According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News the Phillies are in advanced discussions to acquire Michael Young from the Texas Rangers and cash for a major league reliever and possibly another prospect. For the deal to happen, Young would have to be willing to waive his 10-5 rights. Noted Michael Young apologist Jim Salisbury is also reporting from the Phillies side that the talks are hot and heavy.
The news was actually first reported at about 5:30 on Sirius XM by Jim Bowden, but the first print mention of it by a reputable beat writer didn't happen until nearly midnight. This kind of tells you two things:
1. It's more than a rumor. Say what you want about Bowden, but he's been near 100% this off season regarding this stuff, and seems to have the most direct real info on who's talking to who of anyone covering the game right now.
2. The fact that a Dallas beat writer is writing about it, followed by Salisbury, means that whatever deal is in place is pretty much happening unless Young vetoes it, and he's been informed. So hold on to your butts folks.
Young, who makes $16mm this season, has played a total of 65 games at third base the past two seasons, and hit .277/.312/.370 fueled mostly by his .257/.291/.352 split against RHP which is worse than Kevin Frandsen's career line. To call him a sub prime defender at this stage in his career is almost giving him too much credit as well.
Did I mention that he just turned 36 a few months ago?
Pretty horrible idea, huh?
Well, maybe not. Before I get lynched (and truth be told I'm trying to turn lemons into lemonade here) let's remember the devil is in the details. THIS ARTICLE was written the last time these rumors were out there, and it still rings true with one important difference. Young is in the last year of his deal. That's a big difference.
He's played in at least 156 games every season but 2009 (136) since 2002.
Say what you want about clubhouse presence, but this guy has it, and for some reason that's very important to both Ruben and Charlie this off season. They know more than we do, but that signals something about the inner working of the team behind closed doors last year.
If they do in fact go cheap here (say $4mm) that frees up money for two outfield spots.
Its a one year deal. If your option is hurt Kevin Youkilis at 2/$24mm or old Michael Young at 1/$4mm I think I take Young. Cody Asche gets another year to develop and hopefully he can take over in 2014.
Yeah, thats all I got.
Seriously, before we go all ballistic here, lets see what the details are. There's a huge difference between getting Michael Young for BJ Rosenberg and a kid from Lakewood with a good fastball that we have to look up to find out if we got hosed on his ceiling, vs. paying half his salary and sending Phillippe Aumont and Gabriel Lino.
This is just speculation on my part, but if this happens, it likely means that the Phillies plan on trading for a center fielder from a list of names that includes Dexter Fowler, Ben Revere, Peter Bourjos, Curtis Granderson and Jacoby Ellsbury. If they should land one of the cheaper guys, they would still have the ability to go after a premium corner guy like Nick Swisher or Josh Hamilton as well.
They could also just sign Michael Bourn and trade for a corner guy, like Josh Willingham.
Point is this is a precursory move, likely dictated by the numbers Youkilis is looking for and the lack of options on the market at the hot corner. That said, this smells like a bad idea. Michael Young is to Texas what Mike Schmidt was to Philly for all those years. He's been the face of their franchise, a perennial all-star, and he's known around the game as a pretty fantastic leader and teammate. Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar be damned, you just don't trade a guy like that in the last year of his contract if he has ANYTHING left in the tank. You let him leave gracefully, on his own terms. And Texas approached Philly apparently, which says a lot. It would be one thing if they were looking to dump payroll here. They're apparently not. They're looking to get ANYTHING OF VALUE for a guy they don't see having much value anymore.
Hopefully the good that comes out of this is that this just may be the piece of information that brings TACO PAL out of hiding.