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Report: Brett Phillips Traded to Orioles After OF was DFA'd by Rays

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2022

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley

The Baltimore Orioles are acquiring outfielder Brett Phillips from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN.

The Rays announced Monday they were designating Phillips for assignment. The Star-Ledger's Brendan Kuty reported the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies had all shown initial interest in adding the 28-year-old.

Phillips will always hold a special place in Rays history for his decisive hit in Game 4 of the 2020 World Series.

His departure from Tampa Bay comes amid a difficult 2022 season, though. Phillips has a .147/.225/.250 slash line. Among 328 hitters with at least 150 plate appearances, his .218 wOBA ranks 324th, per FanGraphs.

The Orioles finally seem to be turning a corner after four years of being abjectly bad. A 52-51 record is cause for celebration for a team that had a .326 winning percentage from 2018 to 2021.

But that wasn't enough for general manager Mike Elias to make the kind of improvements that could help Baltimore push for a wild-card berth in the American League. Elias traded fan favorite Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros on Monday and then sent 2022 All-Star Jorge Lopez to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.

Phillips is under team control for two more seasons, so he could potentially contribute to the Orioles beyond this season.

But considering three of the franchise's top 10 prospects on MLB.com are outfielders (Colton Cowser, Kyle Stowers and Heston Kjerstad), this could be the case of Baltimore getting just enough depth to hold out until the young stars are ready to be called up.

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