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

Report: Phils talking to Toronto about Dom Brown for Jose Bautista swap
November 13, 2013, 12:40 am
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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.

#phillies GM Ruben Amaro deep in serious talks w #bluejays to acquire OF Jose Batista. Can also play 3rd. Phils would deal OF Dom Brown plus

— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) November 13, 2013

Jose Batista fits 4 #phillies. Under contract for 2 more yrs. Phils would have more balance from right side also after signing Marlon Byrd

— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) November 13, 2013

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...

Brown for Bautista! Do it! I'm so sick of the Phillies having players in their 20s

— FakeWIPCaller (@FakeWIPCaller) November 13, 2013

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