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Would a “Change of Scenery” Deal Benefit Phils?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 25, 2014 02:30 PM | Comments: 19
Analysis

Brown was an All-Star in 2013. This year? One of baseball’s worst. Could the Phillies strike gold in a change of scenery deal involving Brown?

Domonic Brown is struggling. Struggling mightily, to be exact. The 2013 All-Star has been one of the Major League’s worst baseball players in 2014, hitting .217/.271/.323 with 5 HR. Out of 167 MLB players that would qualify for the batting title if the season ended today, Brown ranks 167th in FanGraphs’ version of WAR, 160th in on base percentage and slugging, and 161st in OPS. Long story short, Brown has been one of the absolute worst players in the Major Leagues, even surprising the crowd that was more bearish on his ceiling to begin with.

Despite his performance and because of his age, Brown likely still has some value. While Brown essentially became an All-Star because of one hot month last season, Brown has power, a strong arm, and slightly-above average speed, definitely enough to be enticing for a team to throw together a trade package. But what exactly could the Phillies get if they chose to trade Brown?

Trade Brown to the Mariners for Dustin Ackley

Manager Lloyd McClendon and second baseman Robinson Cano have the Mariners within 5.5 games of possibly the best team in baseball, the Oakland A’s, and in the driver’s seat for a Wild Card spot.  The Mariners have tried a number of outfielders (Logan Morrison, James Jones, Michael Saunders, Stefen Romano, Abraham Almonte, and Ackley all have 75 PA or more in the outfield) but none have an OBP higher than .314. With the outfield a weak spot, the Mariners could be looking for a change of scenery trade of their own.

Why Ackley makes sense is that he is now a man out of position with a pedigree comparable to Brown’s. Originally a second baseman, Ackley burst on to the scene in 2011, hitting .273 with 6 HR and 6 SB, finishing sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting despite having just 376 PA. Ackley was moved all around the diamond last year, prior to Cano arriving, and at worst, could be an above-average utility player. Ackley has great range, ranks second in the AL among left fielders, but possesses a similar line to Brown’s in 2014: .226/.281/.348 with 4 HR for Ackley v. .217/.271/.323 with 5 HR for Brown. Both at age 26, and both having shown promise early in their careers, a cross-country trip for each might do them each a favor.

The Mariners could do this because they would save a pro-rated million dollars through this season and they would likely save money on Brown v. Ackley through the arbitration process.

Trade Brown and Player X for Jackie Bradley Jr.

At just 24 years old, Bradley Jr. is believed to have a particularly high upside but his bat has yet to grow into that upside at the Major League level. Hitting .204/.289/.310 with four homers and seven steals in 364 PA for the Red Sox over this year and last, the Red Sox may be seeking one last punch to get them back into the race. To be fair, this one is highly unlikely: with the Red Sox 8.5 out of first place, they may look like sellers rather than buyers at the deadline but a controllable, cost-efficient outfielder with upside would be one of the last pieces to go, right? That doesn’t mean they don’t have anyone else they may be interested in moving…

Trade Brown for Shane Victorino

Well, this would be interesting. The Phillies would be adding significant payroll (the pro-rate of $12.5 million difference between Brown and Victorino in 2014 and then the difference between the estimated $1.5 million in arbitration Brown would receive v. the $13 million Victorino will make in 2015) but would improve for the duration of the season. At just six games out, Victorino would upgrade a corner outfield spot both offensively and defensively immediately. The two big questions here are: would Victorino be healthy, he is nursing a nagging hamstring injury, and does Ruben Amaro believe the Phillies are close enough to being contenders to merit taking on about $6 million in salary for 2014 and $11.5 million more in 2015?

