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Angels deal infielder Featherston to Phillies

MLB.com @Alden_Gonzalez

ANAHEIM -- The Angels dealt utility infielder Taylor Featherston to the Phillies on Wednesday, acquiring a player to be named or cash considerations for their former Rule 5 Draft pick. Featherston was designated for assignment last week in order to create room on the 40-man roster for lefty reliever Christian Friedrich.

The move was a bit surprising, considering Featherston spent all of last season in the Majors, partly so the Angels could keep him in the organization long term. Featherston would've had to be offered back to his original club -- the Rockies -- if he was taken off the active roster at any point in 2015, but entered 2016 with three option years, which would've allowed him to get some much-needed seasoning in Triple-A.

ANAHEIM -- The Angels dealt utility infielder Taylor Featherston to the Phillies on Wednesday, acquiring a player to be named or cash considerations for their former Rule 5 Draft pick. Featherston was designated for assignment last week in order to create room on the 40-man roster for lefty reliever Christian Friedrich.

The move was a bit surprising, considering Featherston spent all of last season in the Majors, partly so the Angels could keep him in the organization long term. Featherston would've had to be offered back to his original club -- the Rockies -- if he was taken off the active roster at any point in 2015, but entered 2016 with three option years, which would've allowed him to get some much-needed seasoning in Triple-A.

But the Featherston acquisition was made by former general manager Jerry Dipoto, now with the Mariners. And this time around, Featherston was claimed off waivers by Dipoto's right-hand man with the Angels, Matt Klentak, who is now the GM in Philadelphia.

Featherston, 26, boasts plus speed, and has the tools to become an elite defensive player. But he entered the 2015 season having not played above Double-A and struggled mightily against Major League pitching. Among those with at least 150 plate appearances, Featherston ranked last in batting average (.162) and on-base percentage (.212), and second-to-last in slugging (.247).

The Angels no longer needed to rely on Featherston once new GM Billy Eppler signed veteran Cliff Pennington to a two-year, $3.75 million contract in November. The next backup infielders on the organizational depth chart are Rey Navarro (claimed off waivers from Orioles) and Gregorio Petit (signed to a Minor League contract).

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Angels, Taylor Featherston