The Toronto Blue Jays have signed outfielder and former blue-chip prospect Domonic Brown to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training
The Blue Jays have added yet another piece of depth to their outfield, signing former Philadelphia Phillies top prospect Domonic Brown to a minor league deal that includes an invite to spring camp.
In late August, I explored the possibility that the Blue Jays may look to rekindle their old feelings for Brown, who was reportedly their primary target in the Roy Halladay trade talks. There were also rumours in 2013 that Toronto was exploring a deal with the Phillies including Jose Bautista for Dominic Brown “plus”. What a time to be alive.
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Reports following the failed Jay Bruce trade earlier this week also indicated that Toronto was looking to add a left-handed bat. Brown fits the billing and comes with power potential, hitting 27 home runs with an .818 OPS in 2013 as an All Star for the Phillies.
As you can assume from this minor league contract in late February, though, that season was a career outlier for the hulking 6’5″, 225 pound Brown.
Originally a 20th round draft pick of the Phillies in 2006, Brown eventually emerged as one of the top prospects in baseball. Prior to the 2011 season, both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the number four prospect in the Major Leagues.
That age-25 season in 2013 still represents the peak in his value as a big leaguer, as he’s posted a -2.1 WAR in the two seasons since, including a -1.7 WAR in 2014. That’s almost impressive in its own way.
Scooping up a talent like Brown’s, however uncertain it is, as this point in the offseason is a good piece of business by the Blue Jays. On a minor league deal, it’s essentially a free look.
In all likelihood, Brown will stick at the triple-A level where he will compete with some combination of Lake, Dalton Pompey, Ezequiel Carrera and Darrell Ceciliani for playing time. Now 28-years-old, there’s still time for Brown.