Report: Phillies Close to Acquiring Michael Young

UPDATE: It’s official. 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…

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.

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  1. hk

    December 10, 2012 09:20 PM


    1. Why would they keep Nix over Schierholtz other than the fact that RAJ stupidly gave Nix a 2 year contract?

    2. Why would keeping Schierholtz only make him a trade chip down the line? Why wouldn’t he be a trade chip immediately upon being tendered. If the Orioles, Yankees and Cubs among others were interested in him, it seems to me that tendering him, then making him available at the Winter Meetings quite possibly could have led to one of those teams parting with an asset for him.

    3. It’s possible that, if they had tendered Schierholtz, they would not have drafted Inciarte in the Rule V and might have drafted someone at a different position? Also, if their strategy was to give away an asset who was slated to make $1.5M so they can keep a kid who has never played above high A ball on the 25 man roster all season, I think that is a bad strategy.

  2. Pencilfish

    December 10, 2012 11:43 PM


    I don’t know the answers to all the questions, but your reasoning is not symmetrical.

    If the Phillies kept Nix because they owe him money in 2013 (or can’t find someone to take him off their hands because of the money owed), why do you think the Orioles, Yankees or Cubs would have an interest in Schierholtz if it required a trade + a contract? As a FA, it only costs them a contract. Btw, the Cubs signed him to a 2.25M one-year deal, which is almost as much as Nix is making on his 2-year deal (2.5M). Maybe the Phillies released him after realizing what he would demand (and possibly get) in arbitration?!

    It is possible Nix was kept because he has more power, is more versatile (plays all 3 OF positions + 1st base) and costs less money, but this is just speculation. In the end, I don’t think it will matter. Nix may be gone before Spring Training if the Phillies sign another OF.

  3. hk

    December 11, 2012 08:09 AM


    The reason that Nate got $2.25M+ in free agency is because the Phils granted him that free agency. Being free and having 11 teams (as was being reported) bid for your services is much better for the player than going to arbitration. Matt Swartz, whose arbitration predicting history has been pretty good, had him pegged at $1.6M, or $350K more than Nix is scheduled to make this year. It is the demand for Nate’s services that got him the extra ~$650K and it is that demand that leads me to believe that the Phils could have gotten an asset if they had tendered him and then offered him on the trade market. After all, there are 10 teams out there who wanted him who now don’t have him. To me, the Yankees would have been the ideal trading partner as they are looking to cut costs and probably saw him as a great replacement for Ibanez. Of course, this is all conjecture because we’ll never know what might have happened. Again, RAJ’s supporters get to use the “You don’t know if they could have done that” defense. Having said that, that defense doesn’t even address my bigger criticism of the decision…that I believe Nate > Nix.

  4. hk

    December 11, 2012 09:03 AM


    I do have to correct something from a prior post. Apparently it was Texas, not the Phillies, who paid the $1.2M to Young. Therefore, the comparison between Young and Chavez – assuming they would have had to outbid Arizona – is that I would have preferred to sign Chavez to platoon with Frandsen while keeping Lindblom and Bonilla and saving $2M to $2.5M. Again, I don’t know if Chavez would have taken $3.5M or $4M to come here, but I do know that the history of professional sports free agency tells me that it is likely he would have gone to the highest bidder.

  5. jauer

    December 11, 2012 10:36 AM

    Schierholtz can play all 3 positions too, and unlike Nix, he’s actually good at them

  6. Phillie697

    December 11, 2012 07:59 PM

    Sorry, LTG, I’ve already made most of my points earlier, so no need to rehash here, except this: “1. Frandsen can regress quite a bit and still be a league average hitter with better defense than Young provides.”

    Frandsen is not a league average hitter. I get that people usually have more “faith” in the players we do have, but Frandsen is 30. I’m willing to bet money Young outhits Frandsen next season. And when one is willing to accept the proposition that Michael freaking Young can outhit you, you know you ain’t good at all.

    I would have preferred Chavez, but he wasn’t an option anymore. Plus we keep talking about him as a platoon, which I have yet to seen Charlie Manual do successfully, and quite frankly, at this point I DO think RAJ is making moves around his manager at this point, otherwise a lot of the moves don’t make much sense. We gave up Lindblom, which nobody seems to miss, and one of 8 bizillion middle relief arms that we have in AA, which means this Bonilla guy might sit in the minors for the next five years for all we know, even if he IS decent. Trading a dud and a surplus arm is nowhere near end of the world. This is about the $6M for Young, and I just don’t get all that excited about $6M, especially if it means we don’t trade half the farm, the Liberty Bell, and the William Penn statuette for Chase Headley.

    So far I can’t say RAJ has done terrible this off-season. I don’t like the Revere trade as much as everyone else here, and I don’t hate the Young trade as much as everyone else here either. So far RAJ has done okay by objective standards, but given that the BIG plus is that he hasn’t gone for the shock-value deals yet, it’s a plus by comparison so far.

  7. jauer

    December 13, 2012 03:39 PM

    “So far I can’t say RAJ has done terrible this off-season. I don’t like the Revere trade as much as everyone else here, and I don’t hate the Young trade as much as everyone else here either. So far RAJ has done okay by objective standards, but given that the BIG plus is that he hasn’t gone for the shock-value deals yet, it’s a plus by comparison so far.”

    This seems correct

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