Report: Phillies Close to Acquiring Michael Young
UPDATE: It’s official.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 8, 2012
MLB.com Texas Rangers writer T.R. Sullivan reports that a Michael Young trade to Philadelphia is getting closer to becoming a reality.
Michael Young’s time with the Rangers appears to be over. Industry sources are indicating that the trade could go down today with Young accepting a move to the Phillies.
Young was one of baseball’s least valuable players in 2012 and is 36 years old. Nevertheless…
How badly do the Phillies want Michael Young? Source says "they are recruiting him like he's the No. 1 pick in the country."
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 8, 2012
Young has been debating whether or not to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Phillies, weighing — as Jon Heyman put it — professional vs. personal, as his family lives in Texas. Should the trade go through, the Phillies would push Kevin Frandsen back to the bench, giving the veteran the lion’s share of the playing time at third base.
Despite the awful 2012, Young entered the season having posted at least two Wins Above Replacement in six of his previous seven seasons, so there is the hope that last year was simply a fluke. However, there isn’t much historical precedent for older players rebounding after an awful season. Additionally, Young hasn’t played regularly at third base since 2010, accruing 40 games at the hot corner in 2011 and 25 in 2012, spending most of his time at first base and DH. When he was at third base, he was — well, less than impressive defensively. The video below was posted by commenter EricL, calling Young’s defense “Wiggintonesque”, referring to the second at-bat featured in the clip.
There were very few options available for the Phillies to address their third base situation, however, so Young was their top target in a weak market. Along with the recently-acquired Ben Revere, the Phillies will have surprisingly made two trades this off-season and zero free agent signings to date. With the Rangers expected to take on at least half of Young’s remaining $16 million salary, the Phillies still have the financial flexibility to make one or two big free agent signings. The Phillies have been looking at corner outfielders and starting pitchers since acquiring Revere on Thursday.