View #1: It is hard these days in the era of the offensive second basemen to find a glove man that can produce to write the number 4 beside on the line up card. However in the case of Brandon Phillips, the Cincinnati Reds get the best of both worlds. A premier glove, and 103 RBI, second only to the 24 million dollar man Robinson Cano. The Reds not only need to hang on the Phillips, but realize how lucky they are to have such a rare commodity.
View #2: In the new era of advanced statistical analysis, players like never before are finding themselves under a microscope, with their real value being evaluated. Brandon Phillips is a great defensive second basemen, and thats about it. For years now he has been viewed as an all around great player but when one looks a little deeper we find that simply is not true. Since 2011 Phillips is a top 3 defensive second basemen, no one is denying the glove, however his 262 RBI are very misleading, as he is not even in the top 10 for hitting among two baggers. Phillips is a glorified Howie Kendrick or Omar Infante, who are good players, but thats all they are is good players.
Looking at past performance is great, but what we really need to do is use that data to predict what is going to happen. As for Brandon, the future doesn't looks so hot. Low BB% and an increasing swing and miss rate, with declining offensive output each of the last three years, including base running, Phillips has amounted to a 2.5 win player. For guy set to make $50 million over the next 4 years with one above average skill and only getting worse, the time has come for the Reds to split with the National Leagues most productive second basemen while they still can, they will have no problem finding another league average hitter to drive in Votto for the coming years.