HomeMLB RumorsWhite Sox Release Brett Phillips From Minors Deal

White Sox Release Brett Phillips From Minors Deal

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The White Sox have released outfielder Brett Phillips, according to James Fegan from SoxMachine. Phillips had signed a minor league deal with the club back in January.

Phillips, who will celebrate his 30th birthday at the end of the month, is a veteran of seven big league seasons who first made his debut with the Brewers back in 2017. He’s generally struggled at the plate throughout his career with a .187/.272/.347 line that’s 29% worse than league average by measure of wRC+, but has nonetheless earned his spot on major league clubs in recent years thanks to his skills on the basepaths and in the field. During his time with the Rays from 2020 to 2022, Phillips swiped 24 bases in 27 attempts while recording +21 Outs Above Average and +17 Defensive Runs Saved.

Since leaving the Rays, however, Phillips has faltered somewhat in all aspects of his game as he’s struggled to find consistent playing time at the big league level. He appeared in eight games with the Orioles down the stretch in 2022 but hit a paltry .118/.118/.235 that was well below even his usual standards. He joined the Angels on a big league deal last year but made it into just 39 games with the club while spending much of the year at the Triple-A level. In the majors, Phillips was graded as a scratch defender by both OAA and DRS last year as he stole three bases in four attempts and struck out in more than half of his 71 trips to the plate.

The struggles Phillips has endured in both find and taking advantage of opportunities at the big league level led him to sign a minor league deal with the White Sox shortly after the new year that seemingly positioned him with a strong shot to make the club’s roster as a fourth outfielder out of Spring Training. Unfortunately, that didn’t come to fruition as the White Sox later added defensively-gifted youngster Dominic Fletcher via trade while signing veteran outfielders Kevin Pillar and Robbie Grossman in free agency, all three of whom made the roster over Phillips.

Since then, the White Sox have made changes to the big league roster, with both Fletcher and Pillar moving off the 26-man as a result. Phillips was passed over once again, however, as the White Sox instead turned to non-roster veterans Tommy Pham and Rafael Ortega to fill out the club’s outfield mix while Luis Robert Jr. is on the shelf. With Phillips evidently buried on the Chicago depth chart, it appears the sides have made the decision to part ways in order to allow the center fielder to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

It’s unclear where Phillips might find that role, given his struggles at the Triple-A level this year. While he’s only stepped to the plate 57 times with his former club’s affiliate in Charlotte, he’s struck out in 47.4% of those at-bats with a slash line of .120/.228/.280. That being said, he could still be a worthwhile depth option for a club looking to add a quality defender in center field who can serve as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement off the bench.

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