The Kansas City Royals find themselves in an unfamiliar place in the middle of June – first. Typically relegated to also-ran status around this point, the Royals have used a ten game winning streak and a 13-4 June to take a half game lead over the Detroit Tigers. Instead of looking around at what pieces the Royals could sell off and what type of return they could get for them, the Royals find themselves at a point where they could be buyers at the deadline.
Right now, the Royals are expected to focus on finding an upgrade in right field and in the bullpen. While Mike Moustakas has performed relatively well since returning from Omaha, there are still potential concerns about his ability to consistently perform at a high level. The Royals could also use a middle of the order bat with some power. All in all, that is quite the shopping list.
However, there is a player who has reportedly been made available who could potentially be the upgrade in right and the power bat that the Royals seek. With the Philadelphia Phillies seemingly going nowhere, they are reportedly open to moving some pieces. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, one of the players that the Phillies could listen on is Domonic Brown.
A year after breaking out with a .272/.324/.494 batting line and 27 home runs, Brown has disappointed for the Phillies. Thus far in 2014, Brown is only hitting at a .223/.272/.332 clip this season, hitting all of five home runs. A year after making the All-Star Game and looking like one of the promising young power hitters in the game, Brown has looked like a player that is absolutely lost.
Right now, it is thought that Domonic Brown simply needs a change of scenery. Perhaps getting out of the pressure environment that is Philadelphia to a more laid back atmosphere would help Brown return to the form he displayed in 2013. Perhaps moving on from a team with virtually no hope of making a playoff run to a team with legitimate playoff aspirations would help awaken Brown’s slumbering bat.
So, what would the Phillies be looking to receive for Brown? Turns out that they are in search of a young player who has struggled on the team he is with and may be in need of a change of scenery. The Royals happen to have such a player in the aforementioned Moustakas. Once Danny Valencia returns from his stint on the disabled list, Moustakas is likely to see his playing time diminish, perhaps returning to a platoon or finding himself on the bench for the vast majority of the time.
Instead, Mike Moustakas could potentially be a trade chip that could entice the Phillies to part ways with Domonic Brown. Brown, if he would be able to recapture that form from last year, would be an immediate upgrade over the Nori Aoki/Jarrod Dyson platoon and would also give the Royals that middle of the order bat they so desperately need.
Another potential reason to acquire Brown would be the cost. While a player such as Ben Zobrist or Carlos Quentin are more likely to provide a guaranteed upgrade in right, those players will likely cost far more, not just monetarily, but in terms of prospects. Brown, meanwhile, may only cost a player such as Moustakas and perhaps a lower tier prospect. In fact, for the Royals bottom line, such a trade would be a lateral move for the payroll.
Domonic Brown could be the type of player that would give the Royals the offensive upgrade that they seek. Should the Phillies truly make him available, Brown may be a legitimate target for the Royals.