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Michael Young Isn't That Good at Baseball

For several weeks now, people have been bandying about whether the Phillies should try to trade for Michael Young to bring in "an extra RH bat." The speculation seemed to have faded, but ever since it was announced yesterday that Chase Utley is suffering from chondromalacia, it has suddenly reappeared with a vengeance. It seems like half the city wants to trade Joe Blanton for Young. Today, a local radio host argued that offering Blanton wasn't sufficiently generous and that the Phillies should instead offer Roy Oswalt for Young. Others have gone even further than that.


We've been through the reasons why on this blog - many, many times. But here they are in one place for your reading convenience.

1. Young can't field (UZR/150s of -9.6 and -5.8, TZs of -10 and -4, in 2009 and 2010, respectively).

2. Although Young's overall hitting stats have been okay (but only okay) in recent years, he's had huge home/road splits. Here are his recent road OPS figures: 2007 =.759 , 2008 = .690, 2009 = .848, 2010 = .679. That stinks.

3. Young is 34 years old. He may not be declining yet, but he ain't gonna get any better.

4. Most importantly, Young has three more years on his contract and is owed $16 million per year. That's $48 million that you can't spend elsewhere if you have him on your roster.

Trading Blanton for this guy would be a disaster. Trading anyone more valuable than Blanton for this guy would be an even bigger disaster. Frankly, if you think Michael Young is worth acquiring at any cost that's been discussed in the media, then you're nuts.

This is not to say that Young's terrible, and if you could get him at a low cost (accounting for both salary and trade value), then that might make some sense. But in actuality, he's prohibitively expensive in every way, and trading anyone to assume his salary and terrible glove just isn't the right way to do business.