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Category Archives: Michael Young

Evaluating the Michael Young Trade

It was made official Sunday morning that the Phillies acquired 3B Michael Young and cash from the Texas Rangers for reliever Josh Lindblom and prospect Lisalverto Bonilla.

It was a good fit for both teams, with the Phillies needing a third baseman and Young wanting to continue to compete as he waived his no trade clause to Philadelphia.

“The baseball part was easy,” Young told reporters on Monday in Texas. “I have a great opportunity in Philadelphia, having the opportunity to go from one great team to another. They have a position for me; I was ready for a new challenge. I like a new challenge. As a competitor, I want to see what it’s like. The hard part was my family and what it would be like for them, being away for a summer. But once we embraced that, the baseball part was easy.”

The Phillies filled a huge hole at third for one season, prolonging their search for a more permanent solution at the hot corner. They did so without giving up too much, especially while boasting a deep and rich farm system of pitchers.

Lindblom was acquired in the Shane Victorino trade to the Dodgers before the deadline last season. He didn’t really wow the Phillies coaches, especially in late-game situations where they wanted him to pitch. Lindblom posted a 4.19 ERA in 38 2/3 innings of work in the 8th inning or later during the entire season.

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Phillies Trade Lindblom, Bonilla for Michael Young

UPDATE — The Phillies have acquired 3B Michael Young from the Texas Rangers.

The Phillies sent RHP Josh Lindblom and Minor League pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla to Texas for Young. Texas is expected to pay a sizable chunk of the $16 million owed to Young, who is 36.

In 74 games with the Dodgers and Phillies, Lindblom posted a 3-5 record and 3.55 ERA, striking out 70 in 74 innings of work. In 31 games between Clearwater and Reading, Bonilla posted a 3-2 record and 1.55 ERA.

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Phillies in serious talks for Michael Young

IF Michael Young (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

IF Michael Young (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

UPDATE — According Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Phillies are moving closer to a deal for Michael Young.

Heyman indicates that the Texas Rangers would need to pay $10 million of the $16 million that is owed to Young.

It sounds as though Young is heavily considering waiving his no-trade clause. Plus, the Rangers want to unload some older players and free up as much salary as possible in order to re-sign Josh Hamilton or land Zack Greinke.

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According to Comcast Sportsnet’s Jim Salisbury, multiple sources say that the Phillies are in serious negotiations with the Texas Rangers for third baseman Michael Young.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News added that the talks are in an advanced stage and working towards a deal.

Young has spent his entire 12-year career with the Rangers and does have a no-trade clause in his contract. The third baseman is also signed for the 2013 season at a $16 million price tag.

It does sound as though Young could waive his no-trade clause because he knows that the Rangers are trying to get younger. If a deal is reached, it’s expected that the Phillies would want to perform a physical on Young before finalizing a trade.

Texas is likely going to have to eat nearly half of Young’s $16 million salary.

In 2012, Young hit .267 with eight home runs and 67 RBIs with a .682 OPS. This is just a year removed from leading the American League in hitting (.338) with 11 home runs and 106 RBIs.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

Phils lucky to have replacements for Brown, Utley

The Phillies have yet to see Chase Utley out on the field in a Spring Training game and it's uncertain when they will again. (Yong Kim/PhillyInquirer)

Domonic Brown broke two things in his first at bat against the Pirates on Saturday. One was his hitless streak; the other was his right hand.

X-Rays showed that the hook of his hamate bone is fractured which means Brown will most likely need surgery. This puts Brown out for four to six weeks and means he will definitely not win the starting job for right fielder.

Brown’s injury wasn’t the only bad news on Saturday. Yesterday morning, Chase Utley talked about the severity of his knee injury and the cortisone shot the second baseman received on Friday.

Although Utley’s injury appears to just be patellar tendinitis, something Utley has even had in the past, there were concerns on the lack of progress Utley has been making and how long Utley will be out with the injury.

“I don’t think at this point I’d be much help to our team or to myself,” Utley told the Inquirer, “But the goal is to get this better. There’s still three weeks left in spring training and probably 190 games left in the season.”

If last season can be any indication on what Utley can be dealing with, the news is not good. A’s outfielder Ryan Sweeney had to get season ending surgery in July and Milton Bradley had to get season ending surgery in August. If you are optimistic, Josh Hamilton played through the injury and won AL MVP.

Outfielder Ben Francisco celebrates with Juan Samuel after his homer against Pittsburgh on Saturday. He looks to be the replacement for Dom Brown. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

With Brown out of the lineup for up to six weeks, and Utley being out indefinitely, the question becomes, who will replace them?

Brown’s replacement shouldn’t be too hard to find. Ben Francisco – he was arguably winning the right fielder starting job even before Brown’s injury – has had a great Spring thus far.

