Even so, it's a surprising reversal given that Phillips, a Georgia native who owns a home in Atlanta, had previously blocked a deal to the Braves in November, one of several he has scuttled over the years. The Nationals are probably pretty happy with Daniel Murphy at second base instead.
The Braves tried to acquire Phillips in November and when he declined, Atlanta signed Sean Rodriguez, who injured his shoulder in a vehicle accident a few weeks ago and is expected to miss three-to-five months. Rodriguez and the three other members of his family were involved in a serious vehicle crash in Miami, Florida on January 29 that left him with an injured left shoulder, his wife in stable condition, and his two young children in serious yet stable condition.More news: Blizzard conditions confirmed in some areas as storm hammers MA
In his prime, Phillips was a 30-30 threat who played plus defense at the cornerstone. He is a lifetime.275 hitter with 197 homers and 889 RBIs in 15 major league seasons. He played 31 games at shortstop and 21 in the outfield and depending on your league rules, he should get second base eligibility early in the season.
The three-time All-Star (2013, 2011, 2010) spent the last 11 seasons (since 2006) with the Reds after opening his career in 2002 with the Cleveland Indians. He'll make 14 million this upcoming season. That led the two teams to rekindle trade talks involving Phillips, with a deal expected to be culminated on Sunday.
In the Braves' case, the addition of Phillips is another instance of what president of baseball operations John Hart has been doing all offseason: adding veteran experience at a low price. Phillips ended the 2016 campaign with a.291 average, 11 home runs, 64 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. Phillips joins a list of new Atlanta players that includes Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, Jaime Garcia and Kurt Suzuki, who only have guaranteed contracts through 2017. In 2015, he appeared in 27 games for the Braves, posting a 5.93 ERA and 1.83 WHIP.