Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/10/14
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Brandon Phillips has been a Pirates killer, but might be moved by the Reds this off-season. (Photo Credit: David Hague) The rivalry between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds saw a boost this season. A big reason for this was that the Pirates were competitive, and were competing with the Reds for the Wild Card spot. They swept Cincinnati in the final weekend of the series to get home field advantage in the Wild Card game. That was followed by a win at PNC Park in the Wild Card game, eliminating the Reds and leading to Dusty Baker getting fired. There are other reasons for the rivalry, other than competitive reasons. There are the hit batters, with the Reds hitting Andrew McCutchen several times. There’s the departed Dusty Baker and Aroldis Chapman playing villains due to those hit batters. And of course there’s Brandon Phillips, who isn’t liked by fans of many teams due to his outspoken personality and his tendency for public complaints. That part of the rivalry might disappear next year, as the Reds are looking to trade Phillips this off-season, according to Bob Nightengale. The #Reds decided a month ago that they will shop Brandon Phillips this winter w all intents to trade him — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 18, 2013 The #Reds intent to trade Brandon Phillips, by the way, has nothing to do w money. They will only trade if get fair value. — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 18, 2013 It’s easy to hate Phillips if you’re on the other side. But trading him might be a good move for the Reds. Phillips was 32 this year, and saw a decline for the second straight season. In 2011 he had an .810 OPS. That dropped to .750 in 2012, and .706 this year. He is also owed $50 M over the next four seasons. This might also be good for the Pirates. Even though Phillips has gone downhill, he still crushes Pittsburgh. He had a .302/.357/.460 line in 63 at-bats this year against the Pirates, including a .407/.485/.741 line in 27 at-bats at PNC Park. In his career he has a .301/.350/.479 line against the Pirates, with a .322/.377/.469 line at PNC. So while trading Phillips would be a smart move overall for the Reds, it would definitely help to see a Pirates killer getting moved out of the NL Central.
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