Howard Eskin, according to his Twitter bio is a reporter for Fox 29 TV and 94 WIP Radio in Philadelphia, and… um… he actually appears to be genuinely serious about the rumour he– and only he, it would seem– is reporting this evening. The man has over 40,000 followers and his account is verified, so I’ll do him a solid and try to take it at least half seriously, even though I’m pretty sure that without additional details or confirmation, it doesn’t quite pass the smell test.

And by “doesn’t quite pass the smell test,” I, of course, mean that it smells like a fifteen-tonne truck of steaming, fresh, lumpy bullshit.

To wit:

Would be slightly more credible if he could spell Bautista’s name correctly, huh? But this isn’t Marty York, either, folks.

There’s some real funny stuff on Twitter when it comes to this, too, as both sides seem to be appalled at the idea of the deal, with Jays fans obviously thinking that Brown, and his lone good (offensive) big league season doesn’t seem like nearly enough– or remotely like the kind of return you’d think the Jays were looking for– to receive in exchange for a premier slugger. Meanwhile, Phillies fans can’t fathom the idea of giving up a young, controllable, star-in-waiting for an injury-prone decline case.

At least, that’s the general sentiment from those who seem able to wrap their heads around the theoretical possibility of this one– a camp in which I can not yet place myself…

And maybe I shouldn’t even bother. Our old friend Bill “Rush” Baer at Crashburn Alley seems to have the right idea, posting Eskin’s tweet with a simple explanation: “If this becomes an actual thing, we’ll provide analysis. For now, enjoy the speculation of a trade involving Domonic Brown and Jose Bautista.”

Could it become a thing, though? That Bill is not immediately dismissive should probably tell you something.

Eskin was on the Fan 590 this evening, claiming that his source suggests Bautista was not happy that the Jays brought in players who make more than him, which… would be pretty fucking ridiculous. Then again, Mike Wilner appeared on the Fan right afterwards, saying that it’s certainly possible he could be upset, but adding… so what? I mean, he sure as shit wouldn’t be the highest paid player on the Phillies– or pretty much any club, for that matter– if that really, seriously, is enough of a concern to want out (which I doubt it is– or at least really hope it isn’t).

But… gah! Who knows??? More importantly, I think, who the fuck is Howard Eskin??? I mean, look at this website!

Sure, people out of Philly are saying quite a bit on Twitter tonight that Eskin is “credible”– and I’m definitely hearing that’s the case when it comes to football– but most comments seem to be more like this:

And for the time being, it’s still Eskin all alone on an island with this scoop, so far as I can tell.

But OK… what if it was a thing? Shi Davidi is skeptical, and tweets that the Jays have mostly been in information-gathering mode, which leads him to wonder if it was simply a concept that was floated at some point. But what if it was a serious, one-for-one deal that was happening and not part of a three-way deal or something? Would it really actually be that bad?

There are certainly some positives that Brown brings– though I don’t think nearly as many as Philadelphia fans imagine. For starters, he made $500K last year, and doesn’t reach arbitration until after this one. That puts his free agency four seasons and less than $20-million away, while Bautista is under contract for two more years, at $28-million total, with an option for a third year for $14-million more. Perhaps more crucially, though, a deal like this would save the Jays something like $13-million on their 2014 payroll. Plus, Jose is 33, while Brown turned 26 in September.

The issues, however, are that while Brown was good in finally putting together a breakout season at the plate (.351 wOBA/123 wRC+), he still didn’t even hit as well as Colby Rasmus (.365 wOBA/130 wRC+). He also has little track record of success at this level, and is not well liked defensively by both UZR and DRS (nor do the Fans Scouting Reports on his FanGraphs page show he measures up to even Bautista).

