Phillips deal continues to haunt Indians
Four years ago the Cleveland Indians traded under-performing and slow-developing Brandon Phillips to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later.
The deal has been haunting them ever since.
The worst part of the deal for the Indians is not that Phillips hit .452 and was named NL Player of the Week the very same week he was acquired by Cincinnati, or that in 2007 he joined Eric Davis and Berry Larkin as the only 30-30 players in Reds history.
It's not even the fact that in 2008 he led all NL second baseman with a .990 fielding percentage and won his first Gold Glove.
The worst part of the deal for Cleveland is what Phillips does against them, twice a year, every year, during interleague play.
Phillips has still not forgiven the Indians for giving up on him, and he makes them pay every time he steps to the plate against Cleveland pitching.
In 29 career games against the Tribe, Phillips is batting .354 (40-113) with five home runs, 24 runs scored and 20 runs batted in.
Phillips' career OPS against his former club is an impressive .930, nearly .200 points higher than his career total.
Phillips continued his tear against Chief Wahoo this past weekend, going 5-12 with two runs scored and one run batted in.
Since being traded to Cincinnati in 2006, Phillips has been a staple on the right side of the Reds' infield.
Cleveland however has struggled to find someone to fill the same position. Since the trade, the Indians have started 17 different players at second base.
Another 20-20 season for Phillips in 2010 would make it his fourth straight season reaching the 20-20 plateau since joining the Reds.
The "player to be named later" turned out to be pitcher Jeff Stevens.
Stevens, now a part of the Chicago Cubs organization has one career major league win and an ERA of 4.71.<!--EndFragment-->