The Los Angeles Angels have acquired 2B Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for C Tony Sanchez.
The Angels are just one game out of the second wild card spot in the AL, and two games out of the first spot. Their biggest need besides starting pitching is second base, after they acquired LF Justin Upton earlier today. Danny Espinosa was a huge bust this year, and is now on his third team of the season. Phillips is a way better 2B option than Kaleb Cowart. Also, Phillips can now play 3B, as he\’s shown in his 25 games at the position this year. He\’s a rental, so he doesn\’t affect their long-term plans.
Phillips, 36, has a .291 batting average, 11 homers, 52 RBIs and 10 steals in 499 Plate Appearances for the Braves this year. In his 16 year MLB career for the Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, Phillips has a .276 batting average, 208 homers, 941 RBIs and 208 stolen bases in 7860 Plate Appearances.
As sellers, the Braves are lucky to trade a rental at the waiver trade deadline. Also, they are able to unload the rest of the $14 million he\’s owed for this year. It\’s a good move for them.They are weak at the catching position, and get a catcher helps.
Sanchez, 29, has a .272 batting average, four homers and 40 RBIs in 284 Plate Appearances for Salt Lake (AAA) this year. In his three year MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sanchez has a .259 batting average, four homers and 18 RBIs in 155 Plate Appearances.
I think the Angels win this trade. Even though they\’ll likely have Phillips for just a month, they only give up a minor league catcher with no upside. That\’s why they win.