15 years after being traded for each other, Brandon Phillips and Bartolo Colon are teammates
Fifteen years after Bartolo Colon and Brandon Phillips swapped teams as part of a blockbuster trade that is still reverberating throughout MLB, the two will be teammates for the 2017 season. On Sunday, the Braves and Reds completed a deal that will send Phillips to Atlanta, where, every five days, he will position himself behind Colon on the mound.
So, how did we get from this -- To 2017? Let's break it down step-by-step.
Phillips began his career in Montreal, drafted in the second round in 1999. After a few seasons in the Minors, he was traded to the Indians in the aforementioned deal, along with Lee Stevens, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore (like we said, it was quite the trade). After playing parts of four seasons in Cleveland, Phillips was traded to the Reds for pitcher Jeff Stevens. Now, after 11 seasons in Cincinnati, where the three-time All-Star won four Gold Glove Awards at second base, he is headed to Atlanta in exchange for Minor League pitchers Andrew McKirahan and Carlos Portuondo.
Colon's path is a little longer. He began in Cleveland, with an All-Star nod in 1998, and was in the middle of a 2.55 ERA season when he was traded to Montreal halfway through 2002. Six months later, he was traded again, this time to the White Sox for Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Liefer and Rocky Biddle. He signed with the Angels after the 2003 season and spent four seasons in Anaheim -- including 2005, when he won 21 games and took home the American League Cy Young Award. After his stint with the Angels, Colon began the journeyman portion of his career, going from the Red Sox to the White Sox (again) to the Yankees to the A's and, most recently, to the Mets all over a span of eight years. In November, Colon signed with the Braves for what will be his 20th Major League season.
For those keeping track, that's nine teams between the two of them, and a lot of miles: