Yankees Say No To Brandon Phillips

Cashman confirms Dellin Betances has a minor league option for 2014
Yankees lose Kahnle, four others in Rule 5 Draft
Nope. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Nope. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

It appears there will be at least one more mention of Brandon Phillips. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Yankees rejected a Cincinnati Reds offer of Phillips for Brett Gardner. By itself that makes enough sense. While Gardner and Phillips produce their offensive value in different ways, it amounts to a similar run value. The only advantage Phillips holds is that he plays a position the Yankees need, which hardly seems to make up for the $46 million difference in salaries owed ($7 million in 2014).

The difference in salary would have actually been far greater in any potential grade. Heyman goes onto say that, when the Reds approached him about a deal, Phillips asked them to re-open his contract and add money. That’s quite a bold move after the kind of season Phillips had in 2013. It also comes as little surprise. From Day 1 it seems Phillips was unhappy with his contract, especially since it came just after teammate Joey Votto signed a $225 million deal. He got a no-trade clause in his deal, and apparently intends to leverage it.

Heyman says that Philips’s request came before the Yankees rejected the offer, so perhaps that was the kicker. Still, even a one-for-one swap seems a bit odd. The Yankees seemingly have a surplus in the outfield and a deficit at second base, but the issue is a bit more complex than that. For instance, are they really going to either 1) count on Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran full-time in the outfield corners or 2) go out and sign or trade for a fourth outfielder? Neither of those scenarios seems ideal. While Gardner doesn’t profile as a typical left fielder, he’s performed well there in the past. His bat isn’t as bad as people think — it’s in the top two-thirds of outfielders since the 2010 season.

There’s plenty of off-season left, and the Yankees, as Cashman says, are ready to rock n roll. This likely isn’t the last we’ll hear about a Gardner-for-Phillips swap. Hopefully any further overtures end with the same rejection.

Cashman confirms Dellin Betances has a minor league option for 2014
Yankees lose Kahnle, four others in Rule 5 Draft
  • Dave M

    I’m not as big of a Garner fan as most of you are. However, I would NOT make that trade. I just think that Phillips is a player on the decline and a bad apple in the clubhouse.

    • lou

      I’m not a big Gardner fan either but I would have made this trade as the Yankees only have Gardner till the end of 2014 and would have filled a pretty decent hole at 2b. Brandon had a down year due to a hand injury and I’m a firm believer that he also is the better ball player.

      If the Yankees don’t wanna do that swap I’d see if they would throw Homer in there or use Gardner for a starting pitcher. I’d move Gardner for the right package rather quickly then later as it seems Gardner can’t stay healthy for an entire season.

      • BamBamMusings

        Phillips was slightly above replacement (2.6 war with declining production) level last year and has a top $$ contract for a 2B. He’s 32 years old (would actually fit right in with the yanks in that respect) signed through his 36 season. Not to mention some attitude issues in his history. Trading Gardy for Phillips would be terrible.

        • FIPster Doofus

          I don’t want Phillips, but 2.6 WAR isn’t “slightly above replacement.” Replacement is 0.0.

  • nycsportzfan

    I’d say there is more then one advantage to Brandon Phillips other then him playing 2nd base, a positon of need for the yanks. That is, hes also a right handed hitter that has alittle pop. Something the yanks have very little of.

  • Oops I Crapped My Pants

    Thank goodness. They are saying his agent asked for his contract to be opened as well?? This guy is rediculous. This may be the smartest move by the Yankees this whole off season.

    Way to go Cashman!!

  • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

    Apparently Cashman heard.

    “Your trade proposal sucks.”

    Also, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.

  • OldYanksFan

    On another site, 1 poster was claiming HOW GREAT Phillips was because he had 103 RBI last year. Needless to say, he got a lot of shit from other posters.

