Yesterday, I talked about one of the Cincinnati Reds trade candidates, Bronson Arroyo. Well today, I’ll talk about another Reds trade candidate, second baseman Brandon Phillips.
Phillips has had a pretty interesting career so far. He has been involved in two extremely lopsided trades.
In 2002, Phillips was traded from the Montreal Expos to the Cleveland Indians along with Cliff Lee, Lee Stevens, and Grady Sizemore for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.
And in 2006, Phillips was traded from the Indians to the Reds for the ever so popular player to be named later. Or PTBNL as all the cool kids say. That player turned out to be Jeff Stevens.
So Phillips has already been involved in two lopsided trades–will he be involved in a third? Let’s take a look at the pros and the cons of Phillips and what teams would be possible suitors for the man who went to high school in Stone Mountain, GA.
I wonder if he knows Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who also hails from Stone Mountain, GA?
Because Phillips hasn’t played on a national stage since joining the Reds, people don’t realize how good Phillips actually is.
Over the last three years, Phillips ranks third amongst all major league second baseman in home runs with 71, sixth in hits with 494, third in triples with 19, and second in stolen bases with 80.
Not only can Phillips do it with the bat, but he can do it with the glove. Phillips is one of best defensive second baseman in baseball.
Phillips won a Gold Glove in 2008 (not that it means much), but more importantly, Phillips has ranked at the top in second baseman UZR over the last three years.
As a matter of fact, only Chase Utley has a higher UZR over the last three years than Phillips.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Phillips is his contract. Phillips has two years remaining on his contract with a club option for 2012.
Phillips is set to make $6.75 million in 2010 and $11 million in 2011. That is very reasonable for a man who is only 28-years-old and has been worth $28 million over the last two years according to Fangraphs.
In a game where OBP is highly valued, Phillips hasn’t seen a pitch he hasn’t liked. Phillips did set a career high in walks in 2009 with 44, but that is nothing to get excited about.
Phillips ranked 12th in OPS amongst second baseman in 2009 behind guys like Alberto Callaspo and Martin Prado.
Perhaps the only other question a GM could have with Phillips is can he produce on a big stage? It’s one thing to put up big numbers when your team is 20 games out of first in August, but can you do it when your team is battling for a playoff spot?
There is only one way to figure out the answer to that question.
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of acquiring Phillips, let’s take a look at what teams would be interested in the Reds’ second baseman.
New York Mets: Obviously the Mets would have to find a taker for their current second baseman, Luis Castillo. That is a task all by itself.
However, if they can get rid of Castillo, I think Phillips would be perfect with the Mets, who should be building their team around pitching, defense, and speed.
Los Angeles Dodgers: As I mentioned yesterday with Dan Uggla, the Dodgers need a second baseman. Phillips and Rafael Furcal would be a lethal double play combination in L.A.
Unfortunately, because the McCourts are making a made for TV movie, I am not sure how much salary the Dodgers are willing to take on.
San Diego Padres: The Padres are a lot closer to competing than people think. They have talked about adding payroll in 2010 and if they feel Matt Antonelli isn’t quite ready yet to be their second baseman, Phillips could be a nice player for them.
Minnesota Twins: Nick Punto is a nice little player, but should be a utility on a good team. The Twins are moving into a new stadium, which means new revenues.
They have already added payroll in the form of JJ Hardy and Phillips fits the Twins style of play to a tee.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Are the Angels ready to give up on Howie Kendrick? Every year is supposed to be “Kendrick’s breakout year” and it hasn’t happened yet.
Phillips seems like a perfect fit in Anaheim. He is a great defensive player and can’t you see him being Bobby Abreu’s latest patient pet project?
Believe it or not, the market for second baseman these days isn’t as good as one would think. There are a lot of teams in baseball, who already have quality players at that position.
I am going to say that Phillips does get traded this offseason, with the Twins and Angels being the most likely suitors
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg
Tags: Bartolo Colon, Bobby Abreu, Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, Lee Stevens, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Antonelli, Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Tim Drew