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:
New #Phillies RHP Neifi Ogando has a live arm. FB works mid-90s and have had up to 97. SL hard break at 86-87. Command has been the issue.
— Chris Mellen (@ChrisMellen) September 1, 2013
Onto the big news, via Zolecki:
The Phillies have traded infielder Michael Young to the Dodgers, according to FOXSports.com‘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:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) September 1, 2013
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:
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.