It has been often said that the real stories from the offseason are the deals that almost get done, but fall short. There are countless of these tales that we will never hear about and others that have been hinted at in the past (Jason Heyward to the Yankees has floated out there for a long time now) but details are scarce.
This offseason appears to be no different, but this particular deal was agreed upon by both the Braves and the Reds but one important factor led to the deal not going through.
Sources: #Reds' Phillips blocked trade to #Braves. Story:... https://t.co/ROGywxFwcB— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2017
Now it is reasonable to ask why the Braves would want an aging second baseman in decline in the last year of his deal when they had signed Sean Rodriguez in the same month. It appears that the Rodriguez deal came after this trade fell through, but I have no answers for you there on the other stuff, especially since reports on Phillips demeanor in the clubhouse are mixed to say the least. In his prime, he was a gifted defensive player that hit for a bit of power, average, and would steal some bases.
However, Phillips has lost a step or two on multiple fronts in recent years and his 0.8 WAR last year isn’t exactly exciting. Regardless, Phillips nixed the deal and, according to the report, Phillips was blocking this trade (and some others) based on principle. It is worth noting that Phillips has also previous blocked deals to the DBacks and Nationals in the past couple of seasons, so there is clearly something larger in play.
Phillips is from the Atlanta-area and while the fit may not be obvious, it was clear that the Reds thought they finally found a suitor to Phillips’ liking. As it turns out.....not so much.