Sell high on Domonic Brown? Following up on Jim Salisbury's Winter Meetings preview from Sunday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported Monday morning that the Phillies are actively shopping Domonic Brown.
Passan tweets that the Phils are looking for "controllable starting pitching in return." Controllable, of course, means young, inexpensive and years away from free agency.
Brown broke out in 2013 with 27 homers, 83 RBIs and a .494 slugging percentage in 139 games. He hit 12 homers in May and became the first major-leaguer ever to total 10-plus homers and zero walks in any calendar month.
But Brown wasn't quite the same after May. He hit .255/.317/.402 with eight homers over his final 77 games. And his outfield defense was below-average, which is a major concern for the Phillies. This is the third consecutive offseason Ruben Amaro Jr. has talked about improving the team's outfield defense.
Starting pitching is an area of weakness for the Phils. They have Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, and gave a three-year deal to highly touted Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. But there are concerns over whether Gonzalez's elbow will hold up -- it's been a problem in the past -- and he's unproven.
After that, the Phils have Kyle Kendrick, Jonathan Pettibone and youngsters Adam Morgan and Jesse Biddle. Depth is lacking.
If the Phillies can flip Brown for a starting pitcher or a group of young hurlers, they could turn around and sign a corner outfielder. Shin-Soo Choo is still out there, along with Nelson Cruz, Mike Morse and Jason Kubel.
Choo is expected to find a dollar amount similar to Jacoby Ellsbury's $153 million. Morse and Kubel are destined for short-term deals. Cruz probably wants the four-year, $60 million contract Curtis Granderson found, but he's not as valuable a player.
Brown would be a sought-after commodity on the trade market. Numerous teams have inquired about the Angels' Mark Trumbo, and Brown is a very similar player, only from the left side. The Mariners are known to be looking for another impact bat after signing Robinson Cano. The Diamondbacks are also in search of an outfielder after missing out on Carlos Beltran.