    So I was curious and did a bit of work on this.
    Here’s what I posted.
    (I added Gardner’s numbers for this post).
    If you are curious, and want to see how clutch’y/RBI’y Phillips is, look at:
    It has a number of ‘clutch’ stats, including RBI/Triple Slash for every combination of Outs/Men on base.

    Here a bit of a CAREER summary:
    Phillips RISP::: 1555 PA, 529 RBI, .284 .349 .431 .780
    Phillips MenOn: 2630 PA, 607 RBI, .280 .334 .429 .763
    Phillips total Career Triple Slash ::: .271 .320 .429 .749

    Ellis RISP::: 1421 PA, 415 RBI, .266 .347 .387 .734
    Ellis MenOn: 2407 PA, 473 RBI, .276 .345 .400 .745
    Ellis total Career Triple Slash :::: .265 .330 .390 .720

    Now this ain’t perfect, because we don’t know the breakdown of whether any RISP/MenOn

    situation is: Bases Load and less than 2 out -or- Man on 1st (only) and 2 Out
    (although BREF DOES give the numbers for each situation… I just don’t have the time to

    do ALL the math)

    So here’s what I see:
    Career wise, Phillips is a slightly better hitter: .749 vs .720 OPS, 96 vs 94 OPS+
    Phillip’s BA with MenOn is +0.009 (compared to career), his OPS is +0.014.
    M.Ellis’s BA with MenOn is +0.011 (compared to career), his OPS is +0.025.

    And for shits and giggles:

    ARod RISP::: 3284 PA, 1252 RBI, .295 .398 .531 .929
    ARod MenOn: 5545 PA, 1624 RBI, .302 .390 .561 .951
    ARod total Career Triple Slash :::: .299 .384 .558 .942
    ARod’s BA with MenOn is +0.003 (compared to career), his OPS is +0.009.

    Jeter RISP::: 2959 PA, 982 RBI, .302 .395 .421 .816
    Jeter MenOn: 4950 PA, 1085 RBI, .311 .390 .425 .815
    Jeter total Career Triple Slash :::: .312 .381 .446 .828
    Jeter’s BA with MenOn is -0.010 (compared to career), his OPS is -0.013.

    Gardner RISP::: 528 PA, 144 RBI, .295 .383 .402 .786
    Gardner MenOn: 877 PA, 162 RBI, .283 .366 .395 .761
    Gardner total Career Triple Slash :::: .268 .352 .381 .733
    Gardner’s BA with MenOn is +0.027 (compared to career), his OPS is +0.053.

    who is REALLY Clutchy McClutchster?

    • Jimmy

      Interesting. Basically Phillips has power while Gardner has the ability to walk, with a slight overall advantage to Phillips.

      Gardner also averages 4.26 pitches per at bat vs. 3.62 for Phillips, more than half a pitch per at bat (league average is 3.78). Even though that amounts to only 2-3 pitches per game, its an added value for Gardner.

      • lou

        Not really when you can’t do anything on the base paths. Brandon is the better ball player. Guys a #4 hitter what’s Gardner a #9?

        • lou

          Think of it this way Ells, Jeter are going to bat 1 $ 2 where does Gardner fit in? #9 I think the Yankees can pull this trade off and should making their lineup stronger with Brandon in the mix. Keep in mind he’s a right handed hitter also.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            Where does Phillips fit in? #8? And for a lot more $$$.
            Gardner outperformed Phillips this year.
            So did Omar Infante, and he’d be cheaper, and they’d be able to keep Gardner.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Gardner’s performance was above average for a leadoff hitter.

          Phillips is not a #4 hitter. He was a below average hitter last year and for his career. That is absolutely not a #4 caliber hitter. Not at all. Not even close.

        • Caballo Sin Nombre

          #4 hitter with a .396 Slugging Average? That would be one sad offense.

  • blake

    I like Philips ok but his contract is a mess and you could just sign Infante and keep Gardner so yes it was good that they turned this down.

