he becomes a back-up.

        • I’ll dispute that it was a terrible contract. The contract was pretty solid up until last year and depending on how you feel about WAR (particularly the defense and baserunning aspects), it wasn’t upside down then. The BP contract wasn’t and isn’t a drag on this team and in fact, wasn’t a bad deal.

    • I agree, he is professional, if players are better than him be a good teammate and become a role player. I bet he bats around .290 and some dumb desperate team remembers his GG glory DatDude days and would have parted with some prospects mid- season. Billy Hamilton will get hurt from time to time, Peraza can back him up and give Cozart a spell. You would have had time to play these guys.

  4. For those complaining about the Reds’ paying BP’s salary… what do you expect them to do? The rebuild must move forward, and retaining BP was not going to accelerate the development of anyone.

    Much better for all to send BP elsewhere. Hopefully Reds will celebrate BP’s tenure with Reds at a later date.

    • Absolutely. Anyone who thought the Reds could trade him without paying most of his salary is living in some alternate reality. This is good for him and good for the Reds’ ability to move forward.

      • I thought, for how much of his salary they paid, they would get a better prospect back. That’s where I’m flummoxed… I’m hoping that the Reds aren’t just getting rid of him to see what Hererra/Peraza can do but in fact because they think that their production out of 2B will be better without him than with him in 2017.

        • I think the Reds need to see what Hererra can do, and will get better production out of 2B without Phillips. Steamer projects Hererra to 1.6 WAR and Peraza to 1.5 WAR compared to 1.2 WAR for Phillips. That’s from FanGraphs where the projection gives them all 600 at bats; so, it’s not like anyone is accumulating WAR because the projection gave them more playing time.

          • Yes, although I’m not a huge fan of how WAR is calculated, the value does suggest that Herrera is likely the better player right now. What is more telling than the WAR comparison though is the ZiPS projections for Herrera Vs BP. Herrera’s projected slash line is: .255/.311/.435 and BP is projected at: 273/.306/.377

            ZiPS thinks it likely that Herrera is a much better hitter right now than BP. And when we consider BPs slipping defense and so-so baserunning, it’s very possible that Herrera is not only the better player but a much better player. Of course this is all speculation.

            I’m hoping that the Reds don’t end up playing Peraza at 2B a ton. His future should probably be at SS and moving BP just to play Peraza at the position that he is likely not to his most valuable at seems like a mistake to me.

        • The Reds had absolutely 0 leverage. It was this deal, release him, or play him. This way, they saved a million dollars and didn’t have to release a future Reds hall of famer.

        • They wanted to be rid of him and had no leverage…no one else wanted him. The options seem to me to be either take this deal or go into ST with this logjam and hope he’s not a problem on the bench.

    • Exactly. The Reds were going to be on the hook for the money one way or another. They either paid him to pay and block prospects, delay the rebuild efforts, pay him to sent on the bench and risk him being a clubhouse cancer, pay him to walk away by releasing him (where they’d be on the hook for all but league minimum if he were signed elsewhere once a FA), or trade him and pay most of his salary in the hopes of getting something useful back. McKirahan may be that useful piece if he returns to health and his former numbers pre-TJ surgery. This was the best case scenario regarding his salary. There should be no complaints about the Reds eating salary in this instance.

  5. A year or 2 overdue. BP was still stupid for not taking the Nats trade.

    Now, what to do with Cozart? If we find someone for him, I will miss him (more than BP). But, like with this move, the priority is to make room in the MIF.

  6. The idea was being bandied about by some to simply cut Phillips this year, meaning the Reds would still have had to pay his salary. The fact the Braves are reportedly going to take on some minimal amount of his salary, PLUS the Reds get 2 players in return, means the Reds did very well for themselves, all things considered.

    Never forget the real purpose of this move: Opening 2nd base for Herrera with no controversy.

    Thank you, DatDude, for your time in Cincinnati. I’ll never forget your first season here when you burst onto the scene and finally lived up to your vast potential. But, sad to say, Father Time catches up to us all. Best of luck to you with your hometown Braves as you play out the twilight of your career.

    • Well-stated.

    • My sentiments, also. It’s bittersweet seeing him go- best fielding 2b I’ve ever witnessed. Peraza has to play every day. He’s ready. Herrera can still start at AAA until someone gets hurt or they move Cozart, who’s fragile anyway. Logjam pretty much over for the middle infield.

