Howard Eskin: Ruben Amaro pursuing trade involving Domonic Brown and Jose Bautista

If this becomes an actual thing, we’ll provide analysis. For now, enjoy the speculation of a trade involving Domonic Brown and Jose Bautista.

Update (11/13/13, 7:50 AM): The fact that this rumor was never picked up by anyone else other than Eskin showed that the rumor was only a rumor. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet are both calling the rumor bogus.

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37 comments

  1. Erix

    November 12, 2013 11:12 PM

    As a Jays fan this should make me sad, right?

  2. Bob

    November 12, 2013 11:23 PM

    Brown is 26. Bautista is 33. Brown had a 2.5 WAR at 26 accord Baseball Reference. Bautista didn’t have over 2.5 until age 28. In fact, he didn’t have over a .1 war until 28. He’s been in decline the past two years, while Brown seems to be projecting upwards. Why anyone would do this deal is mind boggling. Brown got paid 500k last year. Bautista got 14 mil.

  3. SwamiLee

    November 12, 2013 11:32 PM

    Seriously, RAJ may be worse than Ed Wade if he makes this deal, as hard to believe as it might be. Throwing in an additional player with Brown????

  4. hk

    November 13, 2013 06:18 AM

    If the deal happens, here’s hoping the “plus” is Papelbon. Dom Brown and Papelbon for Bautista sounds a lot better than Dom Brown plus for Bautista.

  5. max

    November 13, 2013 08:27 AM

    if i learned anything from this post it’s that heyman does love the phrase “not even close”. a lot.

  6. Beez Nutz

    November 13, 2013 08:41 AM

    I’d trade Dom Brown in a heartbeat if possible. I just dont see anything special in him, aside from that great 1.5 – 2 month stretch he had.

    Bautista makes this lineup a force and makes the Byrd signing a good one in my mind

    3 – Utley
    4 – Joey Bats
    5 – Howard
    6 – Byrd

    Most any team in baseball would take the upside that entails.

    And Heyman is crazy if Brown alone is not close. It wont be just Brown but its very close I would think

  7. Bubba0101

    November 13, 2013 08:56 AM

    Only way I do it is if they take Howard and all his money too.

  8. Mark

    November 13, 2013 10:15 AM

    Beez Nuts – you do realize Brown gave the Phillies approximately 60% of Bautista’s production at less than 5% his cost? He’s 10 years younger than Byrd and 7 years younger than Bautista. You can easily project him to produce at Bautista’s level and he makes a fraction of the money both Byrd and Bautista earn. How can you be excited about Byrd and Bautista and not Brown.

    Also, pinning a team’s hopes on the upside of players 33 years and older isn’t the best recipe for success. You’d think Amaro would have learned that by now.

  9. Beez Nutz

    November 13, 2013 10:36 AM

    Because as I said, I dont think Brown is any good. And you’re comparing the production to a year where Bautista is coming off an injury.

    Brown really does not impress me, sorry.

    The other thing being. I dont think this is a team that is much different with or without Brown in the next 2-3 years (because I dont ever envision him being built around). They have little in the farm and are stuck with Howard, Utley, Rollins and now Byrd for the next 2 – 3 years. Why not add a guy who will only be here in that same time frame and IMO will be far more productive at least giving you a better shot to win now (pending you dont give up any of the upper tier prospects)?

    If they want to spend and can spend, why not? Bringing in Bautista does not kill them financially in the future and gives you a better chance now to win.

  10. VoteForDelmon

    November 13, 2013 10:55 AM

    If you are realistic about the 2014-2015 Phillies chances, you really only have two options with Brown:

    1) Buy out his pre-arb and arb years + first few FA years now if you think he is going to be an all star through his prime.

    2) Trade him immediately to a cost conscious contending team for multiple prospects with upside.

    Getting Bautista makes the Phillies better, but there are still way too many holes in the roster (though I guess they could patch them still – I doubt it).

    Brown represents the best trade chip the Phillies have. So sign him long term right now or trade him right now. Waiting to do anything with him until 2016 with him makes no sense.

  11. Mark

    November 13, 2013 11:14 AM

    I’m comparing Brown’s production to a year of Bautista’s production where he was coming off an injury because that’s usually what happens with players in the their mid 30’s. Too many Phillies fans kept harping on the fact that Howard would be fine once he got healthy. That didn’t happen and is never going to happen. Why should any fan assume that Bautista will return to his pre-injury level? The safer bet is that he will steadily decline while Brown improves. I don’t get it. So many Phillie fans that are down on Brown insist that he is what he is and leave absolutely no room for improvement, despite the great improvement he made last year. And then those same fans think players in their 30’s will magically return to the levels they played at in their 20’s.

