Cubs, Phillies have discussed Soriano for Brown trade

According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs have discussed a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano and all but $10M of the remaining $36M in exchange for young OF'er Domonic Brown, who has had difficulty finding steady playing time with the win-now oriented Phillies.

The deal hasn't been consummated because the Phillies are looking to see if they can sign a free agent first, such as Cody Ross.

We've discussed the possibility of Soriano to the Phillies on numerous occasions, speculating that the Cubs would likely ask for one of their young OF'ers in return.  Brown seemed the most likely as he has yet to earn the trust of Phillies manager Charlie Manual.

Brown would get the opportunity to play for the Cubs everyday and fits the goal of making the team younger and more athletic.  He was once considered the top prospects in the Phillies organization, as recently as entering the 2011 season.

He's a high risk/high reward player whom some compared to Carl Crawford.  He has 5 tool potential, with defense the tool that lags behind.  Brown has the speed and athleticism to play above average defense, but needs work on reads and routes.  His arm is outstanding.

In 147 games, Brown has hit .236/.315/.388 with 12 HRs.  He has a solid batting eye, walking at an above average rate for his MLB career (10%).  His career line in the minors is .296/.373/.461.


Jayson Stark of ESPN (who has strong Philly connections), calls it a long shot.  They weren't interested in Soriano but the Cubs talked them into considering it.  Seems to me Soriano at $5M a year is pretty low risk and big time potential surplus value if Soriano continues to play as well as he did last season.



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  • If the Cubs can pull it off, and if Brown can find the potential that made so many scouts love him, the ~2016 Cubs lineup could be utterly devastating:

    CF Albert Almora
    2B Logan Watkins
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    RF Jorge Soler
    3B Javier Baez
    LF Domonic Brown
    C Welington Castillo

    I know the trade hasn't happened, and it quite possibly won't, but it could lead to a modern-day murderer's row of a lineup.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Brown very much like the player they like. Good eye, years ahead of him. Really hope it gets done.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Unfortunately, only two of those players have come anywhere near fully proving themselves at the major league level. That line-up's got a shot though...

  • Such a tease. This is the kind of player the Cubs should be targeting in trades...someone with talent who may benefit from a change. Brown's upside is definitely worth taking a chance on, but I'd be OK with the Cubs eating all of Soriano's money if it meant getting someone better back.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Absolutely agreed. Great fit for the Cubs and good for the Phillies, who have a small window to win right now. Seems they prefer a free agent so they don't have to give up a player, but Sori may provide more of that middle of the order bat than Ross.

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    Give the Phillies 20 Million. Make it happen.

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    I'd be willing to pitch in more as well. Make it difficult for them to prefer a FA.

  • MLBTR says they'd rather pursue a FA OF'r than trade for Sori, so we'll see what happens. With Browns 5 tools, I would think Dale & McKay could turn him into a very respectable core/trade piece by 2014.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    If Brown plays to his potential, he's a core piece. Not a guy they'd want to flip.

  • The Cubs will have to include more than 10 million dollars in any trade of Soriano. They would probably have to send along at least 25 million.

  • They are. The article states the Cubs offered Soriano and $26 million for Brown.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Oh, I see, it was changed later. Carry on...

  • If there is any truth to this rumor then start talking ASP. Give more
    money if needed. Great young ex-top prospect

  • Exactly. Pay as much as you have to. Talent is way more important at this point.

  • In reply to gocubsgo:

    Agreed. Cubs have money to spend. If not for signing FAs, then spend it to get a good prospect/young player.

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    Interesting, there would be alot of risk for the Phillies....the risk of a regression from Soriano. I imagine the Cubs would pitch in enough $ to make it happen.

    If we need to entice the Phillies, they could use Marmol. They have Papelbon, but lack depth.

  • I got to see Brown play in the Futures game in 2011. He looked great and would look really good in a Cubs uniform.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Great fit.

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    John, Heyman's piece says the Cubs are willing to pay "all but $10 million", meaning they are willing to pay up to $26 million to make a deal, not $10 mil.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Thanks was multi-tasking and rushing to get this out!