      • I was at a UC basketball game a couple of weeks ago. Brandon was there – in Oscar Robertson’s seat! He could not have been more gracious. He was constantly interrupted by autograph seekers and selfie takers. He was swarmed by kids every timeout on the floor. He never lost his patience or his smile. Just a joyful presence. I understand the business of the game, and I understand the need for him to move on, but like you JB, I am also melancholy about seeing him suit up some place else. For me, he will always be an all-time great Red. Greatest defensive 2nd-baseman I have ever seen.

        • Nice story, and it doesn’t surprise me. And I agree: Best fielding 2nd baseman I’ve seen.

  7. Taking a look at some of the names in the Braves system near the back part of their top 30 (and honestly have no idea where the prospects coming back to the Reds will fall). But a few interesting names popped out. ( rankings in parenthesis).

    Braxton Davidson (21) RH Corner OF’er who has led the Braves minors in BBs and has above average power. Needs to be more aggressive in the zone to really tap into that power. Played at Adv. A last year.

    Akeel Morris (25) RH reliever who’s on the verge of the Majors. He’s touted for his change up, which was described as Bugs Bunny-esque and creates a lot of swings and misses. Needs to develop a 3rd reliable pitch to reach his ceiling of a set up man. But may still be a useful bullpen piece as it stands now.

    AJ Minter (28). LH reliever who’s had some health issues in the past (college) but completed a full season last year including 18 games in AA. He’s got 3 average-above average offerings with his FB grading out at a 60. ETA is 2017. The Reds could use more LH bullpen options, in my opinion. He seems to have good control as well. 31K to 6 BBs in AA.

    • Well never mind. Getting two other guys back, not in the top 30. That doesn’t really matter, it was all about opening playing time. The fact that the Reds don’t have to pay the entirety of the salary is positive. I’m going to look up the two guys coming back. McKirahan and Portuondo.

  8. Multiple baseball sources: Reds to receive 27-year-old LHP Andrew McKirahan and 29-year-old RHP Carlos Portuondo.

    A quick look at the stats show they are not likely to be useful for much of anything, but might be able to be a stop-gap bullpen solution. AAAA players at best.

    But still, the Reds were never going to get any serious return on Phillips, so can’t be disappointed.

  9. Looks like McKirahan is a 27 LHP who spent all of last season recovering from TJ after reaching the majors in 2015. He was outrighted in October meaning he doesn’t have to be on the 40-man roster. Overall his numbers look ok as a reliever. Steamer projects a 8.4 K/9 against a 3.5 BB/9 with a 4.03 xFIP (about average). Don’t know when he’ll be ready to pitch for the Reds, but bullpen depth is nice to have, especially as a lefty.

    Portuondo has only pitched 1 year in the minors for the Braves after coming over from Cuba. RHP, a bit older at 29. Reached AAA but for only 10 IP. Steamer projections are a little lower on him, but he has much less track record.

    If either end up providing reliever value for the Reds i think that’s a win.

    • Portuondo has a strike throwing issue. He’s never shown any control his entire career, including 8 year career in Cuba. I don’t hold out much hope at all for him and would expect that he’ll go to either Daytona or Pensacola to start the season.

      McKirahan, however, I hold out some home for. All will hinge of course on how he does coming back from his Tommy John surgery in early March of 2016. Before that however he was a strike throwing lefty with decent K numbers. In 2014 at AA he put up 28.2 IP 28 H 6 BB 24 K. In 2015, he threw only 5 IP at AAA (5.2 IP 6 H 3 BB 8 K) and then 27.1 IP 40 H 10 BB 22 K for the Braves. So if healthy, him being LH and with a history of throwing strikes, he could be there right in the mix with Cingrani/Peralta/Luetge as the only LH relievers vying for a bullpen spot. It’s more likely, being 11 months removed from his TJ surgery that they bring him along slow, start him out at Louisville, and if successful he could see some time with the Reds later this season. We are hurting for LHs in the bullpen.

      • That’s my initial take as well. McKirahan has some potential to contribute. I like that he’s a lefty with some success in the upper minors and a decent MLB debut. Portuondo’s numbers don’t really inspire much especially the K/9. At his age he’s probably just organizational filler.

