Is Michael Young trade to Phillies a good deal?
by Scott Butler 12/8/12

The Michael Young trade was terrible for the Phillies.  The Michael Young deal was a great move.  The Michael Young move was pretty good. The Michael young trade was a fairly bad deal.

Pick from any of the above headlines and that is what you might read in the next few days. If Michael Young waives his no-trade clause and accepts a trade from the Rangers to the Phillies, we could be looking at a horrible move, a fantastic move, or anything in between. Whether or not Michael Young is a positive acquisition depends entirely on what the Phillies surrender in return. De Fratus, Lindblom, Schwimer, and Rosenberg are all names that have been floated out there. Before examining each trade possibility, let’s take a look at what the Phils would be getting in Michael Young.

Who is Michael Young?

Michael Young is a 7-time all-star with a career .301 average, .347 OBP, .444 SLG, and .791 OPS.  He averages 16 HR, 87 RBI, and 96 runs scored per 162 game season.  Michael Young has been a premier player in this league for many years, and was well worth the 5 year/$80 million deal he signed in 2009.

At age 36 (his birthday was on Oct 19), Young is no longer a $16 million player.  His numbers feel off last year and he finished with a .277 average, .312 OBP, .370 SLG, .682 OPS, 8 HR, 67 RBI, and 79 runs scored.  He has now become a borderline liability defensively and played primarily DH over the last two years.  He also was apparently well liked in Texas and a good clubhouse leader. Rumors are that Texas would be willing to pay all but $5.5 million of his salary, and at that rate Young is certainly a better option than a platoon of Galvis and Frandsen.  Again, it still hinges on what the Rangers get in return. 

Let’s break down the quality of the trades by each rumored deal:

Michael Young for Justin De Fratus

Trading Justin De Fratus for Young falls under the category of what the bleep were you thinking?!  The Phillies need an upgrade at third base, but not at the expense of the bullpen or quality future prospects.  The Phillies had a shaky bullpen last season to put it mildly and can’t afford the same outcome in 2013.  De Fratus is a young, cheap, controllable piece who could really help ease the burden in the Phillies bullpen.  Tossing De Fratus away for an aging player on the downside of his career to marginally improve third base would be disastrous.

Michael Young for Michael Schwimer or BJ Rosenberg

Same story as before, but this time replace the name DeFratus with Michael Schwimer or B.J. Rosenberg.  It would be like replacing a fairly good actor like Will Smith with Nicholas Cage. Schwimer and Rosenberg are marginal major leaguers at best.   If all it takes to upgrade third base is either one of those two throw-ins, you take it in a heartbeat. Celebrate if that deal goes down.

Michael Young for Josh Lindblom

Young for Lindblom. Hmmm. Lindblom is still young, pretty cheap, pitched pretty well for the Dodgers, and has more experience than half of the Phillies current bullpen crew. But he allowed 13 home runs in 71 innings and with the Phillies he had a 4.63 ERA, 6.6 walks/game, and a WHIP of over 1.5. I probably make the move considering how notoriously unreliable relievers tend to be and it might be worth the risk to upgrade a position in serious need.

No updates yet on whether or not Michael Young will accept the trade, so I guess we will have to wait to decide if this was the good, the bad, or the ugly.

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