Best Way to Improve The Phillies: Trade Dom Brown
The Phillies are a big market team with big marlet spending habits. But unlike the Dodgers and Yankees (even they are tightening the belts a bit) the Phillies have an operating budget which is strictly stuck to every year. For 2014, the Phillies already have committed large dollars to Ryan Howard, (or the artist formerly known as Ryan Howard (L), however you choose to acknowledge his existance) Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. Jimmy Rollins (S) will also make a decent amount and Chase Utley (L) accounts for double figure millions, as well. If we are to believe Amaro, Hamels and Lee are not going anywhere (50 million right there). Ryan Howard (L), Jimmy Rollins (S) and Papelbon are untradable for various reasons ranging from he’s-got-nighting-left to declining in performance to seriously declining in performance. Chase Utley (L) was just resigned, so he is not going anywhere. The rest of the lineup is Ben Revere (L) Cody Asche (L) Dom Brown (L) and whoever plays rightfield regularly next year (Darin Ruf?). Notice my emphasis on the paranthetical notations. That lineup is unbalanced in terms of both wages and left handedness. There is a quick, easy solution for the Phillies to solve this problem. Mike Gill from Atlantic Citys ESPN radio affiliate touched on this yesterday, and I completly agree. It may be tough to swallow given the young mans compensation next year, not to mention his all star level production. Trade Dom Brown. On the surface, perhaps this doesn’t look like a very intellgent move, however please consider the following:
1.) Dom Brown is the most tradable commodity on the Phillies in terms of a strong combination of a young, effective player making next to no money.
2.) Dom Brown is a middle of the order bat who will hit lefthanded next year unless a genie grants him a wish and he decides on being a righty from here on out in his pro career. Ryan Howard (if healthy and effective) also bats left, along with the other hitters listed above who i notated. Darin Ruf and Carlos Ruiz, who arent locks to start and/or be back next year are the only potential righties in the Phillies linup unless a starting 3B is signed and Asche is moved (position) or moved (traded).
3.) Because of #1 above, Dom Brown will command the most in return from any team, even if it means taking back a large chunk of salary.
4.) Elephant in the room time: what if this season was an abberation? Brown hit well in the minors but showed little signs of being a good major league hitter who could hit off speed pitching.
If (and only If) Dom Brown can deliver a right handed hitting 3B or OF with power, it is worth trading him despite his palatable salary, good production, and still to be realzied further potential. But he is in the unique position that he is their best hitter but able to bring back the most in return, specifically areas of need. And the Phils can take on money.