... for infielder Nick Green and cash, according to MLB's T.R. Sullivan.
This is part of the residual fallout from Scott Feldman's decision to reject an outright assignment back to the minor leagues, as the Rangers were forced to make room on the 40-man roster in order to transfer Feldman back to the active roster from the 60-day disabled list.
Phillips was placed on the 40-man roster back in 2009 as a means of protecting him from the Rule 5 draft, which Scott Lucas wrote about thusly at the time:
Phillips is a 23rd-round draft-and-follow signing from 2004 and struggled mightily in his introductions to low-A (in 2006) and high-A (2008). Repeating a level for the second time in three years, Phillips and his old-fashioned curve excelled upon conversion to relief and earned a midseason promotion to Frisco. Phillips’ control faltered near the end of his term in Bakersfield but returned in the season’s final month. He also struck out 23% of opposing batters, quite impressive for someone who doesn’t throw terribly hard.
He was then good again in 2010, posting a 2.69 ERA, 0.1 HR/9, 4.6 BB/9, and 8.5 K/9 across 67 innings between Frisco and Oklahoma City, prompting Jason Cole to rank Phillips as his No. 46 prospect in the system:
Projection: Phillips profiles as a middle reliever with the ability to face both left- and right-handed hitters at the major league level. He has some deception in his delivery to go along with an average fastball and solid secondary offerings. Phillips has a chance to stick in the majors as long as he goes after hitters and doesn’t try to get too fine with his fastball––he must continue to trust his stuff.
2011 Outlook: As a 40-man roster member, Phillips has an automatic invitation to big league camp, though he’s an extreme long shot to make the club. The Rangers have two short-relief lefties (Oliver, Rhodes) and two potential long relief southpaws in Harrison and Kirkman. Phillips should start the season at Triple-A Round Rock before getting his first cup of coffee at some point this season. If he gets a look in the majors, he’ll likely be on the Round Rock/Arlington shuttle due to the Rangers’ crowded bullpen and the fact that he has options remaining.
Alas, he didn't really pitch well enough to earn a promotion even during the great magical game of bullpen musical chairs earlier this season, and so here we are now.
Green's was hitting .208/.276/.357 with 10 home runs in 348 plate appearances at Triple-A as a 32-year-old utility guy capable of playing all of the infield spots and the corner outfield spots (in a pinch), but did play in 104 games for the Red Sox a couple of years ago, and what you're seeing here is a desire to add a bit more middle-infield depth and flexibility to the depth chart behind Andres Blanco (who is currently on the DL) and Omar Quintanilla, who has assumed Blanco's spot as the Rangers' utility infielder for the moment.