Jayson Stark: Phillies Willing To Listen To Offers For Domonic Brown


Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Am I missing something? Was Domonic Brown not the only All-Star on the Phillies last season? Was he not the only player on the team to hit over 20 homeruns last year? Did he not work hard or something? It sure as hell didn’t show if that was the case. And oh yeah, Domonic Brown hasn’t even reached arbitration, so the Phillies still get to pick his salary for this season. So why they hell are the Phillies even considering moving Brown?

Yesterday, I wrote about how even though I knew potential rumors of a Brown-led package going to Tampa Bay in a megadeal that would land the Phillies Rays’ ace David Price, weren’t much more than hypothetical, it pissed me off that the Phillies were even wasting time entertaining the idea. I mean, it isn’t like they have back to back losing seasons after the best five year run in franchise history or anything.

So yesterday I was fairly pissed. Today, after reading this tweet, my reaction redefined the word pissed.

We waited three seasons, hell, we struggled through three seasons, and Domonic Brown finally exploded last year. The Phillies were not a good baseball team, only winning 73 games, but Domonic Brown was a stud at the plate. So instead of doing the smart thing and building around him, the Phillies crazy idea of re-tooling, is trading their cheap, young, outfielder, who likely hasn’t even reached his peak yet. I don’t care if they are only listening, this makes no sense.

Do you think the Angels are listening to offers for Mike Trout if they get the call? Hell no they aren’t. Sure, the Angels are a big-market team who have disappointed the last two seasons, but they know that Trout is the face of their franchise for the foreseeable future. So instead of “listening to offers” for Trout, they are focused on fixing the holes around him. I know Brown isn’t Trout, but a comparison can be made to the Angels situation, and they seem to get it (at least in this sense). Why don’t the Phillies?

A potential Brown trade might bring the Phillies a few prospects in return, but it would bring next to no salary relief, and simply very little chance that the Phillies would get the combined production of the players that they got in return, that they are going to get from Brown this season.

If the Phillies wanted to trade an expensive player away and go after other free-agents, then why didn’t they move Cole Hamels away two years ago at the trade deadline instead of overpaying him? Why didn’t they let Cliff Lee go to the Dodgers when he was claimed off of waivers in 2012, or trade him at last year’s trade deadline? They could even look to move him now if they really wanted to. They could have done the same thing with Chase Utley last summer, but they instead decided to sign the soon-to-be 35 year-old to an extension. So we’ll keep veteran players when the team is clearly in need of a culture change, and talent turnover, but the one constant last year at the plate, is a guy we are willing to listen to offers for.

I guess I am only kidding myself to think that Ruben Amaro has what it takes to turn the Phillies organization back around after he has driven them into the ground since taking over as the team’s general manager in 2009. I guess my hope was that he would continue to make minor screw-ups that add up to losing seasons, but don’t destroy the team’s chances of being good long-term, before the Phillies ultimately fired him. But making any trade that involved Brown would warm Amaro’s seat up more than it already is, and may cost him his job. But then who does the next general manager build around? A core of mid-30’s guys like Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon, Utley, and Lee, in addition to Hamels? Boy, that sounds like a formula for success that only Amaro could see working.