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Reds trade Brandon Phillips to Braves

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UPDATE, 2:31 PM EDT: The Braves and Reds have confirmed the deal. The Reds will receive left-hander Andrew McKirahan and minor league right-hander Carlos Portuondo for Brandon Phillips. “We are excited to add Brandon Phillips to our club,” Braves’ GM John Coppolella said in a statement released by the club. “He is a Gold-Glove caliber defender who will also deepen our offensive lineup. We are thrilled to ‘welcome home’ Brandon to Atlanta, where he will play in front of his family and friends and many of his fans.”

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Braves have acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Reds. Neither team has confirmed the deal, though multiple reports from Olney and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman expect them to make an official announcement on Monday after “administrative boxes are checked.” The Braves will absorb just $1 million of Phillips’ remaining $14 million salary and send left-hander Andrew McKirahan and right-hander Carlos Portuondo to the Reds (via Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer).

It’s been a long offseason for Phillips, who blocked a trade to the Braves in November and cited “certain, unspecific issues” with the Reds that kept him from giving up his no-trade rights. Whether or not they addressed those issues remains unclear, though Phillips’ reservations about signing on with another team appear to be resolved.

The 35-year-old infielder rounded out his 11th season with the Reds in 2016, batting .291/.320/.421 with 11 home runs and 14 stolen bases through 584 PA. His value dipped below 1.0 fWAR for the first time since his 2005 campaign with the Indians, settling at an 0.9 mark that followed an impressive 2.7 fWAR season with the Reds in 2015. While his decline can be attributed in part to an unexpected hand injury that cropped up at the end of last season, he reportedly passed his physical on Sunday.

The trade is a timely one for both the Reds and the Braves, the latter of whom needed to improve their infield depth after newly-acquired second baseman Sean Rodriguez injured his shoulder in a car accident last month. On Saturday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that Rodriguez is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his left shoulder and will be sidelined for 3-5 months. The Reds, meanwhile, were finally able to streamline their middle infield options and will likely turn to 22-year-old Jose Peraza as a replacement for Phillips in Cincinnati.

Nationals release Joe Nathan and Matt Albers

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At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.

Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.

This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.

This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.

Six-year old boy reports the Indians want to give Francisco Lindor a seven-year contract

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The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.

That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:

“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”

Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.

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