  12. DMAR

    November 13, 2013 11:19 AM

    Amaro loves making Eskin look like a fool. You gotta love the rumor mongering.

  13. Robby Bonfire

    November 13, 2013 12:27 PM

    Just dreadful, the Byrd signing. RAJ doesn’t seem to understand that this club is in a rebuilding mode, not just one or two pieces removed from serious World Series contention. Another interminably long season ahead for Phillies fans.

  14. Scott G

    November 13, 2013 12:31 PM

    Beez Nutz,

    Kindly never say we’re stuck with Chase Utley again. Thanks.

    I think I’d also like to see Howard hit before Bautista (if this ever happened). If Howard could ever learn to lay off a ball in the dirt, teams would have to start throwing him strikes.

  15. Pencilfish

    November 13, 2013 12:46 PM

    Mark,

    Brown has had trouble staying off the DL too over the past couple of seasons, so we shouldn’t assume Brown will improve with time.

    Then, there is something that most fans don’t understand: Brown’s agent is Scott Boras. If Brown continues to improve, he will test the FA market in 2018, period. The Phillies do not have a good working relationship with Boras (ie, Madson was let go, Werth was let go, the 1997 J. D. Drew debacle, etc). While trading Brown for Bautista seems a bad deal for the Phillies, the Phillies should consider trading Brown if a better deal materializes. In the unlikely event that Brown dumps Boras (or he signs a deal that buys out some of his FA years), then the Phillies should re-consider.

  16. Beez Nutz

    November 13, 2013 01:03 PM

    @Scott … point noted on Utley

    Just my point being. We have a lot of money tied up into the guys I named and it all over the next 2 to 3 years.

    Meaning everyone who thinks were in some rebuilding mode is delusional (not saying we shouldnt be – the Phillies just arent approaching it that way). The die have been cast, might as well roll with it now.

    We have no prayer of moving any of our big contract guys (not counting Lee / Hamels) – so if we’re already there why not go balls in. ESPECIALLY, if you’re not a believer in Brown long term anyway (which I’m not)

    And yes I know Im in the minority – as of now I do hate the Byrd signing. Should they sign Pierzinsky and nab Bautista (for Ruf and Brown)… Im not counting that team out.

  17. Robby Bonfire

    November 13, 2013 02:12 PM

    You realize that RAJ has now acquired a 36-year old player to become a regular on this team, two years in a row? Let’s see, at this rate, in six more years the Phillies regular player ages will be…36,37,38,39,40,41,42, and 43.

    By that time Cashman will be gone from his Bronx outpost and RAJ should be up for the job at the helm of that other MLB Old Folks Farm – where infirm and indigent MLB pensioners go to die.

  18. Larry

    November 13, 2013 02:22 PM

    RAJ needs to trade Dom Brown while his value is at his highest. He does seem injury prone and he is still unproven. People think his 2 months make him a superstar. Look at his stats 4 out of the 6 months last season, not too good. Yes he had a great 2 months and somehow the perception is that he is the next Ryan Howard. Guess what? He’s not. He doesn’t have Ryan Howard power. He doesn’t hit for power to the opposite field.

    He misjudges balls in the outfield all the time. His best defensive attribute is his arm, but for some strange reason he is put in left field? He doesn’t like to walk, which hurt his OBP.

    I would put Brown in a package for David Price in a heartbeat.

    My starting rotation next year would be Cliff Lee, David Price, Cole Hamels, Josh Johnson, and MAG. On paper it would look like one of the best in baseball.

  19. JM

    November 13, 2013 02:33 PM

    I would rather they take a flier on Jimenez than JJ. JJ hasn’t had a healthy season since…since…well, I can’t remember when. He certainly is not the dominator he once was, when healthy. KK was better than JJ last season, and that says it all…

  20. hk

    November 13, 2013 02:36 PM

    Larry,

    That’s a strawman argument. What people think Dom’s 2 months make him a superstar? I have never read anyone suggest this. I have seen many people claim that he’s a young guy with the potential to be an above average regular and do so while making a relative pittance (in MLB terms, of course). An above average regular with a $550K salary has a lot of value.

