Phillips intends to play this season despite not yet having landed with a team, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports. The 36-year-old has been working out at Georgia Tech while trying to find a major-league job. He believes he can still help a major-league team, and, despite his age, his stats make a pretty convincing case that he's right. He's fallen off from his peak with the Reds from 2007 to 2012, but he still keeps posting respectable numbers. His wRC+ has sat between 88 and 97 in each of the last five seasons and doesn't appear to be trending downwards. Those numbers are unimpressive but entirely adequate for a middle infielder. If he lands with a team soon, he could be a competent contributor across multiple fantasy categories -- he's hit at least .285 with 11 homers and 11 steals in each of the last three seasons.
Phillips, who turns 37 in June, wants to play this season, but he's struggling to find a taker on the free-agent market, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports. As Crasnick notes, Chase Utley is the only player who's exclusively a second baseman to sign a big-league deal this offseason (two years, $2 million). The Utley signing was bizarre, even at that price, but he has a history with the Dodgers, and they obviously like what he brings to the clubhouse. Phillips, on the other hand, doesn't have any obvious suitors, as most rebuilding clubs would prefer to give at-bats to a younger player, and most contending clubs have a superior option at the keystone. It's possible that Phillips is not on a major-league roster by Opening Day.
Phillips is out of the lineup Sunday against the Mariners, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports. Phillips will sit out Sunday while Cliff Pennington starts at second base in the Angels' season finale. Prior to being acquired by the Angels, Phillips began the season with the Braves. Between the two, the 36-year-old hit a respectable .285/.319/.416.
Phillips is not in the lineup against the White Sox on Thursday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Phillips will head to the bench in favor of Kaleb Cowart following the club's elimination from playoff contention. Since joining the Angels at the beginning of September, Phillips has gone 24-for-94 (.255 average) with two home runs and eight RBI.
Phillips went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in Tuesday's 9-3 win over the White Sox. The veteran second baseman has thrived while batting fifth for his new club, going 4-for-12 with a double, two homers and four RBI over his last three games. It's unclear whether Phillips' new lineup placement is the main cause for his recent hot streak, or if it's simply just a coincidence. Either way, he is providing enough pop to help fantasy owners during the final week of the regular season.