How did Phillips' trade to the Braves come about?
ESPN's Buster Olney explains how the Reds were able to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips to Atlanta.
The Reds and Braves have completed their talks and settled on terms, and after some administrative boxes are checked Sunday morning, Brandon Phillips will officially join Atlanta, having waived his no-trade clause. He could’ve killed this trade, just as he squashed the Reds’ efforts to swap him in the past -- most notably to the Nationals early in the 2015-16 offseason, in what became the best deal that Washington GM Mike Rizzo didn’t make, because Rizzo moved on from Phillips and eventually signed Daniel Murphy.
What was different about the Braves' proposal for Phillips? Well, it probably had something to do with the fact that the Reds’ commitment to rebuilding was going to cut into Phillips’ playing time in 2017. Right now, his best chance to play a lot is in Atlanta.
Over the past couple of years, Cincinnati has traded most of its core stars from the teams that made the playoffs three times in four years from 2010 to 2013. Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Jay Bruce are gone, and it seems inevitable that shortstop Zack Cozart will be traded sometime in the next five months.