Atlanta remained surprisingly quiet during the heat of the MLB trade season, but on the final day before the waiver deadline, they decided to ship off one of their core guys. They sent three-time all-star Brandon Phillips to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for minor league catcher Tony Sanchez.
The veteran second baseman spent nearly the entirety of his career with the Reds before being acquired by the Braves last offseason in a trade. Despite it being his sixteenth season in the MLB, Phillips experienced no drop off in his new uniform. His .291 average through 120 games this season matches his average from last season and is the third best mark of his career. He is also on pace to have more home runs this season than he has had in the last four years. While he has lost a step defensively with age, he still proved his worth defensively with his impressive defensive switch over to third base.
Phillips had a no-trade clause that would have allowed him to veto the trade, however, he opted not to for obvious reasons. The Angels are looking more and more like World Series contenders. They survived an extended period without the AL MVP Mike Trout and acquired Justin Upton earlier this afternoon. Now, they sit 1.5 games back of the Twins for the second Wild Card spot and just 2 games back of the Yankees for the first spot. Living in sunny Los Angeles also has some perks of its own. The Stone Mountain product did nothing but dazzle for his hometown team, and we wish him the best in his new home on the West Coast. He deserves it.
The Braves did not get anything in return really here but ended up doing right by the homegrown Phillips by shipping him to a contender. This makes the Braves more attractive during free agency to veterans signing short term deals, though those days seemed to be limited. Phillips was a consummate professional despite making the first position change at age 36. He will always be loved in Braves Country, but it is now time for Ozzie Albies to shine.