Phillies Trade Michael Young to Dodgers, John McDonald to Red Sox

GM Ruben Amaro failed to clean out his cache of soon-to-be free agent veterans at the July 31 trade deadline, but thankfully did not repeat the same mistake today, the waiver deadline. Two veterans have been shipped out: John McDonald to the Boston Red Sox, and Michael Young to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Let’s start with McDonald. Via Todd Zolecki:

The Phillies announced after Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Cubs that infielder John McDonald has been traded to the Red Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Nefi Ogando.

The Red Sox will become the fourth team with which McDonald will have taken a plate appearance during the 2013 regular season. He started with the Arizona Diamondbacks in spring training but was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates with a little more than a week before the start of the regular season. The Pirates sent him to the Cleveland Indians in June, and then the Indians flipped him to the Phillies two and a half weeks later.

With the Phillies, McDonald hit .174 with a .513 OPS in 25 trips to the plate. Depending on how much skepticism you apply to his defensive metrics, he has essentially been the embodiment of a replacement level player since time immemorial. He turns 39 on September 24. Considering that the Phillies acquired him simply for cash, that Amaro turned him into a Minor Leaguer with some upside is to be commended.

Nefi Ogando is a 24-year-old pitching prospect out of the Dominican Republic. With Single-A Salem this year, he posted a 4.09 ERA in 55 innings out of the bullpen. Eric Longenhagen will have more on Ogando for you when he has some spare time, but Chris Mellen posted this brief report on Twitter that is enlightening:

Onto the big news, via Zolecki:

The Phillies have traded infielder Michael Young to the Dodgers, according to‘s Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal later tweeted that the Phillies received Rob Rasmussen, a 24-year-old left-handed Minor League pitcher. Originally selected by the Marlins in the second round of the 2010 draft, Rasmussen spent this season between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque, posting an aggregate 4.11 ERA with mediocre strikeout and walk rates. He has struggled at Triple-A, but perhaps a change of scenery and a fresh slate of coaches will help him turn things around.

Keith Law sees Rasmussen as a “fringe” pitcher:

Young had been on fire, as I noted at HardballTalk:

Young, who turns 37 years old in October, went 3-for-5 today against the Cubs, continuing a torrid stretch of hitting. It was his fifth multi-hit game in his last six games, including a 4-for-5 performance last night.

Despite hitting at around the league average overall, his poor defense caused him to rank among the 20 least-valuable position players in baseball this season:

Rk Player WAR/pos Age Tm Lg G PA
1 Jeff Keppinger -2.3 33 CHW AL 106 410
2 Eduardo Nunez -2.1 26 NYY AL 69 255
3 Adeiny Hechavarria -2.0 24 MIA NL 119 465
4 B.J. Upton -1.6 28 ATL NL 105 385
5 Yuniesky Betancourt -1.5 31 MIL NL 116 355
6 Paul Konerko -1.5 37 CHW AL 101 423
7 Jordan Pacheco -1.4 27 COL NL 74 209
8 Rob Brantly -1.4 23 MIA NL 59 222
9 Xavier Paul -1.3 28 CIN NL 87 222
10 Mark Kotsay -1.3 37 SDP NL 85 141
11 Delmon Young -1.2 27 PHI NL 80 291
12 Mike Morse -1.2 31 SEA AL 76 307
13 Jeff Francoeur -1.2 29 TOT ML 81 256
14 Reid Brignac -1.2 27 TOT ML 46 98
15 Ronny Cedeno -1.2 30 TOT ML 67 208
16 Michael Young -1.1 36 PHI NL 125 507
17 Jimmy Paredes -1.1 24 HOU AL 38 114
18 Rickie Weeks -1.0 30 MIL NL 104 399
19 Josh Rutledge -1.0 24 COL NL 67 251
20 Nolan Reimold -1.0 29 BAL AL 40 140
21 Omar Quintanilla -1.0 31 NYM NL 78 306
22 Tyler Colvin -1.0 27 COL NL 27 78
23 Alex Gonzalez -1.0 36 MIL NL 41 118
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/1/2013.

