Billy Hamilton’s time with the Royals could be coming to an end. Kansas City designated the veteran outfielder for assignment on Friday before its series opener against the Mets at Kauffman Stadium.
The move makes room for Brett Phillips, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to join the big league club for the first time this season.
Hamilton signed a one-year, $5.25 million deal with the Royals as a free agent this offseason, with a mutual option for 2020. Though the 28-year-old is still a strong defender in center field and a speed threat (18 stolen bases), he was putting up the worst offensive numbers of his career in his first season in Kansas City.
In 93 games this season, Hamilton was hitting .211/.275/.269, with a career-low .544 OPS.
Phillips has been at Triple-A all season. The 25-year-old outfielder, who came to Kansas City last July in the trade that sent Mike Moustakas to the Brewers, was hitting .240/.378/.505 with 18 home runs and 22 stolen bases in 105 games for Omaha.