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What if we were to trade Domonic Brown?

With the rumors surrounding a possible signing of Michael Cuddyer, much attention is being paid to Domonic Brown and his future. It would seem that a multi-year deal for Cuddyer would be the final nail in the coffin for Brown. So let's assume that this is the future. Domonic Brown's days in a Phillies uniform are over and done with. He must be traded. Where would you trade him, and what would you expect in return? Here's a few players that I would like to see as the centerpiece of a possible (God forbid) Domonic Brown trade. 

Atlanta - Jason Heyward (RF): First name that jumped into my head when the words "Domonic Brown" and "trade" were written above. It seems like Braves fans' relationship with Heyward is going about the same as Phillies fans' relationship with Brown. The only difference is Heyward has been given a legitimate opportunity and has proven he can be a top-shelf player, as evidenced by his rookie season. His injury-plagued sophomore slump seemed to have turned off a majority of fans (if Talking Chop is to be believed), and I wonder if they're just as willing to dump him as we are to dump Brown. As far as his offensive output is concerned, you know the story. He can hit for average and power, he has some quality plate discipline (20.5% K rate and 13.2% BB rate), and he has good speed on the basepaths. On top of that, he's been rated as a plus defender in right field, with a UZR of 8.6 in 2011. Overall, an incredibly talented player who's not very ingratiated with the fan base, and if Frank Wren is anything like Ruben Amaro, he might be swayed by the fan base to get rid of him.

 

Miami - Mike Stanton (RF) or Logan Morrison (LF): These names aren't quite interchangeable, and I consider Stanton to be the better choice here, but I think both have some great value and could help the team considerably.

If we're truly worried about Ryan Howard's ability to produce similar numbers to 2006-2009 in the coming years, then Mike Stanton might be the answer. Boy, does he have some kinda power. In 856 major-league AB, he's hit 56 home runs. Pretty damn impressive, to be sure. The strikeout rates are a bit concerning, almost 28%, but the 11.6% BB rate is certainly encouraging. His lefty/righty splits are pretty solid as well, with his power coming almost equally against either lefties or righties. He hit .293 with 9 HR in 116 AB against lefties, and .253 with 25 HR in 400 AB against righties. He's also a pretty solid defender, rating at 2.7 UZR in right. Of course, with such early showings of tremendous power, I doubt the Marlins are going to want to give him up for just Brown, and I shudder to think of what else Ruben might offer.

Logan Morrison would likely be easier to pry away and definitely would elicit more excitement from the fanbase, given his public persona via Twitter that Phillies fans seem to love and the Marlins front office seems to haaaate. He's not quite the power threat Stanton is, but his statistics in the minors indicate an incredible batting eye, with a 15.6% BB rate and a 12.1% K rate (!) in AAA. Naturally, the walk rate dropped and the K rate rose when he jumped to the majors, but not disturbingly so, and I'd like to think they will improve further in the coming years. He's also got some good power potential, mashing 25 HR in 706 AB in the bigs. However, he doesn't have very much speed on the basepaths, and his defense, according to Fangraphs, is God-awful. Whether that's due to a lack of mobility in the field or just an inability to read balls off the bat, I'm not sure; I hope it can be improved somehow. I don't think he has quite the ceiling Dom has, but he can certainly be pretty close to Brown in terms of pure batting ability. I'd like to get at least another prospect along with him, but who I would choose remains to be decided.

 

Arizona - Justin Upton (RF): Basically a right-handed version of Jason Heyward, possibly better. Hits for a good average, has some serious power and speed on the basepaths, and is also a plus defender. I would likely pick him over Heyward and slot him behind Howard, and keep Pence in the 3-hole (ride that absurd BABIP as far as it will take us). This could be mutually beneficial for both sides, as Arizona could use a left-handed bat near the heart of the order to complement Chris Young and Paul Goldschmidt, and we'd be getting another right-handed bat with average, power and speed in the heart of our lineup. The only problem here is he's likely the best offensive player on that team, and has been for a few years, so prying him away with an unseasoned player would be very difficult.

 

Kansas City - Mike Moustakas (3B): Lest you think I have an infatuation with outfielders, let's look at a 3B, another "desperate need" the team has.

For the #9 prospect in baseball going into 2011, Moustakas didn't exactly live up to the hype of his debut. However, he's still got the peripherals that indicate the potential to be a great hitter. The first thing you notice about this guy is his glaring power potential, as he smacked 84 home runs in 5 minor league seasons. His strikeout rate is below average, which is good since his walk rate is also below average. He seems to be a guy who puts the ball in play a lot, and with his power, he's likely going to put up some gaudy numbers near the heart of the order. His defense is concerning, but most scouts seem to indicate that he plays a capable routine third base, and he's got a strong arm to boot. I don't know how willing the Royals would be to give him up, since he's part of the infield corner combo with Eric Hosmer that's supposed to anchor the infield for years to come, but with the possible departure of Jeff "YAYGuys!" Francouer through free agency, another young player with high upside to replace Moustakas wouldn't hurt. And we'd get a top-tier prospect at a position that seems to lack many high-level players. 

 

San Francisco - Pablo Sandoval (3B): For whatever reason, I doubt I would get support from most people for this, but this is a trade I'd be willing to make. After the Panda's disappointing 2010 season, he spent the offseason working to lower his weight and increase his range at third. Well, mission accomplished. He came into 2011 a full 40 pounds lighter and had a wonderful year, posting a .315/.357/.552 line with 23 HR and 70 RBI, totaling up to a wOBA of .379, the best (tied with Adrian Beltre) among third basemen with 450+ PA. The 25-year-old has become, in my opinion, one of the best third basemen in the game, offensively and defensively. He had the second-best UZR at 3rd, behind Placido Polanco (and his UZR/150 even exceeded Polly's). In light of this and the decent 3B famine, it seems like the Giants will have to be blown away to give him up, but with the state of the outfield as it is (Torres, Ross, Schierholtz, Burrell, and Rowand), a young guy like Brown with some killer upside might be just what they need.

 

New York Yankees - Jesus Montero (C): This is an incredibly unlikely trade candidate, and largely depends on whether or not Montero will be relegated to a DH role much like this past September so Austin Romine can play the role of backstop in the future, or vice-versa (I think the latter seems to be the most probable case). But if we could pick him up, what a sweet pickup it would be. A catcher with his power is very hard to come by, and his hitting prowess in general is very evident. I'm not really going to elaborate because of how unlikely it is, but let's just say he wasn't the #3 prospect in baseball in 2011 for no reason. And he's currently only 21, so he still has a couple years to grow and would likely benefit greatly as a catcher by learning from Carlos Ruiz. But like I said, don't hold your breath for this. The stars need to align perfectly to see a deal focused on Montero and Brown actually take place.

______________________

These are the players whose availability in exchange for Domonic Brown would actually grab my attention. There were a few others I wanted to list but felt that they would not be available under any circumstances or that they would not fit properly in with the Phillies. Notice I didn't list any pitchers, 1B, 2B, or SS since those are pretty much locked up for a while or at least will be soon (right, Jimmy...or Jose?). 

That's my list, feel free to critique it or discuss your own here. I'm especially curious to see what minor-leaguers would be possible trade targets, since I know very little about the farm systems outside the Phillies.

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