  • Really hope Cody Ross signs elsewhere, so we can make this deal happen. Unless we can possibly get it done by shipping out more money. Maybe something like 2yrs 10mil for Soriano, with the Cubs shipping out 26mil could get it done.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    Looks like that what Heyman has. At that deal I think they almost have to do it, but they may want to pay more for Ross and save their young player.

  • If Dave McKay can help Sori with working on his defense, I'm sure Brown's defense would not lag behind.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    A lot more to work with with Brown than there was with Soriano. Agreed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    True, but he needs to work on his offense as well. What do you estimate the difference would be to us in W/L for 2013 to have Brown vs Sori?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It depends. Best case scenario is that it even outs, worst case we're talking about 4 wins. Likely answer is somewhere in between, maybe a couple games in the standings.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Getting a higher draft pick in 2014 would just be an added bonus to making this trade.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Ha! He wanted even more last year. He made good on a one year deal instead and is coming off a much better season. I don't think he'll settle again.

  • Let's hope Ross wants more than 2 years and 10 million per year.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Last I heard he wanted 3/26M

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Please, oh, please, oh please stay greedy Ross. Stand firm. Stand tall. Chin up. Demand what you're worth, my boy!

  • Brown does seem to be the type of player the Cubs would pursue. I don't see the Phils having the patience for him to develop.

  • Can Brown play CF or is he better suited for a corner position?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    He played more LF than RF last season, but has been primarily considered a RFer. He has played all 3 OF positions in his minor league career and even played 11 games there last year in AAA. Sounds like he can do it in a pinch, but isn't best suited for it.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Better suited for corner, but has the athleticism and speed to play CF if he can get better jumps/reads.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    More suited for the corner Of position

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Brown plays a pretty decent CF in Out Of The Park Baseball. (a sim) hahaha.

  • I don't think the Cubs could possibly get a better return than this. Brown is better than I what I had outlandishly hoped they would get from the Yankees.

    Of course, the most outlandish hope is that this trade actually happens.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Good to see he has this kind of value to other teams, though Phils have soured on Brown. Tough for them to have patience when they're structured to win now with a small window.

  • Any word on whether or not Soriano would approve the deal?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Seems much more likely to go to the east coast. When Cubs signed him 6 years ago, Phillies were his original first choice until Crane/McDonough dropped all that extra $$ and years on him.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    I think Soriano would be crazy not to approve a deal to the Phillies (whether it ends for Brown or someone else). From what we've heard, Sori wants to stay in the N.L., play LF (not DH), and be on a contender. The Phillies are a perfect match.

    I'd also like to see Sori's HR totals in the park, he's the perfect type of hitter for that park. Lots of deep fly balls, in that park, and when the warm weather comes, could be 35 hr's or more. The Phillies would be nuts not to make a deal if Sori is only going to cost them $5 mil per.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Oh I agree with that, Just Win. The Phillies are an ideal landing spot for Soriano. And also agree that they should want Soriano at 5m over Ross any day. Don't sleep on them getting Swisher though, either. Or both. I have heard that his family not wanting to move isn't something to be slept on in this particular case. For Philliy though I'd say there's an 75-80% chance he waives it.

  • Let's hope Phillies thinks 2/10 is better an 3/36. Not too many
    teams interested in a young raw outfielder.

  • Reading comments from Philadelphia fans, they want no part of Soriano at any cost.

  • this trade makes no sense......If I was a philly fan, I would not want Soriano.........Heyman is just talking out of his a** to make headlines.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Jayson Stark confirmed there have been talks. We don't know if Brown was a name thrown around but I would think the Cubs have at least asked about him.

    I think it's more likely the Cubs get a younger prospect or two, like a couple of A ball players. Brown, or any MLB ready OF would be nice, but that might not happen.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    You and Stark have a lot in common then.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Sorry, you and Heyman have a lot in common.

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    Keep in mind most of them are under the impression that the cubs will only pay 10mil instead of "all but 10mil" from the typo.

    And also from the comments on mlbtr most of those philly fans don't even know or paid attention to what Soriano did last year. They are making judgments on name alone. The well informed ones do think it's a good deal considering Brown's stalled development, their short window, and the benefit of having Soriano on a 2yr 10mil deal.

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    I don't think anyone who doesn't follow the Cubs closely realize how much Soriano improved on defense last year. Whoever trades for him will get a nice surprise.

