1. Brandon Phillips
A more realistic second base option that could get through waivers is 35-year-old Brandon Phillips. The venerable 3-time All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds is due a little over $3 million for the rest of 2016, and $14 million in 2017. Teams might balk at that price for an aging middle infielder like Phillips.
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However, Phillips is still a useful player with a .282/.318/.402 slash line in Cincinnati this season .He doesn’t possess the 30/30 power-speed combo that made him a superstar earlier in his career, but Phillips can still help score runs. He’s also still a league-average defender at second base, and has been worth 0.6 bWAR (Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement) so far in 2016.
That WAR value might be a bit understated due to the big downgrade for playing in the Great American bandbox in Cincinnati for half his games. At this point, Phillips has nothing more than gap power and consistency at the plate. I suspect he’d still hit in Kauffman Stadium, and wouldn’t suffer the downgrade that WAR is presuming due to the high park factors in Cincinnati.
If Phillips could get through waivers, and Dayton Moore was willing to meet the Reds price, Phillips would be a solid stick in a KC Royals offense that could use the help. He’s also a big-name player that could give the clubhouse a shot of confidence heading into the season’s final five weeks.