The Angels made one big move on Thursday morning. Hours later, they struck again.
The Angels acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Braves shortly before the midnight ET waiver trade deadline in exchange for catcher Tony Sanchez. The deal follows the Angels’ trade for Justin Upton earlier in the day as they gear up for a run at an American League wild-card spot.
Phillips, an Atlanta-area native, waived his no-trade clause for the deal to be completed. He will be a free agent after this season.
Tony Sanchez, c
The Pirates drafted Sanchez fourth overall in 2009 out of Boston College, but the Miami native never managed to live up to his draft position. He has played only 51 career big league games—none since 2015—and was hitting .272 with a .374 slugging percentage at Triple-A Salt Lake this year, a launching pad for power. The Braves will be his fifth different organization since Jan. 2016.
|Salt Lake (AAA)||.272||.355||.374||243||33||66||13||0||4||40||29||61||1|
Brandon Phillips, 2b
The Reds traded an aging Phillips to the Braves before the season, and the move to his hometown team re-energized the veteran. Phillips delivered his highest on-base percentage and slugging percentage since 2012 and his 137 hits are sixth-most among all big league second basemen. Despite his production, Phillips saw his role change as the Braves increasingly pivoted toward their younger players. Phillips was pushed to third base when Ozzie Albies was called up and has not played second base since July 31. He will return to his natural position for the Angels, where he represents a major upgrade over current options Cliff Pennington and Kaleb Cowart. Angels second basemen have combined for a .589 OPS this year, lowest in the majors.