The Yankees have expressed interest in Brandon Phillips

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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.

The Angels are giving managerial candidates a two-hour written test

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Los Angeles Angels are administering a two-hour written test to managerial candidates. The test presents “questions spanning analytical, interpersonal and game-management aspects of the job,” according to Morosi.

I can’t find any reference to it, but I remember another team doing some form of written testing for managerial candidates within the past couple of years. Questions which presented tactical dilemmas, for example. I don’t recall it being so intense, however. And then, as now, I have a hard time seeing experienced candidates wanting to sit for a two-hour written exam when their track record as a manager, along with an interview to assess compatibility should cover most of it. Just seems like an extension of the current trend in which front offices are taking away authority and, with this, some measure of professional respect, from managers.