    What I do find interesting is that they keep talking about 189 as a goal and they literally can’t even sign Infante and stay under the cap…..even if Arod is suspended all season they have less than 10 to spend…..if Alex gets 100 games they are already over.

    So I hope they are just saying that for leverage…..because it’s pretty much over. Fill the holes Hal….you’ve already lost all the draft picks and spend 300+ million…..time to go for it now.

    • mitch

      Agreed. Phillips makes no sense as long as Infante is available. I’d only take him if CIN kicked in some money and didn’t require much in return. A one for one with Gardner is insane.

      • blake

        the report was that Phillips wanted even more money to approve a deal to the Yankees!

    • OldYanksFan

      I agree with you here, but in truth, there aren’t that many FA’s I’d like, based on what it would cost and how it effects the future. The Mets got Colon (2/$20m) who I wanted. The pickins are getting pretty thin. There are a few RP guys that are worth a look.

      • blake

        Tanaka is the guy they should be after. They really need another starter and 25 year olds don’t hit free agency that often. They can’t sign him and stay under the 189 mark…..heck they really can’t sign anybody and stay under anymore

        • TWTR

          Sherman had a note in a recent column that they weren’t as interested in Tanaka as they were. Maybe that is wrong, but if it is accurate, Hal’s yacht may already be sinking…with him on it.

  • CONservative governMENt

    I’m glad the Yankees are waiting out offers for Gardner. A team could get antsy and make a very nice trade proposal as players come off the board.

    Would be fine with Infante and Mark Reynolds plus pitching.

  • LarryM Fl

    No one knows the Yankee plan or counter plans to remedy the situation that they’re facing. I’m happy with the no, reply to Phillips. He is no fix at second with his contract. As I said before. Gardner should go for a pitcher if any trade for him is completed. We need pitching. Second ,third and shortstop will work itself out especially if Infante is signed for about 8/10 million for 3 years.

    Arod will be suspended at least 65 games. So we have some 11 million to use. I do not see the Yankees being under 189 this year.

  • Joshaua Lujan

    Just screw plan 189, all of the draft picks are gone, we need a second base, and throw in Ichiro and either Heathcott or Mason Williams. Get Homer Bailey and get on with our lives. Relying on a farm system isn’t the Yankees! Spending all of the money is the right way to go! Hal is right by saying this is not my father’s team but his father won some rings unlike Hal. So just go back to the old ways. Plus I’d rather give up those guys and get these guys in return.

    • Oops I Crapped My Pants

      If you were to add these guys with those guys…now you really got some guys.

    • OldYanksFan

      His father won all those rings on our farm.
      Jeter, Jorge, Bernie, Andy and Mo.
      “Relying on a farm system isn’t the Yankees!”
      If this continues to be true, you can count on a lot of 1965’s.

  • SouthPaw429

    Signing Ellis for 1 Year and trading Gardner for a SP only is the way to go. I would like to see Gardner stay and have a big year. With the money that OF are getting, we can offer him a Qualifying Offer next season and at least get a 1st Round draft pick out of it.
    But if you can get a solid #3/4 for him and maybe some spare parts, you have to do it. No need for Phillips on this team

  • blake

    will say this about Phillips though…..he hit 338 .404 .469 .873 with RISP last year….that and having Choo on base all the time helped him get those 103 RBI

  • OldYanksFan

    I don’t think we NEED a 2Bman. If we get some Pitching there is nothing wrong with 1, or even 2 weak bats… especially at the middle INF positions.

    There as a few nice FA SS options next year.
    Are there any good 2Bmna options? The list is:

    Emilio Bonifacio (30)
    Rafael Furcal (37)
    Kelly Johnson (33)
    Nick Punto (37) – club/vesting option
    Rickie Weeks (32) – $11.5MM vesting option
    Ben Zobrist (34) – $7.5MM club option ($500k buyout)

    And I believe ARod WILL play in 2015.
    Is he a full-time DH? BU-3Bman or 1/2 time or more at 3B?

