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One more winner from the Howard contract: Domonic Brown

Apr 26, 2010, 4:26 PM EDT

Domonic Brown.jpgI’ve not yet seen any statements from the Phillies on this, but in light of the Howard extension, is it at all likely that they’ll be able to sign Jayson Werth once he hits free agency this fall?

As of now, the Phillies’ contractual obligations for 2012 are $87 million for a mere eight players (thanks to Crashburn Alley for the figures).  Are they really going to go over $100 million for just nine guys? Because that’s what signing Werth will require.

This is not a rhetorical point. I really don’t know enough about the Phillies finances to know if all the success and full houses these past few years has placed them into a new, higher-budget reality in which they can justify such things.  Worth noting, though, that the Cliff Lee trade was motivated in part by the realization that, no, the team cannot simply sign whoever they want to. At least as of this past winter, it was determined that choices must be made.

And a big choice is coming this offseason. Jayson Werth is a hell of a player.  The team’s success these past couple of years has had a lot to do with him. Hardly any player is a must-sign kind of guy, and Werth isn’t one of them, but he is important, and if he goes, there will be a hole to fill.

The guy who will be called on to fill that hole is Domonic Brown.  He’s an impressive prospect to be sure. I had assumed that he’d be called up next year as a part time player/Ibanez fill-in and eventually would take over left field.  But if the Howard extension means that Werth leaves town, he’s going to need to be more than a prospect. He’s going to need to be a key contributor to the Phillies 2011 offense as its starting right fielder.

  1. MikeZ - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Brown looked great in spring training. The Phils are lucky to still have him after his name showed up in all the trade talks for Lee and Halladay.
    I think Werth would have been gone after this season even without the Howard deal. The Phils have held on tight to Brown to fill that void and to keep payroll in their scope.

  2. Old Gator - Apr 26, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Get used to the idea of Jayson Werth in pinstripes folks. He will be made Borg this winter after all.

  3. Andrew - Apr 26, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    I love Domonic Brown . . . But the bottom line is that he is yet another left-handed bat. Even though the Phils hit lefties fairly well, I would much prefer a little balance.
    ‘Course, with their current pitching staff, that lineup won’t advance past the first round of the playoffs…..

  4. Moses Green - Apr 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Next year Werth and Ibanez will be gone, Domonic Brown, some kind of Matt Diaz-type signing and one more quality OF will be required after that to put next to Victorino. They shouldn’t have much trouble filling the position, corner OF’s seem to have been hit harder by the new baseball economics than any other position.

  5. Mark Friedman - May 2, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Just back from New Hampshire vs Reading Phillies. Domonic Brown hit an HR today that was a 400-plus-feet linedrive to tie the game 5-5. He jumped on a mistake pitch and nearly came out of his shoes! Unfortunately the Reading pitching staff gave up 7 runs in the bottom half of the inning.
    A very impressive blast by Brown.

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