By Tyler DiSalle
Phillips was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the second round of the 1999 MLB Amateur Draft. After three years in the Expos’ minor league system, he was one of the players sent to the Indians in a megadeal that in total involved six players, including Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee also going to the Tribe in exchange for Bartolo Colon.
Phillips made his major league debut with the Indians on September 13, 2002. He would spend four seasons in their organization, playing a total of 135 games at the MLB level. His most productive year with Cleveland came in 2003, when he played 112 games, smacking 6 home runs and 33 RBI in limited action with the Tribe.
Phillips was traded to the Reds in April of 2006 for a player to be named later (Jeff Stevens). At the time of the trade, Phillips was seen as a player who had upside, but hadn’t yet put it all together. The Reds took a chance on him for a small price, and Phillips soon showed what he had to offer.
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