    I do think in terms of looking for a 2Bman and 3Bman for this year, we need to look ahead a bit.

    • lou

      You don’t think the Yankees need a 2b? They hardly have an infield….?

  • http://www.myphillywebsite.com Tim McGuire (Computer Doctors)

    I say get two more solid starters and you can put me out there at 2b and the Yankees will be fine. And I love Derek Jeter but I really love the 1 2 punch and the idea of what Ellisbury and Gardner can wreak havoc and disrupt even the best pitchers on the basepaths at the top on the Yankees order….

    • lou

      There is no possible way the Yankees do a Ells and Gardner thing. #2 is Jeter’s spot as long as he can stay healthy and out there. Jeter when healthy showed no signs on slowing down with the bat.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        When was that?
        2 years ago?

        • Nick Social


          Jeter has forgotten how to play baseball between today and game 1 of the 2012 ALCS.

  • Preston

    I like Phillips better than Infante, slightly better BB rate, slightly more power and slightly better defense. The reason Infante had the better season last year was his BABIP was inflated and Phillips was deflated, I wouldn’t bet on that going forward. However, if the Reds want Gardner back in the trade the answer is no. Gardner should be playing everyday and trading him downgrades the current roster. I would consider trading Gardner but only for a pitcher or starting 3b, we need to trade for a 3b, there are literally no 3b available I mean Eric Chavez and Mark Reynolds are the cream of the crop. So unless the Reds, and apparently Phillips, come way down on their asking price the answer is no, fill 2b only using money save the trade chips for things not available in FA.

  • http://www.myphillywebsite.com Tim McGuire (Computer Doctors)

    The only way I would trade for Phillips and get rid of Gardner would be Yankees deal Gardner, someone like Nunez and a mid level prospect for Phillips, Homer Bailey and Sean Marshall and I’m not even sure if I would do this deal Thoughts?

  • novymir

    We need to keep Gardner for insurance. What if Ells or Soriano breaksdown during the season?

    I like having both Ells and Gardner in the lineup. Speed is what the Yankees lack.

    • Nick Social


      You can count on Gardner to be healthy. I can’t say that about any of the other outfielders.

      Not to mention, Soriano and Beltran should be splitting time at DH anyways.

  • Kosmo

    I would consider a Gardner for Phillips swap IF the Reds included Homer Bailey AND ate 15 million off Phillips current contract. Yanks could add 1 or 2 prospects depending on who they are. any additional money Phillips would demand comes out of the Reds pocket.

    Another dumb trade proposal – Gardner for Cahill and Gregorius.

  • rogue

    That the Yankees even considered this trade frightens me.

    Phillips is toxic. Gardner could be a Victorino-type player: speed/defense in a spacious corner OF position (RF in Fenway and LF in YS).

  • Albearrrr

    Please dont get Phillips!

  • rogue

    I hope the Yankees say “no” to Infante. His D is poor and can no longer hit.

  • rogue

    I would take a chance on Brian Roberts.

    Mark Ellis would be my next choice.

    Infante? Please, no!

  • Tom

    Joe P – you should use that pic for at least 1 article a week, even if it has nothing to do with Phillips.

    In other news, Reds are apparently now interested in Infante as well. Maybe their new plan is to sign all the 2nd baseman to force Brandon Phillips on someone?

    Maybe the Yankees should sign Infante and shop him to the Reds? I joke, but that the Reds are looking to sign Infante who wants 4/40 (and will get at least 3/24), should be an indicator of Phillips value to them.

  • Jake

    I don’t want to see the Yankees trade Brett Gardner. Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells, and Ichiro Suzuki will be free agents after next season. Having Gardner and Ellsbury together in the outfield gives them youth, speed and great defense. And, Gardner offers protection in case Ellsbury gets huret. As I stated, three of those won’t be here beyond next season. Yankees should offer Gardner a contract extension in spring training and keep him in pinstripes.