        • Here’s what MLB Trade Rumors said about Portuondo when the Braves signed him as a Free Agent from Cuba to a contract with a $990K bonus about a year ago:

          “As per Baseball America’s Ben Badler, scouts say the 6″2, 220-pound Portuondo has a fastball in the 90-93mph range and a slider as his secondary pitch. He’ll be used out of the bullpen by the Braves, though he split time as both a starter and reliever in his native country. Portuondo posted pretty unremarkable numbers for Santiago De Cuba from 2005-14, with a 5.75 ERA, 194 strikeouts and 188 walks in 355 1/3 innings pitching in the top Cuban league.”

          Not encouraging that his fastball is so average and he still can’t throw strikes.

        • This is interesting. McKirahan was a 2015 Rule V pick by the Marlins, from the Cubs, he was then picked up off Waivers 04/01/15 by the Braves from the Marlins. What is really interesting is that he received an 80 game PEDs suspension (Ipamorelin, which releases growth hormone), that enabled the Braves to easily keep him on the 40 man roster the entire 2015 season.

          Also found this which has a scouting report on McKirahan from late 2014 when Miami selected him in the Rule V. This appears to be McKirahan’s second TJ surgery. Not sure what that says for his chances to recover fully.

          “The Cubs’ 21st-round selection in 2011, McKirahan’s fastball sits in the low 90s, and he complements it with a plus overhand curve. He also throws two different types of changeups, one of which is a traditional circle change.

          “For a reliever to have four pitches is different,” said Scott, noting McKirahan did not make any starts as a collegian, either. “Some lefthanded hitters try to cheat a little bit and get out front and off balance.”

          McKirahan doesn’t profile as a lefty specialist. Lefthanded hitters last season batted 69 and 127 points higher than righthanded hitters at Daytona and Tennessee, respectively. Scott thinks those numbers will change if McKirahan works the inner half more to lefties.

          Though he’s entering his fifth pro season, McKirahan has totaled just 121 innings. Nine games into his first full campaign McKirahan learned he needed Tommy John surgery. He did not return to the mound until midway through the 2013 season.

          Other than losing development time, the procedure did not hamper McKirahan’s effectiveness. He has a 3.7-to-1 strikeout/walk ratio to go with a lifetime 1.08 WHIP in the minors.

          “Nothing that he throws is straight,” Scott said. “He’s not cocky or arrogant, but he’s got great mound presence. He’s very aggressive. The mechanics are good. ”


        • Here’s another McKirahan scouting report from BBA entering the Dec 2014 Rule V draft:

          9. Marlins: Andrew McKirahan, lhp (Cubs)

          Scouting Report: A reliever at Texas, McKirahan had Tommy John surgery in 2012 that cost him much of two seasons. After a slow start, McKirahan showed a 93-96 mph late in the season. He needs to improve his fringy breaking ball, but he’s a power arm who has proven he can get out righthanders.

        • Another McKirahan scouting report pre Rule V draft from BBA:

          Andrew McKirahan, lhp, Cubs

          Why He Could Be Picked

          He has a plus fastball (92-96 mph) and was pitching extremely well at the end of the season. He has Double-A time so the jump to the big leagues won’t be as steep as some other, less-experienced power arms. His control has been excellent (less than 2 walks per nine innings in 2014). He’s a pitcher with further upside because he’s missed so much time with Tommy John surgery—he has only 120 pro innings in four seasons.

          Why He Wouldn’t Be Picked

          McKirahan’s breaking balls is inconsistent, which explains why he’s had more trouble with lefthanded hitters than righthanded bats. His injury history is somewhat of a concern.

      • It is my understanding that this was McKirahan’s 2nd TJS, is that correct? If that’s the case, I don’t hold out much hope for him being anything other than MiLB filler.

        • I should have read further down. I see that you confirmed it was his 2nd TJS.

  10. Not paying all f BP’s scary is a win and getting two players in return even if they are nothing more than AAA bullpen help is a win. Good Bye Brandon! Thanks for all the highlight reel plays but it is past time to say so long.

    • If they had just released him, and the Braves had signed him, then the Braves would have paid BP the MLB minimum of about $500k, with the Reds still on the hook for the rest of the contract. It hasn’t been and probably won’t be disclosed how much of BP’s salary the Braves are assuming, but I doubt it is much more than the MLB minimum. But for Rodriguez getting hurt, this deal would not have happened.

