The Yankees could have a $300 million hole at second base if Robinson Cano chooses to leave the club via free agency. (Dodgers, Tigers I’m talking to you). Even as Ricky talked about yesterday, if the Yankees plan falls into place Cano won’t leave, but what if he does? Where would they turn to?
Well internally, Eduardo Nunez could be an option. Jayson Nix and David Adams could be an option as well. With questions at third and short, do you really want another question mark at second too? So let’s try and settle that question. Let’s say the option is acquiring Brandon Phillips, who, according to reports, may be an option on the trade market. Is that a smart allocation of the Cano money?
The 32 year old is owed $50 million over the next four years, something the Yankees should be able to absorb with all the money coming off the books, whether or not they stick to $189 million. Phillips is still very good defensively, has a personality that should be fine in the New York market. But what about the fact that he is at the possible wrong side of his prime? What about his offense? Here are his last three years broken down into an avg/.obp/slugging slash line with home runs, RBI and WAR:
2011: .300/.353/. 457 18 HR 82 RBI 4.9 WAR
2012: .281/.321/.429 18 HR 77 RBI 3.8 WAR
2013: .261/.310/.396 18 HR 103 RBI 1.9 WAR
Yes, his RBI did spike this year, however, that could be because Joey Votto didn’t have as many and also an anomaly. Everything else is trending down, except for the home runs.
All in all, he may not be a terrible idea for a backup plan, depending on the cost of the trade. Phillips is trending downward and there will be a time when he is overpaid for what he is, just like many other players. He won’t have to be the guy, or even the cleanup hitter which he was in Cincinnati. He could blend right in which could help his numbers.