  • I'm sure they have the same misconceptions as everyone else. They also want Hamilton.

  • Philadelphia, the worst baseball fans in all of MLB....they booed Mike Schmidt off the field...........any talk of throwing in a winter jacket for Soriano in this trade?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    They'd rather overpay Hamilton or Ross, then boo them when they don't live up to it.

  • Read on Phillies site that they offered Hamilton 3/80

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    That's a potential disaster.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Couldnt believe it when I saw that.

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    I'd love for us to make this deal and im sure philly would too. I don't buy that we had to talk them into trading their neglected prospect for Soriano at 2yr 10mil which is an absolute steal in a market where Victorino makes quadruple that. Philly would be fools not to hope on this but they have to make it seem like it's a last resort to keep their fans happy.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Could be. They could say they made their run at FAs but all turned them down and this was their best alternative.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    In any case, that means we won't see this deal happen until Hamilton and Ross are off the market.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Agreed. Know need to hold out breath on this one.

  • Just in case anyone from the Phillies organization is reading...

    Boy, Cody Ross really liked hitting in Fenway last year. Home OPS .921, road .684, overall .807. Soriano's home OPS .828, road .815, overall .821. Two years at 10 million, what does that breakdown to...carry the, only 5 mil per season for Soriano? What's Ross asking again?

    Think that'll work...?

  • Soriano will be 37 on Opening Day. He'd be a much better fit for an A.L. team.

  • Agreed, but if the Phillies are willing to trade something of value for him and Soriano will approve the deal, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

  • There have been reports that the phillies have been kickin around the idea. i think that this is truth and if it does have legs then i think the obvious thought should be that they are gonna try and lock up someone younger and if they cant meet on a deal then theyl turn to the cubs, id rather have both josh hamilton and cody ross than soriano depending on the contract value, but if theyre asking for too much then you turn to soriano, its the right thing to do.

    so hopefully hamilton and ross sign soon and we find out if the phillies steal need a lf.

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    The Phillies lineup is already overwhelmingly lefthanded. Hamilton isn't a great fit because he's another lefty, and he wants that ridiculous contract. Soriano or a different RH power hitter is a better fit for them.

  • Let's hope at least 1 team is willing to give him a 5 year deal.
    They might take Soriano over Ross, because of the money

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    Even if this doesn't happen, it suggests Soriano has some real value, which is for the good.

    I continue to think the Royals would be crazy not to move Starling for a real major league outfielder.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree Mike. This is a good sign even if it doesn't happen. It wouldn't surprise me if the Cubs FO deliberately leaked this one for that reason.

    I still think he gets trade in July, and I hope he's putting up numbers good enough to get him in the discussion for MVP.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    One way or another I hope we get a deal done for him this offseason. He's at max value right now and it's really rolling the dice with his age and the slow start he got off to last year that he has another killer first half.

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    In reply to Carne Harris:

    I would guess that slow start is why some in the Phillies front office are still reticent.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I get the idea NL teams still aren't sold on his defense either. Even as late as August and September I remember opposing team's broadcasters saying things like, "Before the game the Cubs' announcers tried to convince us that Soriano's defense has improved, but I think they're pulling our legs." Lot of bad PR to overcome there.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    he'd see way better pitches to hit sandwiched in that lineup compared to ours currently...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Was thinking that as well. Though Starling is still highly regarded by Royals. Phils have probably lost some enthusiasm for Brown.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Not necessarily Starling for Soriano. But they have gone so 100% all-in this year, what good does a prospect with warts in A-ball do you? That is exactly the kind of guy they want to turn into present value.

    At this point, to go halfway is a mistake.

  • I think this is precisely why the Cubs aren't ready yet to dive headfirst into the free agent market for bigger name/ bigger salary players. Cash is their biggest trade asset right now. They are in a position where they can sweeten the pot in almost any deal they put on the table. The day will come when there are enough trading chips in the organization where they won't have to rely on money being one of them.

  • I see only three teams that can carry Soriano....Rays, Yankees & Orioles.

    Marines signed Bay....Detroit got Hunter.....Houston needs a DH, but going young......

    Theo might have to wait until a major injury shuts down a player and see what we can get around July for Soriano.

