Brandon Phillips rumors: Yankees inquiring, but price is steep

USA TODAY Sports

The Reds second baseman is believed to be available, but he won't come cheap.

The New York Yankees' pursuit of an alternative to Robinson Cano at the keystone has led them to check in on Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

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The 32-year-old Phillips is believed to be available in a trade at the right price, but that price is said to be "too steep" for the Yankees at the moment. Phillips still has four years and $50 million remaining on his contract and is coming off his fourth Gold Glove win in the last five seasons, so Cincinnati is smart to set the starting price high.

However, the fallout from off-the-field incidents this past season could potentially move the club to lower its asking price if no one bites at the initial offer. Phillips ran afoul of the Reds on two occasions in 2013, once for bad-mouthing ownership in a magazine article and again for confronting a local beat reporter about a harmless comment made on Twitter.

If Phillips is indeed tradable, the Yankees aren't going to be the only team asking after him. The Dodgers, Tigers, Royals and Orioles are all believed to be on the lookout for a new second baseman this offseason.

Phillips hit .261/.310/.396 with 18 home runs in 151 games for the Reds this past season. While his defense remains stellar, 2013 marks the first time since Phillips' rookie season a decade ago that he has failed to record a slugging percentage above .400.

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