  21. Larry

    November 13, 2013 03:19 PM

    @ JM

    JJ had 31 starts in 2012, which is what Cliff Lee had this past season. Cliff Lee has averaged 31 starts for the past 3 seasons actually. Honestly if JJ gives you 25 starts as a 4th starter, that would be fine. 3 out of JJ’s last 5 years have been 28 starts or more. He’s 29 years old right now and will probably get a 1 or 2 year deal on the cheap side, because of last year. BTW how do you think KK would have done last year pitching mostly to the Redsox, Yankees, Orioles, and Rays as opposed to the Braves, Marlins, Nats, and Mets? Don’t you think there would be a big difference?

    HK, a number of comments on other sites are touting Brown as a superstar. Hey do you remember when Crashburnalley actually had a poll with 2 options: Dom Brown or Dom Brown? Clearly many sites gave Brown a ton of hype. I’m not convinced that he is that good. If you only think that he is just an above average regular, wouldn’t you like to see Brown and a mid level prospect for Price? It would seem to good to be true. There are probably at least 10 teams that are looking to trade for Price.

  22. Robby Bonfire

    November 13, 2013 03:23 PM

    Interesting statement, above, re Brown: “He doesn’t like to walk.” Bill James refers to me-first, team last ballplayers as “notoriously selfish.” At the time he was referring to Steve Garvey and Garry Templeton. You could say “Brown doesn’t care that much whether the team wins” so long as he puts up his numbers, and be just as right on.

  23. hk

    November 13, 2013 03:35 PM

    Larry,

    I don’t read too many sites. I don’t see too many people on this blog or the other few that I frequent suggesting that Dom’s a superstar. I see them suggesting that he’s a valuable asset while he’s making $500K and that he’s still young enough to have the potential to improve.

    I am not opposed to trading Brown. The problem as I see it is that it only makes sense to trade Brown for an older, more expensive, player if they are really going to go for it in 2014 and 2015. For instance, in my opinion, the precursor to trading Brown for the likes of Price should have been an Ellsbury signing, not a Marlon Byrd signing. I don’t think that this team is built to contend next year or the year after unless they back up the Brinks truck and spend their way into contention. Trading Brown while adding middling pieces like Marlon Byrd seems like a strategy that will get them to mediocre for the next few years, after which Price will be gone as a free agent and Dom will still be under his new team’s control.

  24. hk

    November 13, 2013 03:55 PM

    Robby,

    Dom Brown’s career BB% is 8.7%, which is negatively impacted by his outlier month of May last year in which he hit everything he saw but did not walk. If you exclude May 2013, his career BB% jumps to 9.8%.

    Following are some players with career BB% well below Dom Brown:

    * Ichiro Suzuki 5.9%
    * Mark Trumbo 6.3%
    * Jacoby Ellsbury 6.9%
    * John Jay 7.1%

    Would you consider these guys to be significantly more selfish and less interested in winning than Dom?

  25. Larry

    November 13, 2013 04:20 PM

    HK,

    Getting both Ellsbury and Price would obviously make a huge impact. RAJ probably has too many holes to fill to make that happen financially. Ellsbury is going to command a lot of years which is a big problem with this payroll. Ellsbury would be a huge upgrade obviously, but RAJ might be thinking Byrd is a safer bet than Mayberry as a starter. If the Phillies don’t make it to the playoffs next year, there is a good chance RAJ will be fired, so I’m sure he’s all in for next season. He resigned Utley and didn’t trade Lee which are definite signals that he’s in a win now mode.

    He probably has 5-7 deals that he is working on right now, it should be interesting. One thing is for sure, Byrd won’t be the only new Phillie next season.

    On a side note I heard that a team is offering Chooch a 2 year deal for 20 mil lol. That’s just crazy.

  26. TonyG

    November 14, 2013 01:31 AM

    I would like the phillies to consider keeping D. Brown. In the short term, trading for JB would benefit the club, however, while Brown may never reach Howard like numbers or JB’s recent numbers, he represents a good role player at least for the next few years. Brown also represents power potential from the left side of the plate (Howard and Utley are on the decline). The signing of Byrd means that once again the phillies will spend big for pitching. 2014 lineup at this point will be:

    1) revere
    2) Rollins
    3) Utley
    4) Howard
    5) Byrd
    6) brown
    7) Ruiz
    8) asche
    DH) ruff/Nelson Cruz/Byrd

    I think the phillies big signings will be ubaldo jimenez and reliever edward mujica. The wild card is Franco if Howard struggles in the first half.

