4:40pm: The Rays announced that Phillips was traded to the Orioles in exchange for cash.
4:28pm: The Orioles are acquiring outfielder Brett Phillips from the Rays, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Tampa Bay designated Phillips for assignment yesterday after acquiring Jose Siri from the Astros. He was reported to have interest from multiple clubs earlier this morning.
Phillips, 28, is an all-world defender with prolific strikeout issues that have weighed down an otherwise enviable blend of power and speed. He’s hitting just .147/.225/.250 this season and carries a tepid career .190/.276/.350 batting line in 883 plate appearances. That said, Phillips has a more passable .212/.296/.407 slash against right-handed pitching, has swatted 28 home runs and has gone 36-for-41 in the rough equivalent of one and a third full season’s worth of plate appearances at the MLB level. He can also be controlled for another two seasons via arbitration.
It’s unlikely the O’s have an everyday role in mind for Phillips — barring a more stunning trade of an established outfielder such as Cedric Mullins or Austin Hays. But there’s good value to Phillips’ blend of speed, defense and power coming off the bench.