Then again, he still hasn’t reached his offensive peak– as compared to a rather clearly declining Jose– would balance the Jays’ lineup a bit better, being a left-handed hitter, and was always very, very well regarded as a prospect. So… yeah. Know what? Actually it’s probably not quite as far fetched as a lot of Jays fans want to believe right now to see a whole lot of value in a move like this, given the age, cost control, and immediate salary relief that would be gained by dealing Bautista for Brown.


To reiterate: I still don’t believe it’s a thing. But the offensive hit you’d take would be offset quite a bit by some very positive things. The only issue, then, of course, is… why the fuck should the Jays have to take such an offensive hit (possibly defensive, too, if you believe the metrics) in order to open up payroll? Because if the rumour is somehow real, and it’s somehow not part of deal involving more teams, and there aren’t more quality big league pieces being exchanged, that’s precisely what it would sort of boil down to: a very palatable salary dump. I’d like to damn well think that the Jays wouldn’t need to do something so drastic– palatable as it may be– in order to open up their wallets this winter, but if they really, really had to, and knew they could use the funds gained for legitimate top-end pitching, in this little slice of crazy fucking innuendo they may not even be doing so badly.

Certainly not as badly as I think a lot of people immediately thought.

But still… y’know… don’t fucking do it.

Comments (158)

  1. stfu Howard Eskin, amirite

  2. Jesse Spector RT’d a bunch of garbage this guy reported as fact that was false so… “consider the source.”

    • I’ve had lots of people saying that, while he doesn’t often get baseball stuff, he’s not Marty York. Does get lots of stories on football, and I honestly do believe that’s Elliotte Friedman making the comment in support of him here.

  3. Ok… PANIC!

  4. Only way this is true if it includes cliff lee… Right?

  5. i guess the salary relief would be nice and stuff but it doesn’t really make sense to me beyond that.

  6. I just can’t see a fit unless they really need to clear salary or actually bought into the attitutde stuff.

    I’d just like a denial from someone legit.

  7. Just like how Jays will trade Arencibia + for Profar or Stanton

  8. no doubt AA has had inquiries….but I have a pretty hard time thinking this is legit. guy reporting it has a sketchy history to be kind.

  9. Would be a great trade for the jays if true — I imagine JPA would also go to philly

  10. Go home, Eskin. You’re drunk.

  11. The majority of fans of both clubs hate this trade. Phillies ay Joey Bats is “too old and declining”. We hate it b/c it’s our best/second best hitter and “face of the franchise”.

  12. 1. I am 99.99% sure this is garbage.

    2. Unless the plus is something REALLY good, this is nuts.

  13. He just said on Jeff sammut fan590 that the jays are fed up cause Bautista is complaining about his contract …. I have never heard anything like that

  14. Bautista, Romero and Izturiz for Dom Brown and Jesse Biddle or Cliff Lee. Then use saved funds for Cano and top FA starting pitcher.

  15. Well Amaro does love his aging players….. Trading something big for Jbau and expecting him to play RF and/or 3B seems pretty risky for them though. I have tonnes of faith in the bat but little faith that Jbau willl stay healthy for a full season without moving to 1b/DH soon (now if I had my way).

  16. This is some bullshit methinks. The guy didn’t have a clue about what the Jays were looking for besides Brown.

  17. Sounds like bullshit to me

  18. the tweets Dom Brown is favoriting right now are pretty funny…

    “Better get out the Cowboys starter jacket, going to be cold in Canada!”

  19. Why are the Philly’s fans so in love with this guy?

  20. I suspect this will happen. It won’t work out. This is the way of things.

    Because of this nonsense, I will no longer watch Blue Jays games. I won’t watch any games for the entire 2014 season. This includes spring training and the full 152 game schedule.

    I don’t know why i keep getting sucked back in – it’s just year after year of misery. The farm system is declining, AA is going to bring in expensive free agents, it won’t amount to anything, and we’ll be starting over again in a few years.

    I, for one, will not take it anymore! I absolutely, 100%, steadfastly refuse to be exposed to this anymore. Furthermore, I will not visit the site again.

