Photo via Philly.com
Yesterday, reports surfaced that the Phillies and Chicago Cubs had at least discussed a possible trade that included sending outfielder Domonic Brown to the Windy City for 37-year-old Alfonso Soriano.
You heard me.
The Phillies, who are searching the market for a power-hitting outfielder, are rumored to have discussed a trade that would have immediately caused hysteria among many Philly faithful.
Soriano touts the kind of power that the Phillies could certainly use in their 2013 lineup; he hit 32 home runs and knocked in 108 RBI last season. However, the negatives with bringing Soriano in (age, subpar defense, high strikeout rate, big contract) certainly outweigh the positives, and that's before one considers what the Phillies would be giving up in return.
When general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. traded prospects for Cliff Lee, Domonic Brown stayed. When he traded prospects for Cy Young award-winner Roy Halladay, Domonic Brown stayed. So why, after just 492 plate appearances sprinkled over three seasons, would Brown be considered a piece that would be moved for a past-his-prime player like Soriano?
A good percentage of fans in the Delaware Valley have lost confidence in the young outfielder, but the Phillies' best bet is to allow the former number one prospect to chance to flourish in left field for at least 2013.
Brown played in just 56 games in both 2011 and 2012; a number that will greatly increase this season. Assuming he averages four plate appearances per game (average PA for the 6-hole in MLB), his stats would look something like this: .240 avg, 14 home runs, 73 RBI, and 59 walks.
These numbers also assume that Domonic Brown, a year older and with consistent plate appearances over an entire season, shows absolutely no improvement at the plate. If he can produce numbers close to his minor league totals (.296/.373/.461, 108 2b, 58 HR since 2007), Brown will be more than capable of being an everyday player for the Phils.
His athleticism is another factor to consider before you write him off as a bust. He has all of the tools necessary to be a good all-around baseball player; he just needs to put all of it together. The best way to do that is being in the lineup everyday and getting the chance to work out the kinks.
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After trading for Minnesota Twins' center fielder Ben Revere, the Phillies have a young, talented outfield that the team can build around for years to come.
That is, if they hold un to Mr. Untouchable.
C.J. Burns is a contributor to Buzz On Broad. Follow him on Twitter @CJBurns215.