The Los Angeles Angels made several moves last season to try and shore up what was a bad roster surrounding their superstars, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. They added players like Tyler Anderson, Carlos Estevez, Matt Moore, Brandon Drury, Hunter Renfroe, and Gio Urshela, who were all expected to play huge roles for the team.
The most surprising move the team made didn't involve any of those players. It was them giving a MLB pact to Brett Phillips, a player who made some sense for them, but had done nothing to earn a MLB contract.
Phillips is what he is. He provides excellent speed and defense off the bench, and is a great clubhouse presence. The unfortunate thing, however, is he doesn't hit at all. He can impact a game in other ways, but his bat has always held him back. That was the case with the Angels as well.
The 29-year-old will join his fourth team in the last three years, inking a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox.
Former Angels outfielder Brett Phillips signs minor league deal with the White Sox
Phillips is the latest former Angel to sign a deal with the White Sox, joining Martin Maldonado, Max Stassi, Matt Wise, and Marcus Thames. It's a minor league deal for Phillips, but he'll have a chance to break the team in Spring Training. If he does, he'll earn a modest $1.2 million salary for the 2024 season.
The White Sox have a full outfield with Andrew Benintendi, Luis Robert Jr., and Oscar Colas, while also having Eloy Jimenez as an option, but don't really have a fourth outfielder to speak of. Phillips should have an opportunity to earn that role, much like he did with the Angels this past season.
Phillips was on the Angels roster to open the year but played in just 19 games in the first two months, staring three of them. Since he was rarely seeing the field and Mickey Moniak was raging hot in the minors, the Angels DFA'd Phillips and promoted Moniak. We all know Moniak never looked back.
Phillips returned in September and actually swung a fairly decent bat, hitting three home runs in his 50 September at-bats, but he also struck out 28 times and just didn't appear to have a spot with this organization in the future.
He has a history of helping teams with the little things like defense and base running, and the vibes are always immaculate, but Phillips' bat, unfortunately, hasn't caught up. Perhaps a new start with the White Sox will give him the chance to do more on that front.
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