  21. Anyone got stats on D brown.?

  22. Hard to imagine how trading the best player off a 74 win team will actually help this roster going forward.

  23. somebody credible should be along to tear this down shortly.

  24. Maybe he actually meant Miguel Batista and forgot that he’s a FA

  25. Why aren’t the Rosenthals or JP Morosi’s of the world getting involved with this? Even MLBTR isn’t reporting anything. Something’s fishy.

  26. What if this is litmus test for value. Is this our Ely a leverage move early on in the “off” season. I see this a gauging interest for a player you is financially favorable but aging agonizing quickly

  27. “While I have no faith in Amaro, I think I trust Eskin even less. ” –phillies fan

  28. Are we over valuing Bautista?

  29. So this guy is basically the equivalent of bob mccown. Is he even at the meetings? If hes not, very unlikely this has any semblance of truth.

  30. Mike Wilner says its bullshit and isn’t a trade that makes any sense

  31. As a sometimes Sixer fan I can tell you that for as long as I can remember, Eskin’s word isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  32. Joey Bats is making 14million a year and is in his decline years. Trading him now for a pile of ready or near-ready prospects isn’t such a bad idea. Now is the time to sell on Bautista.

  33. Just do it AA! Get it done and don’t look back.

    Fuck I miss the hot summer days of 2010 watching Bautista mash the ball all over the fucking Twindome and many many more series. Hitting doubles like almost every game or so it seemed. And then going out the next year and proving all the fuckers wrong that it was just a fluke season…was golden.

    He is going to be playing his year 33 this season and call it what you want but the last two sure ain’t been no 2010/2011. I just hope that if AA does this…he is pretty damn sure nothing was left on the table…cough cough Dicky…Lil Dicky BOI


    He had an argument with manuel at a post game press conference. So he is somewhat around the team. Still dont trust it till we hear from rosenthal or another credible source.

  35. Do not discount Howard Eskin…he does have his swings and misses, but also has hit some mammoth HRs. Very powerful voice in Philly and important people do talk to him. I know there have been cases where teams “float” things through him to see reaction.

    Give it time.

  36. I think one fact might tell us why this probably isn’t true… Dom Brown is a Scott Boras client, and the Jays have avoided those like the plague.

  37. Rosenthal doubting it’s legitimacy.

    Ken_Rosenthal 58m
    @jjmaurer29 Doubt it. But I will check.

  38. 1. Brings in a younger, more durable player (Bautista was falling apart on the turf)
    2. Frees up salary to be used on key areas (SP, 2B, C)
    3. Does not leave a huge hole in RF/the offense in the process.

    Do it!

  39. The trade makes no sense unless the + is hamels or aa is gonna flip brown for a #1 sp from some team that thinks as much of Dom brown as the Philly fans do. If thats possible

    • Or Jesse Biddle, MLB’s ranked #41 top prospect and #3 top LHP prospect. He and Dom Brown could be useful adds if AA is trying to dump salary to allow for more spending in FA.

      It’s maybe worthwhile to note that everyone in 2 fantasy baseball leagues I was in this year was pining like crazy for Dom Brown halfway through the season, because he was on a holy tear of Home Run production.. At some point I guess that tapered off and he regressed back a bit. I think I recall reading some articles about how fantasy experts were expecting him to regress a little in the second half due to a high K rate or something.

      • *were

        Grammar check not high on the priority list at the moment – Danged trade rumours got me up too late.

  40. Maybe Kyle Kendrick is the +? Pitches lots of innings, above average ground ball rate. Would slot in nicely as a 4/5.

  41. Does no one remember Dom Brown was the guy AA wanted in Halliday deal!!!!

    • And AA loves targeting guys who he has a past history of coveting (Gose, Happ, Reyes). Actually, if the Jays got Brown, they’d have every player that AA really wanted when he trade Halladay.

