The Phillies’ Domonic Brown had a breakthrough season at age 25, finishing tied for fourth in the NL with 27 homers and appearing in the All-Star Game. That would seem to make him a centerpiece player, right?
Sources: Phillies actively shopping OF Domonic Brown. Looking for controllable starting pitching in return. Idea is to sell high on him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2013
The big problem with Brown is that his defense is truly hideous in left field. UZR rated him 58th of the 62 outfielders to play at least 900 innings last season, and the eye test suggest his defensive stats aren’t very far off the mark. He’s not so bad that he has to become a DH immediately, but he does give away a fair amount of that offensive value with his glovework.
And that’s why the Phillies are open to moving him. For one thing, they have a very similar replacement available in Darin Ruf; he can offer similar power, though from the opposite side of the plate, and similarly bad defense. He also wouldn’t have the same kind of trade value as Brown. Brown might be able to fetch Chris Tillman from the Orioles or James Paxton or Erasmo Ramirez, plus a second prospect, from the Mariners. Ruf probably wouldn’t bring a legitimate starting pitcher back by himself.