  • Sori for Brown could be a huge score if Brown hits. Especially long term since he's so toolsy. He should age well. However, there's also the chance that he doesn't hit. If that happens I'm concerned that it could set Rizzo's development back a year. Maybe a half a year. Without any thump, especially right handed thump behind him he'll get pitched around a little/lot more and if he doesn't make adjustments he'll pull an Eric Hosmer on us. Call me crazy but it MAY just be better to keep Soriano. That's not gonna be popular but what are you guys' thoughts on that? The lack of a clean-up hitter...

  • In reply to Ben20:

    No question there is some risk with Brown, but I think it's one that the Cubs have to take.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    So how concerned would you be about the lack of right handed pop and protection in the lineup for Rizzo?

  • Looks like the Reds are reloading.

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    Unbelievably low return for Bauer. His name must be mud in the league right now.

  • fb_avatar

    Reloading so Dusty can shoot himself in the foot again!!! and he will!!!!

  • Gregorius minor lg. stats pretty much mirror Barney's minor lg. stats. Trading a Ace with makeup problems for basically a utility IF (albeit a potential GG SS).

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    In reply to Furiousjeff:

    A weaker bat plays better at SS than 2B where it's easier to find offense.

  • Maybe by next year the Cubs can make these types of trades.
    They still need 1 more year to evaluate their top prospects to
    see which ones are worth keeping.

  • I love Dom Brown, but if you would rather have Hamilton for 27/3years over Sori 5/2 ...they are nuts!

  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    Gotta respectfully disagree big time there, waitingOn2015. Three years at any number is not really a big deal at all for a major market team like the Phillies. Especially since they already have two maybe three #1's (Halladay is a concern for them) locked up past that. And Utley coming off the books. Josh is way better. Believe me, they'd love to have him at three years. They may even let him pick the number.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    For all the Bourn lovers who say we should swoop in on him if its a short term deal...if Josh was really at three years, the Cubs should and probably would call Mike Moye in a heartbeat! So would half if not more of the clubs.

  • How long is Brown under control and does anyone know his current salary by chance?

  • Remember it is $20+ million per year

  • I can't seem to find what the WAR was for both Brown and Soriano. Anybody know? Like Jim Weihofen said earlier with the lineup for 16, lots of potential, even without Brown. I may be in the minority but I haven't given up on Brett Jackson yet with Almora and Soler in the outfield. Still need pitching imho.


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    In reply to BobMiller146:

    Bob, we definately need impact rotation arms, but at this point the more quality we obtain, the better depth we build and the better arms we culd acquire we're getting a high upside guy with the #2 pic

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    In reply to BobMiller146:

    Soriano's WAR last season was 1.8, according to Baseball Reference (I know their WAR methods are slightly different than Fangraphs).

    Brown's WAR last year was -1.0, although he had fewer than 200 AB's in the majors. His career WAR is -1.8 in just under 500 career MLB AB's.

    Also, Brown has struck out just under 20% of the time in his minor league career, not a horrible number at all. For comparison, KC/now TB super prospect Will Myers has struck out 24% of the time in his MiLB career. Brett Jackson 31%, and Anthony Rizzo 23%. There is talent there, with regular AB's and good instruction, Brown should be able to be at least a solid MLB regular I would think. He would be a very nice addition even if he's not part of a Soriano trade. Perhaps the Phillies do sign a free agent OF, we could maybe look at dealing them a RP for Brown. Perhaps Russell.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    By contrast, Fangraphs puts Darwin Barney's WAR at 2.5 while Baseball Reference has it as 4.6! Their methods seem to be wildly different!

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    Soriano had a 4.0 WAR, based on the fangraphs formula last season. Brown was 0.2. He has been a strange kind of player in his career. At times in the minors he looks like the second coming. But in spring training he was terrible last year. Then he hurt his knee. Never could seem to get anything going over the course of the season. Some have said he really should be a center fielder.
    The Phillies are bluffing, that is a planted story that they are not that interested. Their outfield right now is Ben Revere, Domonic Brown and Darren Ruf. Yeah, their all set.

  • Add 20 million to the Cubs current payroll and what do you get? Roughly 85 million. Not a big deal. Generally speaking, of course.

  • Unbelievable trade today and I think it could have some good implications for the Cubs. Will have something up later tonight or early tomorrow.

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