Los Angeles Angels finish a big day of wheeling and dealing acquiring 2B Brandon Phillips
The Los Angeles Angels went into today fresh off another comeback victory last night and had a well deserved off day before heading to Texas this weekend. Although the players were off general manager Billy Eppler was in high gear.
The Los Angeles Angels did something today that they have not done in a few years, make a splash at the trade deadline. The Angels solidified their team by adding outfielder Justin Upton who has been talked about in MVP conversations. Most Angel fans were ecstatic to see owner Arte Moreno open up his tight piggy bank and spend money to bring in a quality player such as Upton.
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So just when you thought the Angels were done Eppler pulled out another deadline deal acquiring veteran Brandon Phillips who has been both a 3-time all-star and a 4-time Gold Glove Winner during his 16-year career. The Angels sent Triple-A catcher Tony Sanchez to the Braves for Phillips who is in the final year of his contract.
Phillips will definitely an upgrade from Kaleb Cowart who has long been touted as a can’t miss prospect, but never could hit well enough to stick in the majors. Cowart has actually played well more than holding his own this time around. He was hitting over .270 just a few weeks ago but has been struggling at the plate recently dropping down to .233. Cowart also has three homers and 10 RBI’s with three stolen bases. Cowart’s defense has been solid as always, but the hitting has been the issue.
Phillips on the other hand has been a professional hitter with a career batting average of .276 with 208 homers and 941 RBIs and has also stolen 208 bases. This year with the Braves he is hitting .291 with 11 homers and 52 RBIs with 10 stolen bases. Phillips has played third base some for the Braves and can fill-in for Yunel Escobar until he is ready to return from the DL. However, Phillips will become the everyday second baseman replacing Cowart.
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The Angels line-up which has been hitting fairly well recently, but the addition of both Phillips and Upton will bolster a potent Angel line-up for the September stretch run. Cowart will remain on the roster and still get some opportunities to play. In a subsequent move the Angels put Cameron Maybin on waivers and he was claimed by the Houston Astros
Phillips will most likely test the free agent market after the season, but Angels could choose to bring him back on a one or two year contract. For now let’s enjoy a September to remember.