Over the last few days, various reports have mentioned the Kansas City Royals and Brandon Phillips in the same breath. Phillips would certainly be an offensive upgrade over Emilio Bonifacio, and would bring a legitimate bat to the line up. Is he available though? According to Ken Rosenthal, via twitter, it looks unlikely the Cincinnati Reds will trade Phillips.
Of course, that could all just be posturing on the part of the Reds. It seems a little late to be reluctant to part ways with Phillips. It is also suspect that he is not included in the team’s Fanfest.
There is little doubt the Royals have at least thought about the possibility of adding Phillips.
So, what would the 32-year old Brandon Phillips bring to the Royals? Last year, in 151 games, Phillips had a slash of .271/.310/.396/.706. These numbers were below his career slash all the way across the board. He did, however, hit 18 home runs and produce a career high 103 RBI. This high run production is due to the fact the batted 4th most of the season, behind such on-base beasts as Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto.
If Phillips had maybe two years left on his contract, he might be a more viable target for the Kansas City Royals, but he still has 4 years left on his present deal. He is still owed $50 million. Now $12.5 million a year for Phillips if he were a couple of years younger would be a pretty decent deal but he will be 36 years old when the contract expires and there are already signs that his offensive prowess is slipping.
Even if the Reds throw in, say $10 million, and didn’t require Danny Duffy, Yordano Ventura, or Kyle Zimmer to be part of the deal, this would be a borderline positive for Kansas City. He might produce well this year, maybe even in 2015, but the Royals would most likely be stuck with him for the final two years of his deal.
Howie Kendrick, or even Dustin Ackley (if Robinson Cano actually signs in Seattle- not going to happen) might be better solutions at second base than Phillips at this point. Of course, the Royals may not think second base is a problem position. According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, this gem sums up the Royals thoughts on second base.
Also, Moore said earlier this week: “Second base is not a huge priority for us.”