Originally Posted by dougdirt
This is a common mistake made. The Reds don't have to have someone who can step in and replace Phillips. They need someone and about $11.5M, 11.5M, 10M and 8M to replace his production over the next four seasons.
Right now, the Reds have a guy who just finished AA as a second baseman who has hit .307, .320 and .302 in full season leagues with a little bit of pop and speed. Sure thing? Absolutely not. But it means that the Reds don't have to rush into making a decision on Phillips today either, when they already control him for all of 2012 and can make a decision on whether they like Rodriguez enough to offer Phillips such a deal.
And sometimes "prospects" are what get you to divisions and pennants. Both with production provided and salary relief that allows you to spend elsewhere. More than one way to skin a cat.
Prospects can contribute to winning teams. Usually, they contribute by complimenting the production of the team's stars.
The Reds have two stars. Votto and Phillips. If they let one of them go in favor of your AA second baseman, the team will suffer.
Now, as I said, if they let Phillips go and spend his salary on another star, that's ok with me. And it doesn't have to be a second baseman.
But the idea that a team constructed around good AA second basemen and the like will prevail against the Cards and Brewers is a fallacy IMO.