Late last night, Howard Eskin of FOX 29 in Philadelphia reported that the Phillies are in serious trade talks to acquire Blue Jays outfielder/third baseman Jose Bautista. This is huge news for the Phillies, who earlier in the day acquired Marlon Byrd on a two-year deal, during an offseason that seemed to be geared toward a rebuild.
Of course, this morning Jon Heyman threw cold water on the deal, saying that the Blue Jays aren't close to trading Bautista.
Bautista has been one of the most prolific offensive players in baseball over the past four seasons after a slow start to his career. Bautista's career slash line of .254/.361/.487 may not seem that impressive at first glance, however he posted a wRC+ of 165 in 2010, followed by an incredible 181 in 2011, and then 138 and 134 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, earning him All-Star honors in those years. Bautista also has 211 home runs in his career, with 152 of those coming in the past 4 years.
Bautista would come at a considerable cost to the Phillies, however. The 33-year-old is under contract for two more seasons and will likely command a sizable return. Eskin speculated that the centerpiece of the deal would be 26-year-old outfielder Domonic Brown, who in three seasons in with the big club has put together a .255/.320/.445 slash line while playing below-average defense.
This is certainly a move that makes sense for both teams, as the Blue Jays will likely try to dump some of the contracts they signed last offseason, and the Phillies are making a push to get back in the NL East race in 2014 after their first sub-.500 season since 2002.
For fun, check out Brown's favorited tweets on Twitter. Before the most recent handful he seemed merely to be selecting the most insulting tweets fired at him from Phillies fans. At least he has a sense of humor.