Braves trade veteran Brandon Phillips to Angels

One day after notching his milestone 2,000th career hit, veteran infielder Brandon Phillips is leaving his hometown team for the West Coast.

On Thursday night, the Atlanta Braves traded the 36-year-old pending free agent to the Los Angeles Angels hours before the deadline for MLB playoff rosters to be set. Following an extended waiting period and speaking with his family, Phillips, a metro Atlanta product, waived his 12-team no-trade clause to complete the deal. In return, the Braves will receive minor-league catcher and former first-round pick Tony Sanchez from Los Angeles.

“It was really tough to leave the team I grew up watching,” Phillips said. “This decision is much harder than leaving the Reds, honestly.”

The Angels will also pay Phillips’ $500,000 trade bonus.

Phillips pieced together a bounce-back season with his hometown club after being acquired from the Cincinnati Reds this past offseason at a bargain-basement price. The three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner owns a .291/.329/.423 slash line with 11 home runs after making a relatively smooth transition from second base to third base to clear space for top prospect Ozzie Albies in early August. Now, he joins a busy Angels team — and former Braves standouts Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton — sitting 1.5 games back in the AL wildcard race entering September.

For Atlanta’s front office, the trade clears up playing time for young third-base options Johan Camargo (currently on the disabled list) and Rio Ruiz — a trial run before critical offseason decisions, which reportedly could include Phillips’ name.

Sanchez is a 29-year-old journeyman catcher who played parts of three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013 to 2015. At the Triple-A level in the Angels system this season, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft notched a .355 on-base percentage and 94 weighted runs created plus.

As the Braves exercise caution with starter Tyler Flowers’ hand injury, Sanchez is likely to join veteran Kurt Suzuki and rookie newcomer David Freitas in the catching rotation over the next month.