Phillies acquire 3B Michael Young from Texas
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The Phillies filled another need Saturday when they acquired veteran infielder Michael Young from the Texas Rangers for two pitchers.
Young, who waived his no-trade rights, will be the Phillies’ primary third baseman. The Rangers get reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla in the deal. Lindblom joined the Phillies in the July trade that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers. The 25-year-old righthander appeared in 26 games for the Phils, and was 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA.
Young, 36, is signed through 2013. The Rangers, according to sources, will pay more than $10 million of his $16 million salary. The Phillies gave Young a full no-trade clause.
The addition of Young completes a busy week for the Phillies. They filled their opening in centerfield with the acquisition of Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. Pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May went to the Twins in that deal.
With centerfield and third base crossed off his off-season to-do list, Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will now focus on adding another offensive contributor to his outfield. Free agents Ichiro Suzuki and Cody Ross are both possibilities. The Phils could also consider acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs. In addition to adding another bat, Amaro could look to add a starter to the back end of the rotation to pick up slack for the departed Worley and he could pursue relievers who have experience in the eighth inning.
The deal for Young was hammered out at the winter meetings but not finalized until Saturday as the player needed time to decide if he would waive his no-trade rights and finalize other details. Young spent 12 seasons with the Rangers and is one of the most decorated players in that franchise’s history. However, with the emergence of younger players and all-star Adrian Beltre entrenched at third base, Young had become a spare part in Texas.
Young is a former American League batting champ and seven-time all-star. He hit over .300 seven times in Texas and reached 200 hits six times, including in 2011 when he led the AL with 213 hits while batting.338 with 11 homers, 106 RBIs and an .854 OPS.
Young’s production slipped across the board in 2012 as he hit .277 with eight homers, 67 RBIs and a .682 OPS.
Young was a shortstop in his prime, winning a Gold Glove in 2008. He moved to third in 2009, but has not played there full-time since 2010. He has spent the last two seasons getting time at all four infield positions and serving as a designated hitter. Defense could be an issue with Young as his range is limited. It is possible that manager Charlie Manuel could use Freddy Galvis or Kevin Frandsen as a defensive replacement for Young late in games.
The big question with Young is whether his 2012 performance was an aberration or the start of a decline. If Young is more the player he was in 2011 than 2012, the Phillies may have added a valuable right-handed hitter to their lineup.
The Phillies believe Young could be a one-year stop gap to allow minor-league third base prospect Cody Asche more seasoning. Asche played at Double A in 2012.E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org