The Yankees have expressed interest in Brandon Phillips


Or “checked in” as we say this early in the offseason. You know, so as not to be so obvious about it and so we won’t come off as desperate. Heyman:

The Yankees, looking to set themselves up in case star second baseman Robinson Cano signs elsewhere, have checked in with the Reds regarding Brandon Phillips and also asked about free-agent second baseman Omar Infante.

Gotta have a fallback in place in case you lose Cano. And gotta have a plausible alternative so you can tell Cano’s agent that his price is too high.

Phillips would fit in pretty well at second base if Cano goes elsewhere, of course. Still a superior defender. Still a positive with the bat.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.