      • That’s kinda what’s scary about this. Get over it, already. And why is it that every guy we’re hearing about is coming off a career year?

    • Absolutely… he’s 6’5″, 205 … he had his best year last summer (27 HRs) after being promoted to full time. He’d be good in RF and hopefully the throw ins will fill other holes.

  42. lol no, but thanks for playing incarcerated b..i mean howard eskin.

  43. Maybe the + is grass to replace our turf

  44. I’m not putting much stock in this one yet, but you have to wonder if there’s enough sentiment out there now to start believing that Bautista might actually get dealt. I mean even stephen brunt, who seems like a relatively well-thought out, level-headed guy, thought it was 70/30 that bautista got dealt. I mean I dont tend to believe most of the clubhouse heresay, but maybe there are problems there. We’re getting to the point where there’s enough smoke around to think there might be a fire.

    • To paraphrase a comment from Drew when that happened, I believe he said the number of times he saw Brunt in the clubhouse rhymes with hero. FWIW.

      • In that case I partially retract my comment. Im trying to rationally put myself in the GM chair and tell myself that a) trading bautista probably does not move the jays forward and b) that all the rumored discontent coming from the cheap seats is just a product of any losing season, but there still does seem to be a fairly heavy cloud of uncertainty surrounding him.

  45. I really don’t think this trade is happening. No other sources reporting it, not on MLBTR.

    Plus Bautista is really the ONE golden trade chip the Jays have this season (if they don’t want to ravage the minors). Hard to believe A) they’d trade him so quickly in the offseason and B) they’d trade him for a younger, cheaper, probably not as good version of him.

    If it was Bautista for a starting pitcher, or Bautista in a three way deal for a starting pitcher, I might believe it.

    • Maybe if the Jays did this trade and packaged Brown + for a pitcher, this would make sense. Price?

    • Pretty sure the talks are going on. There are a number of legit sources confirming it now. As to whether anything comes out of it, well…..

      • Which legit sources?

        • This guy for one…although to be accurate he is just regurgitating what he seems to have heard.
          Robert Duval ‏@MLBHeadline
          I’m not going to run down the ESPN source I saw mentioned but I did….I’m not a twitter fan so It could be shit but…..

          • Now CBS sports has it and TSN so really, they could all be bullshitting but i don’t think so. The fact still remains that they’re reporting that the 2 teams are just talking. So it’s really only half a story till something comes out of it.

            • Those outlets are just reporting that Eskin is reporting it! They don’t have their own sources on this.

          • I think we differ on the meaning of “legit”.

            None of these places have it, they’re just reporting that there’s a report.

            • I’m fine with that. Not interested in tracking down sources or whether they have independant people verifying. In fact that is probably what those organizations are doing: reporting the rumour. Having said that we’re back where we started: 2 teams talking about a trade.

  46. Still questioning the credibility of one, Howard Eskin, but I’ve become more accepting of this than when I initially saw his tweet.

    Given Browns age, one time prospect status, and last years ‘breakout’, he seems a really nice RF going forward. As much as I love Bautista, he certainly isn’t the 2010/2011 version that put up 7+ and 8+ WAR years respectively. He is certainly in decline.

    I’d have to think the plus means starting pitching. Maybe Biddle?

    Could the Jays get them to take JPA too?

    Now let’s talk,..

    • Joey for Brown straight up is a non-starter for me, but I’m interested in knowing just what the “plus” could be. With Chooch all but leaving the Phils, I’d throw in JPA and see what the Phils would be willing to add on to the package in the way of a SP.

      If the package is right… absolutely make the move to trade Joey because it’s a matter of time before he goes into serious decline. I love his bat, but it’s well-known that bat speed (in the non-Barry Bonds division) goes down as a hitter hits his mid 30s, and his freaky bat speed is what stands Joey apart from the average MLB hitter. How long before his bat speed becomes merely mortal?

