Friday, November 8, 2013

Brandon Phillps vs. Omar Infante

Recently, reports have come out about the Yankees' backup options in case Robinson Cano leaves. I still fully expect Cano to return to the Bronx, but you never know.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Yankees inquired about Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, but that the price was too steep.

George A King III of the New York Post reported that the Yankees will look towards Omar Infante if Cano were to bolt.

Phillips is a player that I would probably not reach the Reds' asking price on because I see him as a player in decline right now. Phillips' .706 OPS last season was the worst of his career and his 91 wRC+ was his worst since 2008.

Phillips' power really hasn't diminished, as he hit 18 home runs for the fourth consecutive season. However, his horrible .310 OBP last year is a huge issue. At age 32 I do not see Phillips getting a whole lot better with the bat if he has already started to decline.

One thing Phillips still has working in his favor is that he is still is an elite defender at second base. That part of his game has not declined. He had a 10.9 defensive rating and a 8.6 UZR last season.

Infante enjoyed a career season for Detroit last year, as he hit .318/.345/.450/.795 and 117 wRC+ in 118 games. Infante is also 32 years old, but seems to be on the upswing in his career.

Infante offers more positional flexibility than Phillips, and he can even be an option for third base if Cano re signs and Alex Rodriguez is suspended. Infante's defense is passable with a 2.0 UZR and a 3.8 defensive rating last year.

When you factor in that Infante will not cost you and prospects, and may be the better overall player at this point, than he would probably be the way to go if Cano leaves. You would have been crazy for taking Infante over Phillips a few years ago, but now that seems like the way to go.

However, the bottom line remains that there is a huge gap between Infante and Cano. If Cano were to leave in free agency the Yankees would have a very little chance of being a contending team in 2014.

Daniel already mentioned this, but here is another reminder. I am doing a survey for a research class for college about the distribution of wealth in the United States. I need as many responses as possible, so if you can please fill it out by clicking HERE I would really appreciate it. It will take less than a minute of your time I promise! Thank you very much.

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