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.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.