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Report: Brandon Phillips blocked a trade to the Braves

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips blocked a trade that would have sent him to the Braves back in November. Rosenthal notes that the Braves were trying to bring Phillips in at the same time they pursued Sean Rodriguez, who signed a two-year $11.5 million contract later that month. As a result, the Braves are almost certainly no longer interested in Phillips.

Phillips, 35, has one year and $14 million remaining on his contract with the rebuilding Reds. As the Reds have some younger players who could benefit from experience, namely Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera, Phillips is looking at reduced playing time during the 2017 season in Cincinnati.

Phillips hit a serviceable .291/.320/.416 with 11 home runs, 64 RBI, 74 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 584 plate appearances last season.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.