  47. Too late for this. It will be here in the morning.

  48. Fuck. Now I can’t sleep because of this rumour. How can I unsee this?

  49. not that AA would make this trade or thats theres any truth to the rumour… BUT if a deal like this was to happen, u would have to think that AA is putting his job on the line

    • Poisoned Arrows do you not think AA’s job is on the line heading into this season anyways?
      Is Bautista really gonna win you that many more games than Brown??? I think Brown would light it up in the Rogers Center

  50. The longer this goes without someone credible shooting this down, the more I think it might have legs. I think its almost 100% certain they talked at some level. Eskin mentioned a catcher in the deal (jpa?) so I dont think hes totally out to lunch with this. The question is how serious is it? I still think its unlikely.

  51. Wow this is not going to happen; AA is trying to save his job, trading Jose for Brown? Can we please just sign one of Santana, garza or jiminez and be done with this other crap??

  52. Thanks for all the posts the last few days Stoeten. I’m enjoying all the baseless speculation, tea leaf readings, prayers and angry denunciations going on in the comments sections. I’d like to add that I forsee Bautista going somewhere this winter; I pray for Cano and would consider trading Bautista for Brown plus a top prospect/ first round pick (or Utley?).

  53. Trading Bautista for Brown doesn’t make any sense from the perspective of making the team better in their immediate window of contention (which, from all reports, is what Beeston/AA are focusing on). Unless there’s something more to this, I don’t get it at all on their end.

    There are also better ways to free up salary than trading your best player away.

  54. LOL at “The longer this goes without shooting down, the more likely it means it’s happening”

    It’s 1:45 in the morning out on the east coast and Morosi is busy stuffing dollar bills in gstrings at the Orlando peelers while Rosenthal is beside him letting the ladies twirl his bowtie while pulling his long twitter follow list out for them to see.

  55. If salary flexibility was so important, they shouldn’t have picked up Lind’s option. Having him on the team for $7 million, but trading Bautista with a large part of the motivation behind it being payroll flexibility is abhorrent.

    • Very true. They have not operated like an extremely budget conscious team, and if that is not a huge concern, then you would think they could do better than dom brown. And besides, wasn’t one of AA’s goals this winter to make the team better defensively. Not sure how adding another Moises Sierra to the outfield everyday works towards that.

  56. I think the conversation happened between AA and Amaro, and I think they discussed a Bautista-Brown swap. But I don’t think it got much further than a discussion.

    I don’t have any evidence to back this up, but I do know AA loves having conversations, so I figure there’s some plausibility there. I doubt this will actually go down, though.

  57. Will AA trade one of the core
    That is a big thing

  58. What is the usual comment on AA?

    He has interest in everybody?

    At the right price Baitista would go. Dom Brown is not the right price.

    Likely was talked about as a number of ideas probably are.

  59. I question this Ermine character based on the idea that Bautista was upset that they brought in higher-salaried players. I mean, didn’t AA promise Bautista they would go all in and try to compete? If Bautista thought that could be done with only lower-salary guys, then he’s an idiot. And he’s not an idiot. Proof by contradiction?

  60. The Jays need pitching, and not just 4 /5 guy pitching, but a real ace.

    To get that, they’ll need to pay 20+ million dollars they don’t have to do so. They don’t have a first baseman because E5 doesn’t like it over there–so Lind doesn’t get cut because his salary matches his production last year (as protected as it was).

    I think the Jays would also have some length to their lineup with Brown in it. It would be a lineup where a guy like Encarnacion would be better hitting 5th with some OBP guys up top. rather than two righty hitters who essentially duplicate one another (although Encarnacion is better–he hits the ball the other way and commands the plate better than Bats now).

    • You have no idea what they have or don’t have to do so.

      Holy shit, and Encarnacion hitting fifth????? No.

  61. Shi just shot it down pretty definitively.

  62. I wake up to this wacky trade rumour.

    Someone posted that AA wanted Brown in the Halladay deal.. I remember that. Still , I think it would be a huge letdown for fans to see Bautista go, unless you were bringing in a solid #1 or 2 pitcher & an above average 2B.

