Rays acquire Brett Phillips from Royals

August 27th, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired outfielder Brett Phillips from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for infielder/outfielder Lucius Fox.

Phillips, 26, has spent parts of the last four seasons in the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers (2017-18) and Royals (2018-20) and is a career .205/.282/.344 (65-for-317) hitter with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 136 games. He has spent time at all three outfield positions in his career and has not committed an error since his major league debut on June 5, 2017. He appeared in 18 games (eight starts) for the Royals this season, batting .226/.294/.387 (7-for-31) with a home run.

Phillips spent most of last season with Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .240/.378/.505 (80-for-333) with 18 home runs, 54 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 105 games. He ranked among Pacific Coast League leaders in triples (13, second), walks (72, tied for second) and stolen bases (tied for ninth). He was successful on 22 of his 23 stolen base attempts (95.7 pct.) with Omaha.

Phillips was selected by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 2012 June Draft out of Seminole High School in Seminole, Fla. He will become the third product of Seminole High to play for the Rays, following first baseman Casey Kotchman (2011) and catcher Bobby Wilson (2015-16). He signed a letter of intent to play at North Carolina State before signing with the Astros. He was traded by the Astros to the Brewers on July 30, 2015 and by the Brewers to the Royals on July 27, 2018.

Fox, 23, split last season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, batting .221/.331/.327 (90-for-407) with three home runs, 34 RBI and 39 stolen bases in 119 games. His 39 stolen bases ranked 2nd among Rays minor leaguers behind Vidal Bruján (48) and his 37 stolen bases with the Biscuits were most in the Southern League. He was acquired by the Rays from the San Francisco Giants on August 1, 2016 in the Matt Moore trade. He is a career .244/.337/.325 (382-for-1,564) hitter with 11 home runs, 128 RBI and 123 stolen bases over four seasons in the minor leagues.

This is the first trade between the Rays and Royals since December 9, 2012, when the Rays acquired outfielder Wil Myers, right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi, left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and infielder Patrick Leonard in exchange for right-handed pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis and a player to be named (infielder Elliot Johnson).