Was Domonic Brown almost a Met?

Posted: July 15, 2013

When the most important spring of Domonic Brown's career began in February, he snickered at the idea of this being his last opportunity to win a job with the Phillies.

"I'm not even going to lie to you," Brown said. "I thought I'd have been gone a long time ago, not because of my performance, but because of the guys they could have got for me."

Brown was an untouchable, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, during talks in 2009 with Toronto regarding Roy Halladay. That status waned in the following years. Two baseball sources said Brown's name was discussed in the 2011 trade with Houston for Hunter Pence. The Phillies kept him.

"He's been sought after for a long time because of his talent and age," Amaro said. The general manager added that he took calls on Brown, 25, this past winter.

"It never got to the point where it made sense," Amaro said.

Brown's father, Robert Walker, said his son was almost a New York Met. The Phillies, led by area scout Chip Lawrence, courted Brown the most leading up to the 2006 draft. Their bonus offer of $200,000 was not concrete until the last moments.

"If it weren't for Chip Lawrence," Walker said, "Domonic would have been a Met."

Lawrence, now a cross-checker for the San Diego Padres, said that is overblown. It was Marti Wolever, the team's scouting director, who authorized the large bonus for a 20th-round pick.

"The Mets had just called five minutes before Chip," Walker said. "We were pretty much about to accept their offer. They had called and said they were going to pick him in the 10th round. The amount of money was not really there.

"All of a sudden, Chip calls back and said, 'Philadelphia really wants him. Do you remember the conversation we had?' This was about the ninth time we talked with Chip. Domonic wanted to play. He was going to sign."

The Phillies had one question: "When can he start playing?"

Seven years later, Brown will play in his first All-Star Game at Citi Field, home of the Mets, in what amounts to a bizarre coincidence.


 

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