CINCINNATI -- Jason Sansone wasn’t surprised that Cincinnati Reds star Brandon Phillips was traded. He was only surprised that Phillips didn’t leave sooner.
Sansone, of Covington, has been a Reds fan “since birth.” He said Phillips seemed like a really good player in a not-so-good situation.
Phillips, Reds second baseman and fan favorite, was traded to the Atlanta Braves early Sunday morning, a move that opens up the infield, likely for top prospect Jose Peraza.
Sansone said the trade will be a good thing, at least for Phillips.
“Brandon Phillips is the best defensive second baseman I’ve ever seen … also more than adequate at the plate,” Sansone said. “He’ll be missed, but I think he deserves a better situation than what the Reds are in right now.”
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Mark Folta, of Maineville, said he was shocked to hear about the trade.
“I couldn’t believe it. He’s such a great player,” Folta said. “He’s kind of like the face of the Reds … I was really bummed out to hear about it.”
Halsey Mably, of Over-the-Rhine, said trading Phillips will help the Reds rebuild.
“They’re losing an all-star player … that hits for the leadership on the team, but I think going young, and finding leadership and getting these guys playing time right now will be a big thing for the Reds,” Mably said.
The Reds picked up right-hander Carlos Portuondo, 29, and left-hander Andrew McKirahan, 27, in Sunday's deal, but many fans are left wondering who will replace “Dat Dude.”
As for replacing Phillips, Mably isn’t entirely sure, but he’s confident they’ll find the right player.
“We’ll just have to see what Price is going to do with the lineup, and I know he’ll make the right choice.”
Mably doubts the Reds will find a defensive player that compares to Phillips.
“His defense, you just can’t replace that,” Mably said. “He was -- I mean, even at this age now -- he’s still one of the best defenders in baseball.
“That’s what you lose. He just fields the thing better than anyone else.”
But for those who are tried-and-true like Folta, the trade doesn’t change much.
“It’ll change the dynamics a little bit, but I’m still a Reds fan,” Folta said.