Michael Young Is Biggest MLB Trade Deadline Loser

July 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Fan News

Poor Michael Young.

It appeared that if anyone was going to get traded before Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline, it was going to be Young. And yet, instead of packing his bags and saying his goodbyes, he’s starting at first base for the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:

The deadline has now come and gone, and it appears that Young is going to be with the Phillies for the remainder of the season. It had to have been a rough couple of days for the veteran infielder, as it seemed like there was a new report every 10 minutes about which teams he’d waive his full no-trade clause to go to.

It all started when Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that Young would only waive his no-trade clause to head back to the Texas Rangers:

The infielder’s biggest problem was that Texas didn’t want to bring him back for a reunion. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported a few days before the deadline that the Rangers weren’t interested in trading for him, and that a deal between the Rangers and Phillies wasn’t going to happen.

Once Rosenthal came out with the report, everyone wondered if it was true, and whether Young would really be reluctant to go to a contending team like the Boston Red Sox or the Baltimore Orioles, among others. Would he turn down the opportunity to play for the New York Yankees?

The Phillies were the ones who gave Young the no-trade clause in the first place, and as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports points out, they probably regret it after they were having a tough time finding a landing spot for him:

Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro may not have cared to hear that Young would only be willing to go to the Rangers—if that was even accurate—so it appeared that he started to play hardball. Amaro promoted the team’s future third baseman, Cody Asche, to the big leagues on Tuesday, per the Associated Press via USA Today.

Young was still in the lineup for the Phillies against the Giants on Tuesday night, and he even hit a home run. But it was expected that in the coming days and weeks, Asche would be getting the nod at the hot corner over Young, which could mean the veteran would be forced to come off the bench, per Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Whether the idea of that sat well with Young or not, deadline day came and went. At 4:01 p.m. ET, he was still a member of the Phillies. It doesn’t seem likely that he would pass through waivers in a potential late-season deal, so now the 36-year-old is stuck in Philadelphia for the remainder of the year.

Through 99 games, Young is hitting .279/.345/.411 with eight home runs and 34 RBI. A contender definitely could’ve used him at third base or as a designated hitter for the last stretch of the season. But nope. Young will likely see a large drop in playing time and will enter the offseason as a free agent seeking a new home.

Young could’ve been a key factor in midst of a playoff run for one of the better teams in the game. Instead, he’ll be riding the bench of the rest of 2013 for the 50-56 Phillies.

Michael Young is, without a doubt, the biggest loser of this year’s trade deadline.


All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 30. All injury information in this article was obtained via Baseball Prospectus and all contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.

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Phillies Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Where Michael Young May Wind Up

July 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Fan News

Philadelphia Phillies infielder Michael Young may be dealt at any moment, but the veteran’s destination is unclear.

A move appears imminent, though, as the Phillies announced Tuesday afternoon that the team was promoting Cody Asche from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Asche isn’t getting the call to sit on the bench, as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks he’ll be starting, and if Young stays past tomorrow, he’ll be the backup.

Young is hitting .277/.342/.402 with seven home runs and 32 RBI through 98 games for the Phillies this year. He can play any infield position and could serve as a designated hitter as well. All signs point to him playing for an American League contender for the last two months of the season.

If the Phillies are planning on trading Young in the next few hours—or just before Major League Baseball’s deadline tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET—Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that he isn’t going to be headed to the Bronx:

If not New York, then where will Young be playing for the rest of the 2013 season? Well, he has a full no-trade clause in his contract, and that makes things a little bit tricky. But by calling up Asche, the Phillies may now have some leverage on the veteran. He might rather be traded than sit on the bench going forward.

Let’s examine two of the potential destinations for Young.


Texas Rangers

Young played for the Rangers from 2000 through last season, and it seems likely that he’d be open to returning to Texas. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says that if Young is going to waive his no-trade clause, it’ll only be to head back to the Rangers:

Texas doesn’t have any immediate openings in its infield, and as I mentioned in a recent article, it wouldn’t make much sense to play him over Mitch Moreland at first base. That being said, the Rangers could use Young as the regular designated hitter, as Lance Berkman is currently on the disabled list.

If that’s the case, Jurickson Profar—who has played all over the place this season—could go back to the outfield. While he only has four games of big-league experience outside of the infield, David Murphy hasn’t shown that he’s worthy of a starting position. Profar could head to left field for the remainder of the year.

The Rangers just need to focus on getting someone who can provide some power to the position. Of the teams in the American League, Texas has the fewest home runs from the designated hitter’s spot with six. Young only has seven homers on the year, and it doesn’t appear that he’s going to be a power threat with Texas.

There are better options available in the next day or so than Young. While I’m sure the Rangers are flattered that he’d be interested in making a comeback with the club, he just doesn’t fit what they need right now. Unless he wants to be an option on the bench, he shouldn’t want to go to Texas. Texas shouldn’t really want him either.


Boston Red Sox

While Rosenthal noted that Young would only be willing to waive his full no-trade clause to return to the Rangers, some reporters have heard otherwise. Sherman, for one, reports that Young would likely waive it to go to the Red Sox as well:

Young would likely be Boston’s third baseman going forward if he went there. The Red Sox started the season with Will Middlebrooks at third base, but he got injured and hit poorly in his limited time with the team. In 53 games with the Red Sox, he hit .192/.228/.389 with nine homers and 25 RBI.

Boston has gone with Jose Iglesias at third base since Middlebrooks’ demotion to Triple-A and was playing quite well. From April through June—a stretch of 39 games—the infielder hit .409/.455/.530 with 12 extra-base hits and 23 runs. In July, he’s hitting .200/.244/.213 and could end up losing his starting job.

