Welcome to Boston, Brandon Phillips

Red(s)HawksFan

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He signed a minor league deal. He hasn't played anywhere this year. There's no guarantee we ever actually see him in a Red Sox uniform. Reasonable depth flier to see if he has anything left. Nothing to really get excited about though.
 

RedOctober3829

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.735 OPS last year between the Braves and Angels. Give him a couple weeks to get ABs at AAA and bring him up to start at 2B. Nunez and Holt now become bench pieces and that might signal the end of Swihart.
 

drbretto

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I understand we're not getting the same Brandon Phillips, but he's a fun player to watch. I hope he ends up contributing.
 

The Gray Eagle

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He hits RH, and had a UZR around average next year. He's got to be better defensively at 2B than Nunez.

Hopefully this will light a fire under Nunez, because now we have an in-house option if he continues to suck, even if Pedroia doesn't come back (and I'm starting to fear we don't see him before September, if then.)
 

mauf

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Likely seeing if he can solve RHH issue without trading assets. Overall pretty similar career to Pedroia?
Um, what?

I’m not going to bother refuting this in detail, but here are links to their respective Fangraphs pages.

https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=791&position=2B

https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=8370&position=2B

That said, this is a really nice pickup — to the point that I’m wondering what the catch is. Even replacement level would be an upgrade at 2B for the Sox, and Phillips is materially better than that.

Edit: Rosenthal report suggests this is more of a “deep depth” signing, and an option if the FO decides Devers needs a AAA stint to get himself unfucked. Of course, it’s also possible DD is dissembling about the severity of Pedroia’s injury in advance of the trade deadline, and this is actually the straightforward 2B pickup a lot of us immediately assumed it was.
 

MikeM

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Thread title is misleading, as I'd probably give it less then 50/50 he sees a game here at the MLB level.

Decent break glass depth signing though.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I don't understand Phillips being groomed to back up Devers. Unless he can just pick up 2B like the back of his hand quickly and they just want 3rd for flexibility.

seems like he'll be an FA again sometime next month, regardless
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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This strikes me as more of a Jhonny Peralta type signing than anything. He'll get a couple weeks worth of playing time in Pawtucket, reach his first opt-out, decide he doesn't like the bus life, and be gone.
 

Hawk68

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I understand we're not getting the same Brandon Phillips, but he's a fun player to watch. I hope he ends up contributing.
Wow.

Reminds of Pokey Reese.

Long ago watching a game with my then young sons, a soft sinking liner was falling into medium RF, twisting toward Fenway foul line. "No man's land" for sure.

Out of absolutely nowhere came Reese to make a running chest high catch.

So easily handled it seemed "routine" to Pokey.

To everyone else, unforgetable.

Thanks for sharing the video and the chance to remember.

Respectfully,
Hawk
 

staz

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I like the player and the signing. Don't take the fact that he was available as an indication of skill erosion. It's been a lousy 6 months for free agents league-wide. And Phillips has played at least 140 games with an OPS over .700 each of the past 3 seasons - a pretty high and durable floor.

Thinking the 3B comments are as much about respecting Pedey's desire to get on the field as anything else.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Clearly Swihart's time is done... .possible trade coupled with Johnson or Valazquez for ???
And very likely Pedroia's time with the Red Sox is over. I'm guessing Nunez will be seeing less AB's... unless he continues to suddenly hit like he did for us last year after we picked him up (like tonight for example...)
 

DJnVa

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Always liked Phillips, but he pretty much overlapped with Pedey so there was never really an occasion to wonder about getting him. I hope he can recapture some of what he used to be.
 

EricFeczko

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Because he's 37 in an increasingly younger man's game. And it's not like 2B is a position of high demand. It's arguably a position of surplus overall, league-wide.
Huh? Brandon Phillips would be an enormous upgrade over our current situation.

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=2b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2018&month=0&season1=2018&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=17,d

Brandon Phillips last year hit around the level of a top 10-11 2B (and played 940+ innings at 2B too). He's basically been the same hitter for the past five or so years, so unless someone can show something from his hit profile, I'm not too concerned about his bat.
 

GoDa

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Pedroia’s career isn’t over.
The significantly productive portion of his career is probably over. Contract runs through 2021 and I don't think the Sox would trade him, so he'll be making periodic appearances, in various states of health, at 2nd for at least a few more years.
 

grimshaw

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I don't see him as Pedey insurance so much as Nunez insurance if he becomes DFA worthy.

I don't think they'd ride Phillips as their starting guy in the 2nd half. Way too much to ask given he has missed half a season. I still think that's the position the Sox upgrade this deadline.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Huh? Brandon Phillips would be an enormous upgrade over our current situation.