      This is pretty much all that I expected the Reds to get for BP: a very small bit of salary taken on, plus two minor league arms that would have to surprise to contribute to a winning MLB team. Surprises happen, though.

      In short, this is the Reds moving on from Phillips and getting substantially younger. It is probably best for Phillips, too.

  11. No complaints here. If the deal doesn’t go through Phillips will not be a distraction. I wish him Nothing but the best.

    Do you think the Reds will let anyone else have his number?

    • they let Lamb have Cueto’s #47 right after he was traded. I bet Herrera wears #4.

  12. Not sure about the difference between a trade for two unuseful players and hooked-up with traded player salary vs. just releasing him.

    • From a player standpoint, there isn’t much of one. From a PR standpoint, I think the trade looks better to Joe Fan. Of course the general fanbase still seems pretty unhappy about all this.

  13. This is great news for the rebuild. BP was never a good fit as a bench player, due to both his ego and his lack of position flex. The Reds don’t have to cut BP, and thus the Braves pay some small portion of his salary. More importantly, a spot opens in the middle infield for either Peraza or Herrara (the other going to the bench (?)).

    With this opening, it is now easier for the Reds to take their time in trading Zack Cozart. Injuries will happen across MLB this spring and someone will develop a need for a quality starting SS. Cozart will, unlike BP, bring back some sort of quality prospect, particularly if he’s traded with the full season ahead. However, if it doesn’t transpire during ST, the Reds can wait until the trading deadline. One of the contending teams may very well have either an injury, or a SS that is underperforming.

    As for BP, thank you for your years of mostly quality service. I enjoyed the flashy plays in the field, I appreciated your willingness to move up and down in the lineup as needed, and also your determination to play hurt (where some others would be content to take a seat on the bench). I’ll miss that trademark smile as well …

  14. This deal frees up a spot on the Reds 40 man roster since neither McKirahan or Portuondo will require a spot on the roster. I wonder if they’ll just keep this spot open for a potential waiver claim or maybe just until they need it for someone like Desmond Jennings at the end of spring training.

    Also, I don’t know that this deal is good news right away for Dilson Herrera. I suspect that, given the current roster, he will still be opening the season up at AAA Louisville. I think they’ll insert Peraza into the lineup every day at 2B until the time that Cozart is also dealt. Then I think they’ll slide Peraza over to short and bring Herrera up to play second.

    I also think this will make Alcantara the primary man off the bench for MI/CF. I think this will also improve Zach Walters’, switch hitter with power, chances of making the bench out of spring training.

    • Very good observations. Herrera needs to show that he can stay healthy over the long haul, and can come up upon a Cozart trade. Alcantara has the middle of the field covered. Walter’s has the pop you want from a bench player and has tremendous position flex (he’s played just about everywhere in the field except C and CF).

      Alcantara, Walters, and Jennings would be a decent bench. A bench that will only get better when the Reds resolve their catching situation.

  15. I think that the Reds FO have made the stupidest move ever and they take it as challenge and out stupid themselves! They are reportedly eating 13 of the 14 million owed for that they should get some talent in return. The players they are getting should have only cost the Reds about half of the salary! I know he had to go to make room but that was moronic. The Reds scream poverty somebody should shove this deal up their……… nose! These numbers are just ignorant for another million dollars he was worth more than that off the bench and if he balked about being a role player he had brought it on his self! This has been a terrible week or so for this FO they not only have made an idiotic trade but also a very questionable signing. This just shows the rest of MLB they are dealing with inept morons that are easy to take advantage of!

    • Carl, BP is 35 with declining skills. Metrics suggest his defense declined markedly last year, and while he hit .291, he drew just 18 walks in 584 plates appearances. A lot of teams have passed on him because of those factors the last couple of years.

      Who cares if we eat his salary and get little in return. This is about the future. It was time to move on and allow Peraza and Herrara an opportunity. Trust me, Cozart is next.

    • Carl — Phillips had little or no value on the bench, because he has little or no position flex. BP has had a grand total of TWO innings at SS in the last TEN years. Therefore, you’d have a bench player with below average power, negative range and defense, who can only play 2B. Yeah, no thanks.

      The Reds had good reason to cut BP if they couldn’t find a taker in a trade (or a trade that wouldn’t get vetoed by Phillips). Instead of cutting him and being responsible for his entire salary, they got some small salary relief (what’s a million $ ?), and a couple of low level prospects. There was little or no demand for second basemen in the market, and everyone knew that BP was on the trading block.

