Robinson Cano has stated his desire for a new contract and that desire comes with a $300 million price tag. It would be the biggest surprise in baseball history if Cano got that money. Right now, the New York Yankees and Cano are over $100 million apart and while many people expect the two sides to come together and get a deal done the Yankees are doing their due diligence and checking in on available second basemen just in case.
Earlier this week there were rumors floating around that Omar Infante could be a possible free agent target. The Yankees could still be interested in Infante as insurance for Derek Jeter at shortstop and Alex Rodriguez at third but reports are surfacing that the Yankees called the Cincinnati Reds and checked in on the availability of Brandon Phillips.
Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees called and conversations didn’t get too far as the Yankees gauged the asking price to be too high. Phillips, 32, is available after it seems like the Reds tired of his antics which include his lashing at a reporter most recently. Phillips was once considered one of the best second basemen in the game but has been in decline the last couple of years. He hit .261/.310/.396 this past season, slightly off from his career line of .271/.320/.429. He still has power, having hit exactly 18 home runs the past four seasons.
If the Yankees do lose Cano to a mystery team that comes in and scoops him up they could certainly do a lot worse than trading for Phillips. Phillips still has a couple of good years left but not much more. The biggest problem is Phillips his contract. He is still has $50 million over four years remaining on a six-year, $72.5 million deal. That is a lot of money in a second baseman who might be on the way down in terms of production.
There is also the price in prospects that must also be considered. To take on Phillips’ contract and surrender prospects would be asking a lot. The Yankees would be better off signing a free agent like Infante if they happen to lose Cano. Make no mistake, the Yankees want Cano back and they will do everything in their power, at least within reason, to make that happen but you can’t blame Brian Cashman for doing his due diligence.