Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This May Be the Year We See Brandon Phillips in Pinstripes

Ever since Robinson Cano left the New York Yankees for greener pastures, and uniforms, the New York Yankees have had a revolving door and gaping hole at the second base position. Many names have been mentioned as potential replacements for Cano including the Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. Despite his declining defense and troubling offensive stats the Reds tried to pry Brett Gardner from New York in a trade in December of 2013 and that sort of trade may be proposed again except this time the Yankees may accept.

I am of the same mindset of Robert Refsnyder is lately, he’s not getting called up so why even give a crap. New York has proven this time and time again with the signing of Stephen Drew and the unwillingness to even give Refsnyder a shot. So if the team won’t call up Refsnyder and won’t give Jose Pirela a legitimate shot to work out the kinks then will that push the Yankees into the trade market?

Phillips looks a bit more attractive now than he did back in the winter of 2013 mainly because years and salary have come off his contract. New York was wise to keep Gardner then and would immediately hang up on the rebuilding Reds GM now if Gardner’s name were muttered. This time around Phillips would be more of a salary dump, Phillips is owed $34 million until 2017, and would cost the Yankees less in the terms of prospects and players. Honestly it may cost the Yankees Refsnyder, and I would seriously consider my place as a fan of this team if that were to happen, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I would rather see Refsnyder get a shot with Cincinnati’s big league club then to see him rot in Triple-A here only to be seen on our weekly prospects check ins. So is the curse of being a New York Yankees prospect I guess.

Phillips just turned 34 years old on Sunday and is currently slashing .290/.324/.371 with four home runs, 28 RBI and 11 steals in a hitting friendly ballpark in Cincinnati. Phillips is sporting a .316 BABIP, which is far above his career .293 BABIP, so a regression seems imminent for Phillips but I don’t think he’ll fall so far that we jokingly make comments about moving and renaming the Mendoza Line after him. Even if he does regress he can be better than Drew and force Drew to where he belongs, the bench, while still handing the club above-average defense, speed and stolen bases. Phillips may not lead the team to October baseball and the World Series alone but he would make many fans, including myself, worry far less about the future of the second base position. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)