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Wild rumor: Phillies, Jays discussing Jose Bautista-Domonic Brown swap

Nov 12, 2013, 11:45 PM EDT

Jose Bautista AP

94WIP Radio’s Howard Eskin isn’t necessarily a baseball guy, but he is a big player in the Philadelphia sports radio scene, and he’s reporting tonight that the Phillies and Blue Jays are involved in “serious talks” about a deal involving Jose Bautista and Domonic Brown.

It’d be a swap of 2013 All-Stars, one seven years older than the other. Bautista, the AL leader in homers in both 2010 and 2011, hit .259/.358/.498 with 28 homers in 452 at-bats last season before a hip injury ended his season in August. It’s the second straight year he’s suffered a season-ending injury; he hurt his wrist in 2012 and required surgery.

Brown, 26, busted out with a big first half before fading last season, ending the year at .272/.324/.494 with 27 homers in 496 at-bats. He’s a poor defensive outfielder, but still a major asset at his price tag. He won’t be arbitration eligible until after next season or a free agent until after 2017.

Bautista is due $14 million each of the next two years, with a $14 million club option for 2016. He’s a great value at that price, but if the Jays did trade him for Brown, they’d free up money to chase a top free agent starter or catcher.

The Blue Jays could also ask for first baseman-outfielder Darin Ruf along with Brown. Ruf wouldn’t have much to do in Philly with Bautista and Marlon Byrd playing the outfield corners and Ryan Howard back at first, but the Jays could use him as a first baseman against lefties and as insurance if Melky Cabrera struggles.

Still, all of this seems highly unlikely to come together. This rumor might have been illegitimate from the get go, and even if there is some truth to it, that doesn’t mean something has to get done.

  1. schmedley69 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    This would be a great move for the Phils. Dom Brown is a Scott Boras client, so he will walk when he is a free agent. You are trading 4 years of Dom Brown for 3 years of Bautista at a reasonable price. The Phillies have needed a RH bat since Werth left. Eskin is a known rumor monger though, and throws a lot of stuff against the wall.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      A totally bogus story that has been shot down by Jon Heyman (mouthpiece for Boras) and Shi Davidi (who works for Rogers Sportsnet. Rogers owns the Jays).

  2. tn16 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    I have read in the whole story Lee/Hamels would be sent along with a high level prospect and JPA would be sent to the Phillips

  3. wetmorepsu12 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Ok… Let’s stop and pretend this actually has some legs to it for a second…

    Is it worth it to mortgage the Phillies’ future for the minuscule potential of winning now with Bautista? No, but regardless if Rube does the right thing and tries to build for posterity, he wouldn’t be around to see it. Another year or two of poor seasons will cost RAJ his job, so (the way I see it) in his reasoning, he might as well try to risk it all to win the lottery.

    On paper I love Bautista for Brown (& Ruf), but the Phillies have too many other holes to fill (cough… bullpen… cough) before this trade could pay dividends.

    • anthonyverna - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:10 AM

      But when has Rube ever shown the ability to do the right thing?

    • bdawk20 - Nov 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      This is a move to get the big TV contract next year

  4. aphillieated - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Just a silly rumor. D-Brown ain’t going no where.

  5. meattornado - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Great move for the Phillies, who are clearly trying desperately to get even older.

  6. pipkin42 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    And Ruben Amaro finally manages to get rid of Dom Brown for good. 26 is just too young, I tell ya! Gotta get more veterans in there!

  7. buffalo65 - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Actual rumor is Ruf, Brown and Lee for Jose, JPA and Drabek back.

    • bankboy2012 - Nov 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      So actual talent for a guy whose last two seasons ended on the DL with a wrist injury, a catcher whose a younger version of Eric Kratz with a bit more pop and passed balls and a pitcher you sold high on but will get back coming off TJ surgery and whose big league performances prior to that weren’t exactly promising?

      If it makes the Phillies older, worse at the plate and gives them a candidate for the 60 day DL then Rube’s going to make this happen.

  8. NYTolstoy - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:47 AM


  9. buffalo65 - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Porcello to the Jays for some bullpeners and things are looking up in TO. Just like last year.

  10. sotehpr - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    If this rumor is true.. Then I believe 2 things… 1 Amaro has lost his mind and two.. Hes trying to get big names for a juicier tv-deal!

  11. sotehpr - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    Now i see what Amaro is trying to do… Get Bautista… Stick him on 3rd…. Trade asche and whatever for peter bourjos… Stick him in LF…


  12. deep64blue - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    Awful deal for the Phillies unless we get loads of prospects back as well, certainly shouldn’t be giving up Ruf. Personally I would hang on to Brown, he’s cheap and the new tv deal will mean we should be able to sign him long term.

    • chadjones27 - Nov 13, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      Where do you put Ruf when Howard comes back?

  13. newpairofsox - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    Two words, Phillie fans: HOWARD ESKIN.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  14. 12strikes - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    Using Eskin as a creditable source is like using Bernie Madoff for financial advice.

  15. jaysfan64 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Shi Davidi says on his twitter feed this rumour is “nonsense” and there’s nothing to it – he’s pretty credible so I believe him…
    Having said that where there’s smoke, there’s usuallya fire…

  16. Jonny 5 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    One thing is for sure. Howard Eskin is an egomaniac and right just twice a day. I’d say this was not one of those times. Why would amaro make this team even older yet ? WHY!?!?!?

    • cur68 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Perhaps he covets The Precious? Can’t blame him. Anyone would.

  17. buffalo65 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    Still think Joey bats is gone by January.

  18. ryanrockzzz - Nov 13, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Looks like RAJ once again is going with a veteran heavy plan to save his job. It’s hard to blame him for wanting to go out guns a blazing if this team does lose again this year. Bautista would certainly be an upgrade, and Dom Brown had one good month last year, so I think selling high on him is the way to go. Dealing Lee in this deal only makes sense if the Phillies are going to go out and sign two starters with that money. Not a huge fan at all of Drabek or J.P. coming back in this deal, Jays fans would probably love to see them go.

  19. jothfu - Nov 13, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    Howard Eskin is NOT a big player on the Philly radio scene. A Sat. Morning show is it. He is NOT well liked by local professionals and often makes things up.

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      I’m almost positive that weird radio announcer in the Tailgaters sports comic strip is a parody of Howard Eskin.

    • ochospantalones - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Yeah, everyone in Philly hates Eskin. Mostly because he’s an arrogant jerk and an idiot. But he’s also frequently a BSer when it comes to his reporting.

  20. nbjays - Nov 13, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    So… a non-baseball radio guy posts on Twitter that there are “serious talks” between the Phillies and Jays, with zero proof or confirmation and it is suddenly gospel? I don’t know Howard Eskin but I do know Shi Davidi and I’ll take his word on this any day.

  21. chadjones27 - Nov 13, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    I don’t believe a word of this. Bautista isn’t over 35 and on the wrong side of his career.

  22. greymares - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I don’t know about THIS rumor but i have absolutely no problem trading Brown and/or Ruf.. Brown’s value will never be higher and i believe he played over his head last year. there is no place for Ruf a bench player at best.

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