Sandberg: 'This is the place where rumors happen'
Mark Trumbo has hit 34, 32 and 29 homers the last three years; Domonic Brown hit 27 bombs last season. (AP)
If the Phillies are serious about listening to offers for Domonic Brown, Tuesday's three-team trade that sent Mark Trumbo from the Angels to the Diamondbacks (according to the Arizona Republic) may be a potential blueprint for Ruben Amaro Jr.
The Phils, according to teammate Jim Salisbury, are looking for young starting pitching in a deal for Brown, and they'll have to be blown away to trade a 26-year-old, inexpensive outfielder coming off a 27-home run season (see story).
For Trumbo, the Angels acquired precisely that young starting pitching.
In the deal, the Angels get 22-year-old lefty Tyler Skaggs from Arizona and 25-year-old lefty Hector Santiago from the White Sox.
The Diamondbacks get Trumbo.
The White Sox land outfielder Adam Eaton from Arizona.
Arizona actually would have been a logical landing spot for Brown. The D-backs made it clear they wanted a powerful corner outfielder after being spurned by free-agent Carlos Beltran. They had young pitching to trade but apparently valued Trumbo higher than Brown or weren't willing to meet Amaro's demands.
Trumbo and Brown are pretty similar players. Brown is 26; Trumbo is 27. Both are below-average corner outfield defenders. Brown is a .255 career hitter with a .764 OPS; Trumbo is a career .250 hitter with a .768 OPS.
The two main differences? Trumbo is a right-handed hitter, and he has 800 more plate appearances than Brown. While Brown broke out with 27 bombs in 2013, Trumbo already has three seasons with that many homers under his belt -- 34, 32 and 29 going back to 2011.
There's just more of a track record with Trumbo, and that's why the D-backs preferred him. But another factor in the Phillies' favor is Brown's extra year of team control. Trumbo (3.027 years of service time) will reach free agency a year before Brown (2.078).
The Trumbo trade takes a potential Brown suitor off the board in Arizona, but it also provides a little clarity to the marketplace with Trumbo no longer there. There is still a demand for young, powerful corner outfielders, but the supply is shrinking. Aside from Brown and Trumbo, the only other big-time corner outfield bat potentially on the trading block is Yoenis Cespedes of the Athletics. The Marlins are dangling Logan Morrison, but he's a cut below the bunch.
Some other teams that might make sense for Brown?
The Mariners, who are looking to add impact talent to their nucleus of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Hisashi Iwakuma.
The Orioles, who have already lost Nate McLouth, Scott Feldman and Jim Johnson this offseason without adding anything substantial.
The Tigers, who need another left-handed bat after dealing away Prince Fielder.
How about the Reds? They'll want to make up for the loss of Shin-Soo Choo.
The Pirates currently have Jose Tabata penciled into right field. Brown would be a significant upgrade there, and he'd give the Buccos a talented young outfield of Brown, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte. His defensive deficiencies would be mitigated with two greyhounds next to him. Pittsburgh should be in let's-win-already mode, and it certainly has a deep pool of talent on the farm to trade from.
There should be plenty of suitors for Brown. With Trumbo now off the market, the Phillies might own the best young offensive trade chip.