The Red Sox have a couple options regarding the third base spot in the lineup. Boston could keep going with Iglesias at third for the rest of the year, go with someone like Brandon Snyder, recall Middlebrooks, promote someone like Xander Bogaerts or make a deal to trade for someone like Young.

Young probably won’t cost the Red Sox a ton to acquire, which is one reason the team might see it as a risk worth taking. As long as he hits better than Iglesias has in recent weeks, it’ll be a win for the team. If he doesn’t work out, the Red Sox let him go at the end of the season knowing they only lost a low-level prospect.


All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 29. All contract information in this article was obtained via Cot’s Contracts and all injury information was obtained via Baseball Prospectus.

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Phillies Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Should Seek Suitors for Jonathan Papelbon

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Fan News

With Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Phillies need to see if anyone will take Jonathan Papelbon off their hands.

Philadelphia entered Wednesday seven games behind Atlanta for the top spot in the NL East. The next couple of games will determine if the Phillies should deal some of their veteran talent or if there’s still a chance at making a run toward one of the two wild-card spots in the National League.

Jayson Stark of ESPN writes that if the Phillies have a bad week leading up to the deadline, they could sell. He notes that if the organization decides to take calls on Papelbon, it’s going to be tough to trade him because of how big his contract is. Here’s what an AL executive told Stark:

He’s just not that valuable with that contract. If the Phillies want premium players back, they’d have to take half the contract [which has two years, worth $26 million, remaining, plus a vesting $13 million option]. I don’t see any team giving up an A-list prospect and taking that entire contract. You’d be taking the worst two or three years of a bad deal and giving them a premium prospect. That just doesn’t make sense.

Back in late June, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the Phillies would be seeking a lot in return if they were going to be trading Papelbon. At this point in the season, it doesn’t seem like the closer is worth a high asking price. He hasn’t been very good, and there are some concerns about his future.

Through 39 appearances this season, the right-hander is 20-of-25 in save opportunities and has allowed 10 earned runs in 39.2 innings of work. He’s also struck out 35 batters and has walked just six. But his lack of strikeouts in 2013 is one reason teams may not want to pay much for him.

The other problem with giving up a top prospect for Papelbon is that he hasn’t been throwing the ball nearly as hard as he used to. In 2013, the average velocity on the 32-year-old’s fastball is only 92.3 miles per hour. Here’s a look at how that matches up in comparison to previous years.

Papelbon may not been as effective as he once was, but there’s no doubting teams are seeking big-time relievers at the deadline. Several clubs are without reliable closers, and while the Phillies closer may not be the most attractive guy on the market, he still has some value.

If the Phillies are interested in shipping Papelbon off to another franchise, they’re likely going to have to eat a bunch of his contract. But here’s the trade-off: If Philadelphia eats some money, the other team may be willing to give up a better prospect, as they will no longer have to pay the reliever as much.

If the potential trade partner is fine with trading for Papelbon without Philadelphia paying the bulk of his remaining contract, the Phillies probably aren’t going to get much in return. But the problem right now is that it isn’t clear general manager Ruben Amaro is even interested in getting rid of his closer.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports it’s unlikely the team sells:

Amaro should at least be calling other teams to see what they’d be willing to pay for Papelbon. The GM should be looking to get the closer off the team’s books so it can move forward. You never know what a team is going to think he’s worth or might give up in exchange for him.


All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 23. All injury information was obtained via Baseball Prospectus, and all contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Must Acquire Alfonso Soriano

January 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have a lack of talent in both corner outfield positions and could easily solve this problem by trading for Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano.

Philadelphia currently has John Mayberry and Domonic Brown slated to start in left and right field this season, but neither had an OPS of higher than .725 last season and both project as platoon players.

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro is definitely seeking an outfielder to help Philadelphia become more of a contender in 2013:

“We’ve had several talks with free agents, although they’re limited now,” Amaro said Friday. “We’ve also talked about some possibly trades. We’re staying active as far as that is concerned. We’re still trying to improve, depth-wise, in our outfield, if we can. We don’t have proven everyday Major League players on our corners right now. If we can create some depth there, if we can create some competition, I would like to do that.”

Soriano would not only create depth and competition with the Phillies, but he’s good enough to be the everyday starting left fielder. The 37-year-old former second baseman hit .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs and 108 RBI in his sixth season with the Cubs last season. Soriano is a seven-time All-Star and has received MVP votes five times—including 2012 when he finished in 20th place.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Soriano is a guy that the Phillies have their eyes on:

Most of the heavy lifting is done, but the Phils continue to look for a right-handed hitting outfielder. Manager Charlie Manuel likes Darin Ruf, and the team has discussed doing with platoons in both left and right, incorporating Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and possibly Laynce Nix.

The Phillies, sources say, continue to look at all options, including the signing of free agent Scott Hairston and trades for the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano and Los Angeles Angels’ Vernon Wells.

Acquiring Soriano makes the most sense since he continues to be productive for an underachieving team year after year. He’s hit at least 20 home runs for 11 consecutive seasons has never had his OPS drop below .726 over that span.

Soriano is owed $36 million over the next two years, but that shouldn’t deter Philadelphia, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

Paying Soriano just $5 million per year for the next pair of seasons is a bargain. Soriano would solve a major void—for lack of a better term—at one of the corner outfield positions and could likely hit fifth in the lineup behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

The Phillies have a couple of top pitching prospects that would likely interest the Cubs and for what Soriano brings to the table in 2013 and 2014, it would be well worth it to give one of them up.

Soriano is the answer to Philadelphia’s problems. 

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