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=2b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2018&month=0&season1=2018&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=17,d

Brandon Phillips last year hit around the level of a top 10-11 2B (and played 940+ innings at 2B too). He's basically been the same hitter for the past five or so years, so unless someone can show something from his hit profile, I'm not too concerned about his bat.
So, if he is an enormous upgrade, why a) didn't they sign him in February and b) was he still available in June? That was the question I was answering. He was a ~.730 OPS bat the last three years but no one gave him a sniff this winter...there's a reason for that. He's older and his defense has cratered. He might be an upgrade over Nunez at the plate (assuming the time off hasn't degraded his bat). I'm not convinced he's an upgrade defensively and I'm also not convinced he's good enough to take much if any playing time from Holt, who should be the strong side of a 2B platoon at worst (maybe even if Pedroia returns).
 

Mugsy's Jock

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So, if he is an enormous upgrade, why a) didn't they sign him in February...
Probably because there was still a reasonable expectation/hope that Pedroia would return by midseason, so it wasn’t appealing to Phillips nor politically preferable for the Sox. Plus at the time, they probably knew signing Nunez was their first choice if his medical checked out.

I agree with Staz’s take above — DD is being sensitive to Pedroia, but has to start preparing for the possibility they don’t get much out of him this season,
 

DJnVa

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So, if he is an enormous upgrade, why a) didn't they sign him in February and b) was he still available in June?
Because Pedroia's rehab timeline and potential production wasn't known in February and Nunez hit .321 last year but is struggling mightily, which they didn't know would happen in February?

And as to why he's still available, as a FA he's likely not going to go play in Baltimore--he was waiting for a contender to call.
 

chawson

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This is fine. I don’t have high hopes for a guy at his age getting up to game speed over the next 30 days, but if he does, then we’d be less desperate to trade for LeMahieu or Cabrera or Valencia or Pearce or whomever.

I really wish we had snagged Brad Miller when he was DFA’d. Feel like he’s about to do a full Zobrist over in Milwaukee.
 

Coachster

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Miller is a left-handed bat, which is redundant with Holt, Lin and Marco, if he ever returns. IMHO this is a good signing, if he can get his thing together.
 

chawson

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Miller is a left-handed bat, which is redundant with Holt, Lin and Marco, if he ever returns. IMHO this is a good signing, if he can get his thing together.
Redundant and unideal, but he’s an improvement over all those guys and still only 28. His splits aren’t bad and he’d have been a better fill-in at first if Moreland got hurt.

Anyway, agree this is a good signing. Hope it works. Not a lot else out there, and it’d be nice to appropriate those deadline resources to the bullpen.
 

Cesar Crespo

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It's 0 risk, so sign me up. If it does work and if Pedroia returns, he makes more sense than Lin due to his handedness and Swihart due to suckiness.

You could potentially DH him vs L too, like they've been doing with Swihart some nights. Or play him at 2b/3b vs L and let Devers/Pedroia DH.
 

Green Monster

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So the early opinion is that Phillips doesn't have enough left in the tank to contribute this season? That may be true.....but, last season he hit .285/.319/.416/.735....nothing great but a still a clear upgrade to Nunez' numbers this season 254/.287/.362/.649. Factor in that Phillips is a 4X gold glove defender seems like he would be an overall plus because of the defense even if he was only able to duplicate Nunez' current offensive numbers.

Is anyone else curious why he would be playing 3B at AAA? He has been overwhelmingly a 2Bman throughout his career with only 25 games played at 3B. I am not familiar enough with the Pawtucket roster, is there just more playing time there without taking away from another prospect....or could they be contemplating a bigger deal with Devers??
 

Cesar Crespo

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Redundant and unideal, but he’s an improvement over all those guys and still only 28. His splits aren’t bad and he’d have been a better fill-in at first if Moreland got hurt.

Anyway, agree this is a good signing. Hope it works. Not a lot else out there, and it’d be nice to appropriate those deadline resources to the bullpen.
Adam Lind has started to hit in Pawtucket in case of a Moreland injury. His last 7 games and 30 PA he's slashing .375/.467/.750. For the year he is at 48 games, 195 PA, .285/.338/.475. He had an off year in 2016, but from 2013-207 he had an OPS+ of 122.

You'd also have to think if Miller was competent at 2b, SS or 3b he'd never been DFA'd since he's been a pretty good bat but I'm not too familiar with the situation. Offensively speaking, he's similar to Brandon Phillips.
 

Cuzittt

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They more than likely would want him as a utility infielder... And (without looking) he hasn't spent much time at third.

There is no one at Pawtucket that would prevent Phillips from playing any position at all.
 

Cesar Crespo

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So the early opinion is that Phillips doesn't have enough left in the tank to contribute this season? That may be true.....but, last season he hit .285/.319/.416/.735....nothing great but a still a clear upgrade to Nunez' numbers this season 254/.287/.362/.649. Factor in that Phillips is a 4X gold glove defender seems like he would be an overall plus because of the defense even if he was only able to duplicate Nunez' current offensive numbers.