Francisco has 8 hits in 19 at bats so far (don’t hurt yourself kids that’s a .421 batting average) and these aren’t just singles either. Francisco has two doubles, a triple, and two home runs.

Francisco isn’t the only outfielder batting in the .400’s. Delwyn Young, who was with the Pirates last year, has 7 hits in 17 at bats which is good enough for a .412 average. John Mayberry, Jr. is also having a good spring. He is batting a solid .294 with a double, a homerun, and two walks.

Unfortunately if Ibanez keeps hitting the way he his hitting, (which is essentially not hitting at all) the Phillies may need to look for more outfielders. Ibanez only has 3 hits in 17 at bats.
Finding a replacement for Utley shouldn’t be too difficult either.

As mentioned above, Delwyn Young is hitting great right now. Luckily for the Phillies he can play second base too. Last year Young played in the outfield, at second, and at third base. Being able to play third is great for the Phillies too because it gives the Phillies the option to let Placido Polanco play second base. As most of you know, Polanco played second base during his first stint here with the Phillies. Polanco is batting .267 this spring, but Polanco is one of the game’s most consistent hitters. He is a lifetime .303 hitter. If Polanco is asked to play second, there would be little to no drop at all as far as average goes.

As we learned last year with the injury to Jimmy Rollins, Wilson ValDOES can do anything. Literally anything. Not only is Valdez having a great spring with a .417 average, but he can play short stop, second base, outfield, and probably pitch too.

Moral of the story? No need to panic just yet. It looks like this team is deeper then we originally thought, and the Phillies should be ok for a short period of time. If both injuries, especially the Utley injury become a season long injury, we might have a problem.

That problem of course is not with finding someone in the Phillies organization to play second or play outfield, but the problem will be having to listen to Michael Young trade rumors all summer.

Does Michael Young Fit in Philly?

There have been some heavy rumors the Phillies are interested in acquiring the disgruntled Michael Young from the Texas Rangers. Young will not fit in the Phillies system and it would not be worth it for the Phillies to trade for the 33-year old infielder, who is in the middle of a five-year, $80 million contract.

PROS

Right-handed bat: With the absense of Jayson Werth, the Phils are looking to not only replace his production but replace his role in the line up as a right-handed hitter. Young would add the balance to the line up they missed when losing Werth. It was the same argument I made about Vladimir Guerrero, who was a much better hitter than Young.

Infield depth: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco all have one thing in common: they were all injured in 2010 and are at the point in their careers where injury can reoccur. Utley is the scariest of the three, having missed significant time in each of the last three seasons, playing hurt twice in the World Series and denying it.

Last season, Rollins had a calf injury that caused him to miss over half the season. And at 33, those types of injuries can nag a ball player for the rest of his career. Polanco also had elbow tendinitis last season, an injury that took a lot off that swing.

What Young can add is depth. If one of those three are to get hurt – a scary likelihood – Young would be a very capable enough player to fill right in.

CONS

No place in field: Young is a starter, plain and simple. And unfortunately for him, the Phillies already have the second base, short stop and third base spots filled by every day players. Young would not fit on this team simply for a lack of places to play.

He’s not an outfielder either and I don’t see the Phillies wanting to move one of their infielders, who all play Gold Glove defense (despite Utley never winning one).

The Phillies also have Wilson Valdez, who proved last season that he was a more than capable utility player. Even if Young wouldn’t be an every-day starter, he would have to compete with Valdez, a better fielder, for the fourth spot.

Little success out of Texas: I was looking at some of Young’s numbers in the parks he would be playing in if he were a Phillies. 36 games would be spent in Citi Field (NYM), Sun Life Stadium (FLA), Turner Field (ATL) and Nationals Park (WAS) and another 81 will be played at Citizens Bank Park.

Here are his career numbers at those respective parks:

  • Turner: .222 (2-for-9)
  • Shea (never played in Citi): .083 (1-for-12), RBI
  • Sun Life: .302 (13-for-43), 5 RBI
  • National Park: .188 (3-for-16), 2 RBI
  • Citizens Bank Park: .273 (3-for-11), HR, RBI

To be fair, those are small sample sizes for Young, but at 33 it’s not worth trading away Ben Francisco or Joe Blanton, who are cheaper players that can give the Phillies as much production, if not more at their respective positions.

Also look at his career stats. For making $16 million a season, I don’t think it would be wise to take on a 33-year-old who
has never hit more than 24 home runs and hit over 100 RBIs once (103 in 2006).

So for a player who puts up solid and consistent numbers, he isn’t going to add much to the Phillies unless they know that he is going to play a significant amount of games. And is something that no one can simply predict.

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