Phillips as the Mets Second Option
With the Mets most likely losing Daniel Murphy in free agency, there is a hole at second base. The Mets seem comfortable with Dilson Herrera in his place. With that said, Herrera is 21 and may need some more time before being able to take over the position full time.
The problem is the second base free agent market is devoid of stopgap options. When that is the case, you can either stick with what you have, or you could look to trade for a stopgap option. Right now, the Cincinnati Reds are conducting a fire sale and have Brandon Phillips. Would Phillips be worth pursuing?
For his career, Phillips has hit .273/.320/.421. Last year, Phillips hit .294/.328/.395. Now, most of these stats come from his hitting at the Great American Ballpark, which is a hitter’s park. His career OPS+ is 96. Last year, it was at 97. Basically, Phillips is around a league average hitter who shows he’s not in decline offensively despite being 34 years old.
He has an average UZR of 5.8, which makes him an above average second baseman. Like his offense, Phillips has shown that he’s not declining defensively. In the last five years, his respective UZRs have been 11.1, 8.7, 8.6, 8.1, and 2.0. Last year was a drop defensively, but he’s also the best defensive option.
There are two hurdles to him becoming a Met. The first is you need to trade for him (I don’t try to guess what’ll take). The next is his contract. He still has two years and $27 million left on his deal. That’s a lot for a team with limited resources, but still less than what the free agent second baseman are commanding. If the Mets want to add a second baseman, Phillips might be the cheapest option.
Phillips might be the best second option the Mets have right now.