With the preposterous season Dan Uggla had, specifically during the tail end of the year that forced the Braves to start Elliot Johnson at second base in the playoffs, the Braves are likely going to be in the market for a second baseman this offseason.
According to Dave O'Brien of the AJC, the Braves will be interested in moving Dan Uggla to Cincinnati along with a top prospect to gain the services of Brandon Phillips.
Phillips is coming off his worst offensive season since 2008, but he still plays stellar defense and would be extremely helpful in terms of run prevention if the Braves were to acquire him. Uggla and Phillips actually had an identical 91 wRC+ last season but Phillips plays gold glove caliber defense while Uggla is one of the worst defensive second baseman the game has seen.
Matt Klaasen of Fangraphs.com detailed Brandon Phillips as a trade asset yesterday. The article is certainly worth a look.
Currently everything is still speculation, but I could see the Braves making this kind of move to rid themselves of Uggla and stay competitive at the position. Phillips is currently 32-years-old and is under contract until 2017. His pay structure over the next four years is $11m in 2014, $12m in 2015, $13m in 2016, and $14m in 2017, when he will end the season as a 36-year-old.
I like the concept of trying to get better at the position, but I would certainly have some hesitation in acquiring a player on the wrong side of 30, who is coming off a bad offensive season, and who will be getting paid as handsomely as Phillips will when he will likely be nearing retirement.
With that said, it is reasonable for the front office to think that they have a "window" to compete for a World Series title over the next couple of years until some of the arbitration eligible players hit free agency. I absolutely feel that Phillips would make the team better next year, so I think I would be on board for a swap of Uggla for Phillips as long as the prospect isn't a high caliber one. I think there are other angles to explore that could be more cost efficient, but I would be fine with the deal if it ever did occur.