Report: Phils talking to Toronto about Dom Brown for Jose Bautista swap

Report: Phils talking to Toronto about Dom Brown for Jose Bautista swap

While the Phillies appear to be targeting midlevel free agents this offseason by most accounts, Ruben Amaro Jr. always has an ace up his sleeve. Or it might be the two of spades. There is most definitely a something up there though. Hopefully it’s a face card at least?

Turns out it might be one of the American League’s biggest right-handed bats. According to Howard Eskin of Fox 29 and 94WIP, the Phils’ general manager is “deep in serious talks” with the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire two-time home run champion Jose Bautista. And the asking price? Let’s start the bidding at Domonic Brown.

Yes, the same Domonic Brown who is 26 years old and coming off of his first All-Star appearance. Yes, the same Jose Bautista who just turned 33 and missed 114 games over the past two seasons due to injuries.

Bautista posted a .358 on-base percentage with 28 home runs and 73 runs batted in over 118 games in 2013. Not bad, but it was a far cry from an ’11 campaign when he was a .447 with 43 and 103—his last truly elite season (out of two).

Brown finished his breakout year with a .324 OBP, 27 HR and 83 RBI over 139 appearances. The numbers are buoyed by an insane two-month stretch during which he belted 18 home runs, drove in 46 runs and earned NL Player of the Month honors for May.

Eskin points out Bautista would give the Phillies’ lineup more lefty-righty balance. Then again, it would also increase the club’s average age to 47 unofficially. Bautista would likely take over for Dom in right field, although he’s also seen time at first and third base in recent years.

Bautista is under contract for two more years at $14 million a piece, with a team option for 2016. Brown doesn't become arbitration eligible until next offseason, and the earliest he can become a free agent is in '18.

At this moment in time, there’s no way of confirming the veracity of Eskin’s report, but should it eventually come to pass, this would be a blockbuster in every sense of the term. Then again, Blockbuster is in the process of closing all of their stores, so that’s not necessarily a good thing.

I’m not sure anybody is sold on Dom Brown as a perennial All Star, and it’s not hard to envision how adding Bautista’s bat between lefties Chase Utley and Ryan Howard would bolster the lineup. Then again, he’s yet another aging veteran that’s been hampered by injuries, so the move doesn’t exactly scream progress.

And the Phillies would have to send somebody else—presumably prospect(s)—to make the deal happen? Eh...

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy announced that the team has added two players to its 2016-17 roster. 

The Owls will announce the two new transfers, junior’s Isaiah Lewis and Steve Leonard, Thursday night at the Liacouras Center at the team’s Cherry and White Night. 

Lewis comes to Temple after playing for Casper College in Wyoming last season, where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists per game. Before his stint at Casper College, the 6-4 guard also played at Lee Junior College in Texas, and averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Leonard, a 6-6 guard from Collegeville, Pa., played two seasons at Ursinus College. He averaged 5.6 points over 43 games during his career at Ursinus. 

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”