    It makes no sense to me that the team was being built to compete in 2013-2015 around Jose Bautista’s production & below average contract, then trade him away.

  63. The rumour I read this morning was the following. Let me preface by saying its probably bullshit but I think it would be pretty great if it happened. What do you guys think?

    “Actual rumor is Ruf, Brown and Lee for Jose, JPA and Drabek back.”

    • Looking at this darren ruf guy. Seems kinda shit actually. Stats don’t look great and he’s in his later 20′s, still playing in the minors. Why would we want him?

      Thinking this rumour is a farce.

      Am I missing something? I’m not baseball elite like many on here. I follow but without the vigor that most of you on here follow with.

    • Where did you read this?

    • That would make no sense from the Phils perspective though would it? That being said if that is the deal I take that in a second!

      • Bautista for Brown straight up is close to fair– and probably doesn’t work for the Phillies. This is just nonsense.

  64. How is it an offensive hit to the lineup when Bautista isn’t in it?
    Aging sluggers typically don’t get better or healthier with age (non-PED use) except Papi perhaps.

    I don’t think it will happen, but I am not jumping off bridges if it did.

    …and yes, 33 is now the age for “aging sluggers”
    I feel real old for saying that at 36. Haha.

    • Um… because Brown still isn’t better than Bautista would be, even if you expect further decline?

      To reiterate what I said in the post: his breakout season wasn’t as good as what Colby Rasmus did this year. A .324 OBP ain’t great.

      • Yup

      • I agree, but am more concerned that Bautista can’t stay on the field for a full season what are your thoughts on that?

        I am not saying Brown is as good, but it also wouldnt be a one for one trade. I would be looking at whatever the “plus” is to help offset.

        I guess my big question is if we saved money by flipping Bautista for Brown, who in this years FA market would be someone that we should be targeting?

        • I think the injuries Bautista suffered are not related, and not enough to slap the “injury prone” tag on him. I have no worries that he can avoid catastrophic injury for a full season.

          Targets wouldn’t change with freed money, I don’t think: Santana, Ubaldo, Garza, Tanaka.

  65. This whole idea is too absurd to comment on (yet here I am!). This would never be a deal. Joey might be leaving town, but not like this.

  66. “Eskin was on the Fan 590 this evening, claiming that his source suggests Bautista was not happy that the Jays brought in players who make more than him, which… would be pretty fucking ridiculous. ”

    For shit’s sake. If that’s true, then get the fuck out of here Jose. What a prima donna.

  67. maybe this was mentioned above but Heyman doesn’t buy it:

  68. So, is this supposed to be the max trade value for JBau?
    Shouldn’t one of the best trading chips you have be, used to fill the biggest needs you have?
    The rumour creates a lot of buzz but really?

    • If you consider payroll flexibility to go bigger on the free agent market for pitching one of their pitching needs, then doesn’t it?

      Not that I think it’s good or it’s real, but I can see why it was floated as a concept.

  69. Dom, and a bona fide chucker bitches. No chucker no deal. As far as I’m concerned.

  70. Eskin is the biggest jackass on the planet. His radio show tried to mimic Howard Stern and he lies at every chance.

    A few years back, he made 4 football picks which I happened to bet on his side on all 4. When I lost 3 of the 4 he choose that weekend – he bragged on Monday how his picks went 4 for 4…Total liar and just makes stuff up to get attention

  71. [...] possible trade, at least of 5:30 AM, are rooted from here. For example Bleacher Report, Canoe and theScore, all with different opinions on the weight of the rumor are based soley off of Eskin’s [...]

  72. [...] guys were on it so I don’t think there were any legs to it, although as Stoeten over at DJF pointed out that you had to take the rumour somewhat seriously no matter how bad it sounded. The [...]

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