Last season Domonic Brown was an All-Star for the Phillies, hitting .272 with 27 homers and an .818 OPS to finally break through at age 25 after years as a top prospect in waiting.
This season Brown has taken a huge step backward, hitting just .234 with eight homers and a .631 OPS in 125 games. And now, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the Phillies will look to trade Domonic Brown this winter for a similar change-of-scenery-type player.”
That isn’t shocking, although the fact that the should-be-rebuilding Phillies are now trying to bring back 32-year-old Grady Sizemore for next season based on a limited sample of good production while trying to trade the 27-year-old Brown is … well, very Phillies-like.
Brown is a career .249 hitter with a modest .723 OPS in nearly 1,500 plate appearances, so his former status as a top prospect no longer carries much weight, but he’s capable of being an above-average starting corner outfielder and is under team control through 2017.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.