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KC deals Phillips to Rays for IF prospect Fox

@FlannyMLB
August 27, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have had a logjam issue in the outfield with backups Brett Phillips and Bubba Starling since Spring Training, as each of them is out of options. Part of that logjam was broken up Thursday when the Royals traded Phillips to Tampa Bay in exchange for

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have had a logjam issue in the outfield with backups Brett Phillips and Bubba Starling since Spring Training, as each of them is out of options.

Part of that logjam was broken up Thursday when the Royals traded Phillips to Tampa Bay in exchange for infielder Lucius Fox.

Fox, 23, will be added to the Royals’ 40-man roster and assigned to their 60-man pool at the alternate training site at T-Bones Stadium.

“We talked to Tampa about Fox for quite some time, not necessarily about Brett Phillips,” Royals assistant general manager Scott Sharp said on a Zoom call. “[Fox] is just a really interesting athlete. He has three options left. He is using one this year."

Phillips was acquired along with right-hander Jorge López from the Brewers in 2018 for third baseman Mike Moustakas. López was designated for assignment earlier this season and was picked up by Baltimore.

Fox has been working at the Rays' alternate site since July 18. The switch-hitter is a native of Nassau, Bahamas, but played his high school baseball at American Heritage in Delray Beach, Fla.

Fox played on the same Arizona Fall League team as Royals prospect Khalil Lee.

San Francisco originally signed Fox as an international free agent in 2015. He was traded to Tampa Bay in '16.

“He is a switch-hitter," said Sharp. "He plays shortstop. He can play second base. Some people have talked about him possibly playing center field because of his speed element.

“He has played at the upper levels of the Minors at a young age.”

At Double-A Montgomery in 2019, Fox stole 37 bases, leading the Southern League.

Phillips, 26, was hitting .226 in 18 games for the Royals this season.

While the Trade Deadline is Monday, the Royals don’t appear on the verge of making any blockbuster deals.

Said Sharp, “We believe in the team we have. We want to make sure we’re not subtracting from the team we have in any potential deals.”

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.