      This was about one thing, and one thing only: moving Phillips. The FO would have been deemed inept IF THEY DIDN’T MOVE HIM.

    • The Reds objective was to part ways with a player that does nothing for them in the future and could present a culture problem in the present….along with being one of the worst starting players at his position last year. For a number of reasons a trade was viewed as a more desireable outcome than an outright release. That objective was achieved.

      Why would you expect the return to be higher? BP has virtually no value and a desireable prospect is worth a lot more than 13 million dollars.
      The Braves held all the cards…..There was no auction for BP and he’s simply a 1 year stop gap for them. Why would the Braves give up anything of value for someone who is a 1 year band aid?

      • Depends… With the trade, they are guaranteed to get their guy (BP). Had they waited to see if the Reds ended up releasing BP, they could have been waiting for something that wasn’t going to happen. I don’t think they were worried about missing him on waivers because it would have been either them or SD with first chance to claim him. So, for the amount of money they ate, I think they may have been able to do a little better, but probably not much.

    • Brandon was NOT going to be a bench player in Cincinnati. I love Brandon but do any of you believe he’d accept a bench role ? There is no way. I don’t think Price would have benched him which could have caused more problems. This is the best scenario because I’ll state it again, Phillips was NOT going to be a bench player. I think the FO did the best they could.

    • What the others said above is right on. BP had no trade value. Utley, who was better at the plate and in the field in 2016 just signed on for $2m to play a utility role for the Dodgers. He actually has some positional flexibility as he played some 3B last year as well. How was Brandon Phillips worth more? Just because fans have fond memories of web gems doesn’t mean that holds value for this year. He has declined both in the field and at the plate.

      Beyond that, the LH McKirahan may actually provide some value moving forward. His numbers are pretty solid and as a LH reliever, which the Reds seem to be short on, fills a role. Taking a chance on McKirahan is better than just outright releasing him.

      The money was a sunk cost. They either paid him to play and block prospects, pay him to sit on the bench and risk him being a malcontent with his role, or paid him to go away. At least this way the Reds saved a million and brought in a potential relief option for someone who had zero trade value and all the leverage in accepting a trade. That’s a win for the FO and for the Reds. Doesn’t seem to be a bad landing spot for Phillips either. Seems like a win all the way around.

      • McKirahan is very unlikely to provide any value. He’s recovering from his 2nd TJ surgery. Very, very few pitchers make it back from a 2nd procedure… I pretty much agree with your other points. I still don’t think it sits well with Joe Fan and probably doesn’t sit too well with many of his fellow players. The exception being if they feel that whoever is out at 2B is better than BP is right here, right now.

  16. This is the best for everybody concerned.Thanks BP for what you gave as a Red.Play ball and let the young guys play most of it.

  17. Great situation for all involved. Best of luck to BP in the new Atlanta ball park in front of the family and friends and Reds will get to see what the kids can do. Thanks for all you’ve done, Brandon.

  18. Very good for the Reds and hopefully good for Brandon. Wish Brandon the best in ATL. Now we can work second base out: 1. Dilson Herrera. 2. Eugenio Suarez? or Nick Senzel? 3. Shed Long – in a couple years. Well Done FO.

  19. yeah.. with the news that they are eating 13 million… that to me means they were going to DFA him… and this move is as much PR as anything… looks a lot better this way than an outright release…. and throw in a couple shot in the dark (even though I think the lefty has a shot) prospects coming back .. even better…this is the best way this saga could have worked out at this point

  20. Brandon did a lot of good in the community over his time here and was very good with and respondent to the fans. We are all very appreciative of that and wish him well in Atlanta as they attempt to transcend back to a strong contender. Also liked his parents as they seemed like very good and supportive folks.
    But there were a few negatives with Brandon-mainly he tended to run his mouth at times to other teams and fan bases, which played a huge role in one of the worst brawls in recent Reds history (Aug, 2010, vs Cards). This brawl also ended the career of former teammate and Reds catcher Jason LaRue. BP just couldn’t resist running his mouth at times and it put his teammates in a bad place, both with other teams as well as the news media asking them questions about BP’s trash-talking ways.

    Glad to see that in the years following that brawl he really toned things down in mouthing off about other teams and he manned up and apologized to Yadier Molina (and also to Jason LaRue) for his role in this horrific brawl.

