The Angels announced they have optioned infielder Michael Stefanic and selected the contract of outfielder Brett Phillips. No corresponding 40-man move will be required as the club still has several vacancies after losing various players off waivers in the past week.
Phillips returns to the majors for the first time since May. Signed to a $1.2MM free agent contract over the winter, the defensive specialist spent two months on the Halos’ bench. He got into 20 games, mostly as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. Phillips only hit 16 times before being designated for assignment and passed through outright waivers.
The 29-year-old has spent the past few months at Triple-A Salt Lake. He’s striking out in just under a third of his Triple-A plate appearances, posting a .230/.352/.366 line through 264 plate appearances. Strikeouts have prevented Phillips from assuming a regular role at the big league level, as he’s gone down on strikes in 38% of his MLB trips. He’s a career .187/.272/.343 hitter.
Phillips adds a defensive complement to the starting outfield of Mickey Moniak, Randal Grichuk and Luis Rengifo (who moved from shortstop to right field after the Halos waived Hunter Renfroe and promoted Kyren Paris). Now that he’s back on the MLB roster, Phillips is technically controllable via arbitration through 2026, though it seems likely he’ll be non-tendered at season’s end.