UPDATED: 9:32 a.m.
Two hours after the Phillies made official the signing of Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract to, seemingly, play right field, Howard Eskin of Fox 29 and WIP stepped in with a doozy of a tweet.
"phillies GM Ruben Amaro deep in serious talks w/ #bluejays to acquire OF Jose Batista. Can also play 3rd. Phils would deal OF Dom Brown plus"
Bautista, Howard ... like Danny, not Tony.
We talked about Jose Bautista a few months ago as a creative way to fill the right field void that Amaro had apparently solved earlier in the day with Byrd. Since the early afternoon we've thought about a Dom Brown-Ben Revere-Marlon Byrd alignment.
The tweet reads "Dom Brown plus" without attempting to clarify what the plus would mean. Brown for Bautista "straight-up" is, in itself, a lot to think about. We know the Blue Jays have coveted Brown since the days of Roy Halladay.
Under that scenario they'd trade Brown and whatever plus is for the right to put Bautista in right, with Revere in center and Byrd in left. Or Byrd in center and Darin Ruf in left.
Bautista's one of the most productive right-handed hitters in the game. From 2010-13 he hit .268/.390/.570 with averages of 38 HR and 91 RBI. He's walked 360 times over that span and struck out 374. Has a 157 OPS+.
He's also missed September two years in a row.
His 2013 ended with a hip injury; his last game was Aug. 25.
His 2012 ended with a wrist injury that he tried, but failed, to come back from. His final game was Aug. 20.
Bautista's 33. Dom Brown is 26.
But you'd be acquiring Bautista for two years and $28 million, or 3-$42M with his 2016 club option. You'd be getting what you think are his last two or three very productive years for your 26-year-old homegrown outfielder who broke out with 12 homers in May and 27 in 139 games this season. You'd be getting it for a very fair price.
Hard to tell how much there is to this ... it's not up at MLB Trade Rumors at the moment, and they do put up essentially every credible whisper.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted Wednesday morning that the Blue Jays "aren't trading jose bautista for dom brown. not even close."
Can't tell if Eskin was telling Heyman that the Jays were reporting talks involved more than Brown (huh?), or if he was saying that Heyman was reporting the talks involve more. Either way, doesn't seem like this rumor has legs.