Philadelphia Phillies All-Star left fielder Domonic Brown is reportedly on the trading block, as the franchise is seeking help in the starting pitching rotation and attempting to cash in on one of its most prized young commodities.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports broke the news on Monday:
Sources: Phillies actively shopping OF Domonic Brown. Looking for controllable starting pitching in return. Idea is to sell high on him.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2013
Not a lot went right for the 73-89 Phillies in the 2013 MLB season at the dish or on the mound, as a team ERA of 4.32 and opponents' batting average (.265) were ranked 27th in the league.
Landing a starting pitcher who can help improve those numbers by a significant margin seems difficult, but it could be possible if a suitor is willing to take a bit of a gamble on Brown's upside.
This past year was the first occasion in which Brown really saw full-time big league action, and he flourished at times with the opportunity. He flashed enough brilliance to garner an All-Star selection, batting .272 with 27 home runs and 83 RBI in 139 games.
However, B/R MLB Lead Writer Zachary D. Rymer points out how Brown did much of his damage earlier in the season en route to winning National League Player of the Month for May:
Domonic Brown between May 1 and June 8: 41.0 HR/FB rate. Rest of the year: 10.9. #Phillies— Zachary D. Rymer (@zachrymer) December 9, 2013
Brown has the potential, physical tools and athleticism to continue growing into an even better ballplayer, which is what Philadelphia seems to hope it can sell other teams on in an effort to move him.
Star southpaws Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels headline the Phillies' current rotation, but the front office is evidently seeking to build more depth behind that pair, especially with Lee turning 36 in August. Additionally, Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay announced his retirement on Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, per CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
Cuban MLB newcomer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was an intriguing player toward the end of the season, and he hopes to open 2014 in the starting rotation, per HardballTalk.com's D.J. Short.
The 27-year-old Gonzalez can even throw a knuckleball as part of his impressive arsenal of pitches, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover. That would add a new dimension to the Phillies' staff, and the addition of another arm in a possible swap for Brown would round out a very promising set of hurlers.
If Gonzalez pans out, perhaps trading Brown will have been a mistake and a bit of a premature loss for a player who led the club in home runs and RBI during his maiden campaign in a full-time role.
There's no doubting Brown's potential, so it will be very interesting to see how much interest he draws on the trading block.