It was, at least, an improvement on his nightmarish 2012 season with the Rangers when he finished with -2.0 WAR.

Though it would have been nice to see the Phillies get something of value for Carlos Ruiz (who, it turns out, they may be able to keep around beyond 2013), Kyle Kendrick, Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, and others, the Phillies also could have done less, so it is nice to see them enter September having unloaded at least some of their useless veterans with the intent to give more playing time to the players of the future.

Leave a Reply



  1. amarosucks

    September 01, 2013 12:30 AM

    On the way to the airport MY hit into a DP and made an error.

    Good riddance

  2. Ginner207

    September 01, 2013 12:35 AM

    Useless veterans? Classic! Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Robby Bonfire

    September 01, 2013 08:18 AM

    So Jimmy goes back to leading off, with his red-hot (by his standards).310 OPB? Hopefully, the new manager will find a better option under just about any rock he looks under.

  4. Dave

    September 01, 2013 10:06 AM

    Assuming that these transactions are a feeble attempt to replenish a depleted minor league system, the overall *health* of the active roster will remain a concern thru the 2015 season – if not longer. My “crystal ball” predicts that attendance will dwindle along with number of wins unless “Stuben” Amaro pulls off a blockbuster deal during the off-season (…but I’m not holding my breath!). Thanx for listening!

  5. Frank

    September 01, 2013 10:28 AM

    Revere will lead off again soon.

  6. Larry

    September 01, 2013 11:05 AM

    It’s funny to see that both Michael Young and Delmon Young have the 11th and 16th worst WAR in baseball. Way to go RAJ lol.

    @ Bill Baer,

    I would love to see an article on former ex Phillies that RAJ traded or didn’t resign. Werth, Victorino, and Pence all have really good WAR numbers this year. Pence is having a solid season, Werth hitting .322 right now is 3rd in the NL. Victorino is 7th in WAR in the AL and 10th overall in all of baseball.

    I can understand letting Werth go, because of the years he wanted, but the other 2 guys were horrible trades.

    It’s funny to think that RAJ traded Shane and Pence in 2012 and signed Michael and Delmon Young in 2013.

  7. Mark66

    September 01, 2013 11:10 AM

    Please get rid of Bernadina. Speed is not a good enough reason to keep him. He can’t hit, and he is barely OK as an outfielder. Give someone else a chance who could possibly help for next year.

  8. Tom

    September 01, 2013 05:47 PM

    Phillies need an entirely new scouting team. Their selections have been subpar for too long. Amaro is really not capable of judging talent.

  9. lee

    September 01, 2013 06:38 PM

    Why on earth aren’t Phillies bringing up Zack Collier, Kelly Dugan,M
    Franco, maybe the catcher Rupp. Other teams like Atlanta, St.Louis, and the Reds have used their also ran moments to get a look at their hopefuls. The exposure has proven win win for those teams. It would keep the fans tuned in and perhaps give Phils a head start next Spring. No brainer. Instead M.
    Martinez arrives for the 17th time

  10. Dave

    September 02, 2013 11:54 AM

    Off-topic but — what in the hell has Eduardo Nunez been doing that he accumulated such an awful WAR in so few games/PA?!

  11. Kevin H

    September 02, 2013 12:27 PM

    @Larry, to revisit history, I think Werth was up for a reasonable signing until Howard landed that 5 year $125 million, two seasons early plum in the middle of Werth’s negotiations with the Phillies in April of 2010. It’s just my take, but after seeing that, Werth had to figure he was worth at least $100 million for at least 6 years. He likely saw his contributions as being as good as Howard’s from 2007-2009 and his prospects going forward higher as well since he is a better all around athlete. I think a four year $75-$80 million deal would have looked to Werth in April of 2010 until Howard got his deal.

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