Is anyone else curious why he would be playing 3B at AAA? He has been overwhelmingly a 2Bman throughout his career with only 25 games played at 3B. I am not familiar enough with the Pawtucket roster, is there just more playing time there without taking away from another prospect....or could they be contemplating a bigger deal with Devers??
Because he doesn't have much experience at 3b and they aren't worried about his play at 2b? There is nothing in Pawtucket to prevent anyone from playing anywhere. Everyone is replaceable. They have 31 year old De Jesus Jr playing 2b and 28 year old Jantzen Witte playing 3b.

edit: Nvm on Jantzen Witte. He only played 13 games at 3b before being sent down to AA. I'm not sure who gets the majority of play at 3b for the PawSox, but it's no one good. Mike Olt maybe?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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So the early opinion is that Phillips doesn't have enough left in the tank to contribute this season? That may be true.....but, last season he hit .285/.319/.416/.735....nothing great but a still a clear upgrade to Nunez' numbers this season 254/.287/.362/.649. Factor in that Phillips is a 4X gold glove defender seems like he would be an overall plus because of the defense even if he was only able to duplicate Nunez' current offensive numbers.

Is anyone else curious why he would be playing 3B at AAA? He has been overwhelmingly a 2Bman throughout his career with only 25 games played at 3B. I am not familiar enough with the Pawtucket roster, is there just more playing time there without taking away from another prospect....or could they be contemplating a bigger deal with Devers??
He hasn't been a Gold Glove defender in a long while and his defensive numbers across the board (DRS, TZ, UZR) over the last couple years aren't exactly trending in the right direction. I don't think he should be counted on to be much of a defensive upgrade at this point in his career.

He's a semi-warm body with some up side. Expectations should be extremely low and anything he may contribute would be a bonus.
 

chawson

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Adam Lind has started to hit in Pawtucket in case of a Moreland injury. His last 7 games and 30 PA he's slashing .375/.467/.750. For the year he is at 48 games, 195 PA, .285/.338/.475. He had an off year in 2016, but from 2013-207 he had an OPS+ of 122.

You'd also have to think if Miller was competent at 2b, SS or 3b he'd never been DFA'd since he's been a pretty good bat but I'm not too familiar with the situation. Offensively speaking, he's similar to Brandon Phillips.
Brad Miller's got a similar offensive profile to Mark Bellhorn, maybe, but not Brandon Phillips.

Phillips makes a lot of contact, much of it weak, hits for a decent average and never walks. Brad Miller hits the ball very hard, whiffs much, and has the 15th best walk rate in MLB the last two years.

Despite getting DFA'd by Tampa, there's a lot about Brad Miller's hitting profile that suggests breakout. His current Barrels/PA is 7.6 (50th in MLB), which would fit really nicely on our team behind JDM (1st - 13.3), Mookie (2nd - 12.7), Moreland (29th - 8.4), and Bogaerts (30th - 8.3).

You're right that he's not a defensive wizard, but he's played more positions than Phillips and Milwaukee's comfortable playing him at 2B/SS. He doesn't play for us nor is he on the market, so I'll stop talking about him now. But I think that was a missed opportunity.
 
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Green Monster

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He hasn't been a Gold Glove defender in a long while and his defensive numbers across the board (DRS, TZ, UZR) over the last couple years aren't exactly trending in the right direction. I don't think he should be counted on to be much of a defensive upgrade at this point in his career.

He's a semi-warm body with some up side. Expectations should be extremely low and anything he may contribute would be a bonus.
Fair enough, decline noted...... Last GG was 2013 with nominations in 2014 & 2015. .....best I can tell Nunez has never been nominated and has also declined range from his bad knee
 

mauf

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Because Pedroia's rehab timeline and potential production wasn't known in February and Nunez hit .321 last year but is struggling mightily, which they didn't know would happen in February?

And as to why he's still available, as a FA he's likely not going to go play in Baltimore--he was waiting for a contender to call.
Bingo. Nunez appeared to be a better option than Phillips. He just didn’t work out.

Phillips is still available because he’s a victim of the punting trend. He was 26th in fWAR* among second basemen last season, which means he likely could’ve helped a few teams this year, but wasn’t good enough to snag a spot on a team with a realistic chance to contend.


* - An overused stat, I know, but not a terrible snapshot for determining whether someone is still a useful major leaguer. You’d normally expect someone in the top 30 at his position to wind up on a major-league roster the next season, even if it was as a bench player.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Just got an email from the Paw Sox

Five-time Gold Glove Winner, Brandon Phillips is expected to join the PawSox at McCoy Stadium today and tomorrow!
 

Cesar Crespo

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Do we actually see him this year? He's now hitting .283/.339/.444 in 112 PA in the minors with 9bb/16k. It looks like he might have something left but with Ian Kinsler now on board, I'm not sure where Phillips fits in.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If they have a 40-man spot in September, maybe he's got a shot. But with guys like Ockimey and Chavis due to be added in the off-season anyway (Rule 5 eligible), they might see them as more advantageous adds in a "let them see the show" orientation kind of way.