Yankees: Brandon Phillips should be signed for infield help

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Yankees have actively shopped for infield options ever since the departures of Starlin Castro and Chase Headley.

Re-signing Todd Frazier was a possibility, but he will likely want more than a one-year contract, contrary to what the Yankees are looking for.

Brandon Drury and Josh Harrison have been potential trade targets, but there has been no significant progress made, as Brian Cashman has been stingy in giving up any of the players that these teams are seeking.

Manny Machado’s name has slid into trade talks on multiple occasions. This would not make sense, however. He would only be a one-year rental and there are no guarantees that he will re-sign in 2019.

There is no reason to give up top farmhands when the Yankees are already a favorite to sign Machado when his contract expires. Patience, Bronx faithful.

Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres have the opportunity to be in the Opening Day lineup, but it is not certain that both of them will be prepared.

Andujar seems to be the one with the best chance emerging in pinstripes come April. He tore up the minors last year and was brilliant in a short major league stint. If he can show improvements with his glove, then he is sure to secure the third base job.


One free agent that has been overlooked this offseason is Brandon Phillips. He is an option that the Yanks need to at least consider. Phillips has been surprisingly consistent with his offensive output even at his advanced age.

Aside from 2013 and 2014, Phillips has hit over .275 in every season since 2008. Even in those two seasons, he hit in the .260s and was still a valuable part of the Reds’ offense. He finished with 60 or more RBI in all of those seasons except those above two. He has, however, had a decline in power due to aging; but that has not changed his ability to get on base.

New York has acquired quite enough power to make up for what they will lose from Todd Frazier. The combination of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Greg Bird (when healthy), is all the power the Yanks need and then some.

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Now at 36-years-old, Phillips finished with an incredibly underrated season between the Braves and Angels in ’17. He slashed .285/.319/.416 with 34 doubles, 60 RBI, 13 home runs and a .308 BABIP. Phillips would be a viable bottom of the lineup type-guy who can get on base for the top of the lineup to drive him in.

BP offers several other things besides just his offense. Most importantly, he provides some breathing room for Torres. There is no need to rush him to the majors if there is an established player like Phillips already in his position.

Torres could ease his way back to form instead of being thrown in from the get go. Due to his small sample size at the Triple-A level last year, Cash ought to be cautious with a player of Torres’ caliber.

Although the Yanks have players like Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade to fill in for Torres, Phillips has a track record of success, whereas Toe and Wade do not.

Sure, Toe had an excellent season, hitting two ticks below .300 as a utility man, but that was only one of two full seasons in the majors. He is going to be needed at third should Andujar hit growing pains, which is very realistic.

That leaves Wade for second base. He has gone 9-for-58 in his MLB career, and has not shown much, if anything. I realize that this is an extremely small sample, but I would rather have Phillips, who has proven himself, rather than a player who is still trying to find himself.

Phillips offers a short-term, low-cost contract that the Yankees want. Due to the inactive hot stove this offseason, Phillips is likely eager to take any offer thrown his way. Spotrac has his value at a little over $6 million per year.

This would be a steal if he took a one-year, $6 million contract. As long as they can sign him for under $10 million, the Yankees will still have considerable wiggle room before hitting the luxury tax threshold.

Next: Yanks sign Jace Peterson

The Yankees need to take advantage of this disregarded free agent. He definitely has something left in the tank, and it only aids in Torres’ development. BP4 would fare well in the Bronx.