The Rays on Thursday acquired an MLB-ready outfielder in exchange for an infield prospect severely blocked both on the farm and in the big leagues. The deal, which sent OF Brett Phillips to Tampa Bay and SS prospect Lucius Fox to Kansas City, gave the Rays a little bit more reinforcement for the stretch run and further enriched Kansas City’s minor league system.
Brett Phillips, OF
Phillips, the Astros’ sixth-rounder from the 2012 draft, has bounced around from Houston to the Brewers to the Royals and now to the Rays. Phillips, who has become famous for his hearty laugh and possum-chasing exploits, has never quite established himself in the big leagues. He is a stellar defender in the outfield, however, and his presence alongside Kevin Kiermaier could give the Rays some interesting options in the field. Phillips is out of options and must stick on the big league roster.
Lucius Fox, SS
Fox, originally signed by the Giants out of the Bahamas, was first shipped to the Rays as part of the 2016 deal that sent Matt Moore to San Francisco. He was added to Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster during the 2019 offseason. Fox is a twitchy athlete who could play up the middle or in center field (Bobby Witt Jr. appears to be the shortstop of the future in Kansas City, though he is a bit farther from the majors than Fox, who reached Triple-A in 2019), but shortstop is not out of the question. He’s a plus-plus runner who can turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples, which will help counteract his well below-average power—he has just 11 home runs in 1,811 minor league at-bats.