Those are just some of the change of scenery deals that may work involving Dom Brown. Any thoughts on any additional hypothetical deals below are welcome.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 804 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Ron

    Here are some trades the Phils should look at:

    Dom Brown, to NY Mets for Eric Young,Jr

    or

    Marlon Byrd & Dom Brown to Padres for Jake Goebbert , Will Venable, & player to be named

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Not sure what happened to Dom Brown, but I don’t think we can wait much longer on this guy to turn it around. He was touted as a five tool player, except the only tools he has now are from Home Depot. Wake up, Dom.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    This might be a stretch because the Pirates outfield is already kind of full, but how about Dom for Jose Tabata, who is struggling himself, still young like Dom, but a change of scenery could help him as well, as would coming to hitter friendly, CBP. Thoughts?

     
    • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

      I’m sure the Pirates would love to offload the $9.25 million they have guaranteed to Tabata (2015 & 2016 guaranteed plus three buyout seasons), but I don’t see why they’d want Brown. Marte, McCutchen & Polanco is a great young outfield.

       
      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        I would be more interested in josh Harrison of the pirates…

         
  • Posts: 0 nickybaseball

    The Victorino suggestion is the dumbest thing I’ve read. That’s pretty high praise, because I read a LOT. You should be very proud.

     
  • Posts: 0 Cory K

    After his misplay tonight, trading Dom is becoming more appealing. The Ackley trade has the most merit of these three. Another possibility is Dom Brown for Mike Moustakas. He’s a pretty good defensive 3B who is struggling mightily with the bat. I would then move Asche to LF. He’s a good athlete with a decent arm, but he doesn’t seem to the hands or instincts at 3B.

     
    • Posts: 0 Joefa

      I have advocated for a Brown for Moustskas trade with my friends. Moustskas can free up Asche to be moved to another spot or be traded while he is sorta hot. Logic seems to indicate that Franco is not likely to stick at third and should be viewed as a replacement for Howard.

      Kansas City has Gordon in left and Aoki in right, so Brown could be intriguing to them?

       
  • Posts: 0 Brian

    Ben Revere might be the only guy left who doesn’t want to see Brown go.

     
  • Posts: 0 Stefano61

    the curious thing is that Dom is hitting .319 in 69 AB with runners in scoring position, with an OPS of .936…that’s why he as a repectable number of RBIs. Go figure out…

     
  • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

    I still like brown, but maybe a deal to the rays for Desmond Jennings??

    Both are young and relatively cheap, and a move may benefit both…

     
    • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

      Maybe Ben revere for Jennings…

      I still like what brown brings to the table in terms of ability, so I struggle with letting him go…. However being able to harness that ability and consistently use it is another thing I suppose

       
      • Posts: 0 Chuck A.

        Ability to do what? At this point I think that “ability” is all about perception.

         
      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Well you don’t get lucky and hit 27 homers…. So he does have some ability, but maybe by totally redoing domonics swing they screwed him up for good, given he had that good year last year, but remember he used to hold his hands real high and they preached lowering his hands would make him better??

        Idk it’s too bad that he hasn’t panned out to be what we all thought he could be

         
  • Posts: 0 George

    Brown’s only real positive has been his hitting, and right now he can’t even do that. His arm is meaningless if he can’t run down the ball, and his speed isn’t great enough to be a huge asset. A “change of scenery” trade will only get the Phils another one-dimensional player who’s one dimension, like Brown’s, isn’t currently working and possibly never will. It’d be like trading in a blue Yugo for a red one.

     
    • Avatar of Tom in South Philly

      “Trading a blue Yugo for a red one”, I love that line, and its so appropriate. I am dating myself, but I remember seeing them on the streets. Consumer reports recommended buying a used (any kind) car or a motorcycle rather than a brand new Yugo.

      Back to the topic at hand, I was wondering if anyone remembers any of these “change of scenery” trades ever working out?

       
    • Posts: 5160 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Yugo??? Kind of harsh don’t you think? I don’t think he is any worse than an 1970 AMC Gremlin.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        That Gremlin–if you could even find one that avoided the crusher–would now be 44 years old. At least a Yugo would be a little newer.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken

    Brown for moustskas

     
 
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