Update (12:07 AM ET): The deal is official, the Angels announced. The Braves will receive catcher Tony Sanchez in return. The Angels transferred reliever Andrew Bailey to the 60-day disabled list to create room on the 40-man roster for Phillips.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Angels are discussing a potential trade with the Braves involving second baseman Brandon Phillips. Phillips was a late scratch from the Braves’ lineup on Thursday night against the Cubs. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Phillips is deciding whether or not to accept the trade. He has a limited no-trade clause.
The Angels have been plenty active already leading up to the August 31 waiver deadline. The club acquired outfielder Justin Upton from the Tigers and sent outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Astros. Adding Phillips would be helping their pursuit of the AL Wild Card. They are 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot and two games behind the Yankees for the first. Phillips would need to be added to the Angels’ 40-man roster before midnight in order to become eligible for the postseason.
Phillips, 36, has hit a productive .291/.329/.423 with 11 home runs, 52 RBI, and 68 runs scored in 499 plate appearances this season. He’s owed the remainder of his $14 million salary for this season and can become a free agent heading into 2018.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.