  27. Robby Bonfire

    November 14, 2013 06:14 AM

    Fair question, HK. We all look at and emphasize different aspects of the game. For me, when it comes to corner infielders and outfielders offense, I primarily focus upon the “real power” stat of SLG pctge. minus BA to take singles out of the power equation. I also focus on OBP numbers for both players and team, overall, given the strong correlation there with WINNING.

    So that, over the years, I have caught hell from a lot of people at these venues for being down on the career value of people like Suzuki and Tony Gwynn, believe it or not. I just cannot contribute “fandom” platitudes over corner guys who lack overall power production, while also lacking solid OBP numbers to compensate for that.

    To me the complete corner outfielder has power, solid OBP numbers, and is at least decent, defensively. Dom B. has some holes in his arsenal, yes, but dammit, he is not 33 years of age and coming back from injury.

    After bringing in Young and Byrd, why the hell would the Phillies and RAJ want to go that career downside, over-priced, injury-prone route, yet again? Let’s agree that RAJ is truly myopic and extreme when it comes to his preference for short-term patching over long-term planning personnel moves. “Mr. Stop-Gap,” that’s RAJ.

    Doesn’t work for me as a contender-building philosophy, HK. Nice to see you here.

  28. Pencilfish

    November 14, 2013 11:47 AM

    “To me the complete corner outfielder has power, solid OBP numbers, and is at least decent, defensively.”

    Whom do you want RAJ to sign or trade for and how much money would you be willing to pay?

  29. Scott G

    November 14, 2013 12:46 PM

    Remember when RAJ gave Raul Ibanez (36) a contract over Pat Burrell (32) after the ’08 season? Yea, that was annoying too.

  30. Eric Longenhagen

    November 14, 2013 01:40 PM

    Remember when Raul Ibanez had two decent years for the Phillies and Pat Burrell was so washed up he retired?

  31. LTG

    November 14, 2013 01:48 PM

    “…and Pat Burrell was so washed up he retired?”

    But not before winning a World Series with the Giants. GRRRRRRRRRRRR.

  32. LTG

    November 14, 2013 01:49 PM

    Also, Pat the Bat wasn’t so washed up in 2010 and 2011. That 2009 on the other hand…

  33. Robby Bonfire

    November 14, 2013 02:54 PM

    And then Charlie The Mule gave Ibanez exactly ONE game rest in August of 2009, when Ibanez was gassed and plated just four RBI’s the entire month. Hey, old managers and old players don’t work around here, this is not the Bronx. lol

  34. hk

    November 14, 2013 03:03 PM

    For what it is worth:

    Ibanez produced 1.3 rWAR and 3.1 fWAR in 1,776 PA’s from 2009 through 2011. For this, the Phils paid $31.5M and lost their first round pick in the 2009 draft.

    Burrell produced 1.8 rWAR and 2.2 fWAR in 1,132 PA’s from 2009 through 2011. For this, Tampa and San Francisco paid $17M.

  35. Robby Bonfire

    November 14, 2013 03:10 PM

    Pencilfish. My rule of thumb is simple, just trade downside old guys with big reputations (like Batista) for young guys with talent, understanding the young guys don’t all fulfill their potential, but also, so many old guys tank, too.

    I would be on the receiving side of a trade involving a young Sandburg throw-in. I would also be on the receiving side of getting a young John Smoltz for an old guy with no more than one or two productive years left.

    So that, in answer to your question, it has more to do with rebuilding philosophy than with who is up for grabs, right now. Timing is really the name of the game, WHEN you acquire a player being more important than WHO you acquire. I surely would not go after players well into their 30’s for younger talent, ever.

    Phillies had their Sandburg debacle, Red Sox had their Jeff Bagwell debacle, Astros had their Little Joe Morgan debacle, etc.

    Phillies, years ago, traded Fergie Jenkins for two burned-out formerly old guys who were quite effective – in their day. Some organizations just never learn from their most painful mistakes. Me, for better or worse I keep Dom Brown for a couple more years and surround him with some other upside young players.

  36. Scott G

    November 14, 2013 03:45 PM

    Eric,

    Because Burrell would have done the same thing if he stayed with the Phillies, right? And thanks hk.

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