It’s fairly difficult to be “actively shopping someone” when the report comes out as the GM is sitting in the retirement press conference of the greatest player he ever acquired or will ever acquire and sushing reporters… but we’ll take Jeff Passan at his word that the Phillies are, for some reason, trying to trade Dom Brown:
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
I don’t get the theme that the Phillies need starting pitching. That is the least of their problems. They can’t hit. Their lineup is old. They need good, controllable young talent that can hit baseballs. Brown may not be the guy his one-month swinging-dick fest might have led you to believe he was, but he’s arguably the Phillies’ best hitter – which isn’t saying much – and the nonstop reports that they want to trade him don’t make a lot of sense to me.
David Murphy, oh he of ust highest un cheeses, actually makes a good argument for why Brown is better than you think, for what Brown can do for you… and the Phillies:
So just stop with the “one good month” malarkey. Among players with at least 900 plate appearances since the start of the 2011 season, Brown’s .775 OPS during that span ranks ahead of Jason Heyward, Shane Victorino, Brian McCann, Brandon Phillips, Jon Jay, Michael Bourn, and, yes, your newest Phillies fan favorite, Marlon Byrd. Among players younger than 26, he ranks ninth, trailing Giancarlo Stanton, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Willin Rosario and Brandon Belt. In 1,032 career plate appearances, Brown has a .764 OPS and 107 OPS+. So he has been an above-league-average hitter for the equivalent of two full major league seasons, despite playing uninterrupted as a regular for only one campaign.
The question is why, after all of the development work that the organization has devoted to Brown, would they trade him away when he is right on the verge of showing just how good of a player he can be? He’s already given the Phillies plenty of reason to believe that he will, bare minimum, be an above-league-average hitter throughout his prime. Why trade him away for a hitter at a non premium position who has already peaked?
Because Ruben Amaro.