    One other thing which I believe hurt him was his public trashing of Reds Owner Bob Castellini regarding his contract situation vs Joey Votto’s contract. Two points-2B do not get paid as much as 1B and never really have. Secondly, if he did have any problems with the front office, it certainly should not be communicated in public via the media. This should have been done privately and never made public. Having said this, I am in no way a fan of Bob Castellini and believe he and his front office have become one of the worst in baseball (for reasons other than the BP contract). But BP should have had the maturity to keep this private and not make it public.

    Overall, I am a BP fan, but he certainly continued to have maturity issues and that somewhat clouds his overall time with the Reds. Remember, the Indians couldn’t rid themselves of BP fast enough and just gave him away to the Reds (because of this immature attitude).

    Having said this, I still believe there should be a day honoring him in Cincy after he retires and I also firmly believe he should be a Reds Hall of Famer as the second best 2B in Reds history behind Joe Morgan.

    • i.e. contract…in addition to the fact that he’s no where near as good a player as Votto is, and never was.

  21. Lame. Pay out all that money so that he won’t whine in a bench role? Give me a break. If you’re paying him the money anyway, you sit him on the bench and pick your spots to play him. Keep him fresh. He should NOT be dictating the terms here. I just don’t get this team. And I’m still unclear what changed in BP to finally allow this trade (or any trade) to go through.

    • See: Sunk Costs.

    • Possibly what changed was the no-trade protection ATL offered him. It’s also possible that, with time, he came to view the entire situation differently. I don’t want to rehash the ongoing argument here about BP’s attitude, but will observe that no matter how much you pay somebody, they remain human and subject to human emotions.

    • As many have said, BP possesses few attributes of a bench player. The Reds would be hamstringing their own opportunities in late inning games. Say Peraza clicks and is a valuable contributor this year– Now, it’s the 7th inning, down one run, and a runner on first with the pitcher due up. You can only replace Peraza in the field with BP on a double switch. Which is bad if Peraza is as good as we hope. Also, that’s likely replacing with worse defense at a critical time in the game.

      As a pinch hitter only, he presents no power, limited walk rate, and a heavy inclination to hit into double plays. There just simply aren’t enough game situations beyond days off to keep him around for a 25 man bench. The Reds have the infield covered. It’s an ugly overall situation, but the Reds have made the right move.

      That said, I’ll miss him and am very appreciative for everything he’s done as a Red. Some of my initial forays on this site years ago were in defense of him… I’d like to think he did more than justify those exchanges. Glad the Reds were able to get him back home and hope he plays well.

      • Pretty much most players coming off the bench will have flaws in their offensive game, it’s why they’re not starters. I mean, Brandon Phillips or Tony Renda batting in the 9th? I’d like to think having a player of BP’s caliber in that double-switch situation is a bonus for the Reds, especially considering he’d be more rested. I think it’s less about BP the player on the bench, as you’re arguing, and more about BP the personality. Which, in my mind, stinks for a reason to shell out that kind of money.

  22. This is how the saga ends
    This is how the saga ends
    This is how the saga ended

    Not with a bang…. but with a whimper.

  23. Attitude can not be measured by statistics therefore it most not be meaningful.

  24. Buddy Ryan said it best

    “Trade him for a six-pack. It doesn’t even have to be cold.”

    BP was a great Red and Cozart is a solid player & guy too but the Reds need to immediately free themselves of all hackers and BP/Cozart refuse to take a walk. Its like running out a prop plane P-51 Mustang when everyone else is flying jets!

    • Lots of fun to watch those P-51s fly, though.

      • Oh yeah….I was stationed in Ft. Worth in the Air Force and the Confederate Air Force would come up often from Houston with all the WW2 planes….even Japanese Zeros!

    • So they should move Peraza too then, as he’s a hacker. So, historically has been Hamilton. Duvall is a hacker. So is Alcantara.

  25. In the end, we were able to jettison BP without having to go through the indignity of outright releasing a future Reds HoF player and we saved $1 million of a sunk cost to boot. If either of the two players we got in return ever make a productive out from the mound, that’s just icing on the cake.

  26. This was a win-win-win….the Reds free up the logjam in the middle infield and save $1 million dollars, Atlanta pays $1 million dollars and two PTBNL types for a solid 2nd baseman for 2017, and BP gets to go to his hometown and play everyday.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.