The Philadelphia Phillies rumor mill continues to swirl as reports coming from the end of Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings that they’re inching closer and closer to a deal with the Texas Rangers for 3rd baseman Michael Young. It’s not known what exactly the Phillies would have to give up for Young but it’s expected to be a young bullpen arm and Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont‘s names have been put out there.
A lot of resistance from Phillies fans have been met over the acquisition of the 36 year old infielder saying the team needs to get younger and not get older. Young has just one year left on his contract for $16 million with reports saying that the Rangers would have to cover close to $10 million of his salary for a trade to happen. They’re talking about his lack of defense at 3rd base (committed 6 errors between 1B/3B/2B in 2012) and his failure of range. His worst position last year in Range Factor per 9/inn was 3rd base with a 2.34. He played a majority of his games last year at Designated Hitter and had his worst slash line since 2003 (.277/.312/.370) so a falling offense is not something that makes Phillie fans comfortable.
Young has been a guy who’s been jerked around by the Rangers with position changes and prospects nipping at his feet (Mike Olt & Jurickson Profar) threatening to take away his playing time. Young is a 10/5 player meaning he has full trade rights to agree upon getting moved. If the Rangers told him flat out you’ll be on the bench it seems like a no-brainer he would go to the Phillies and the bandbox that is Citizens Bank Park.
From the perspective of the team getting better I think if Young is able to play 150 games and put up the slash line he did last year or even have it drop 10 points on all aspects which would all be higher than Placido Polanco provided at 3rd base last year (although Kevin Frandsen in his small sample size beat out both but there’s no expectations he’d be able to match that as a full-time player) it would be a step forward for the team. There’s no young 3rd basemen out there that can bring to the lineup what Young can and what happens if Chase Utley isn’t ready? Jimmy Rollins gets hurt and Freddy Galvis isn’t what he needs to be? Ryan Howard gets hurt again? Young can slide into any of those positions and Frandsen can play 3rd or whatever position they need to be comfortable at.
This would not be a bad deal for the Phillies and still gives them time to groom Cody Asche to be the team’s next 3rd baseman.
There is still talk around the league that the Phillies are still in on Twins center fielder Ben Revere and former Braves center fielder Michael Bourn. Revere would have to be acquired via trade and Bourn is still available. If Young is only owed $6 million by the Phillies they could still swing a big contract for Bourn or make the move for Revere who is under team control until 2018 (arbitration eligible in 2014) so the trade would have to include some long-term prospects for the Twins.
It looks like the offseason quiet-ness by the Phillies and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is slowly but surely coming to an end.Tags: Ben Revere, Chase Utley, free agency, Hot Stove, Kevin Frandsen, Major League Baseball, Michael Bourn, Michael Young, Ryan Howard