Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Picimg_mlb_apr_11_18c0
The Phillies have a hole at third base, and Michael Young is a man without a position in Texas. These two problems look to be coalescing into a trade between the Rangers and Phillies, where Texas would ship Young to Philadelphia in order to give him the chance to have a regular gig again, and they’d receive a little bit of salary relief in the process. The Rangers would still be on the hook for $10 million of the $16 million he’s due in 2013, a natural response to the fact that Young was Major League Baseball’s worst regular player in 2012, but they’d free up a roster spot, save a bit of money, and give one of the franchise’s most popular players a chance to keep his career going in a new city. From that perspective, the deal makes a world of sense for Texas. But, despite Young’s dismal 2012 season, I like this deal for the Phillies as well. As I noted on ESPN Insider yesterday, there’s a decent list of recent performers who have apparently fallen apart in their mid-30s, only to rebound the next season and regain most of their pre-faceplant production. While Young was genuinely terrible last year, we also need to keep in mind that single year performance isn’t the best indicator of future performance, and any decent projection should be informed by his success prior to 2012 as well as his failure last year. Even if we just take the most basic projection possible and do a 5/3/2 weighting system on his last three season WARs, we’d still come out with a projection of around +1 WAR for 2013. Interestingly, of the 19 players I identified in that ESPN piece who had negative WAR seasons between 34 and 36 and then played another season, their average WAR in the follow-up year was +1 WAR, and a good chunk of the guys in the sample were above average players in their rebound season. There’s reasons to think Young could be one of those bounce back players as well. Young is a high contact line drive hitter who rarely hits infield fly balls, which is the main reason he’s posted a career .334 BABIP despite not being the fastest guy around. Last year, his BABIP fell to .299, the lowest he’s posted since his rookie season back in 2001. If you prefer, here’s the graphical form. He’s already had two recent declines that weren’t predictive, as his drops in both 2008 and 2010 were followed by seasons where he put up a BABIP over .350. The Phillies shouldn’t be betting on that for 2013, but there’s real reason to think that his average will get a bump from basic regression to the mean next year. Even if he’s not hitting for a lot of power, Young’s high contact/gap power skills make him not that dissimilar from Jeff Keppinger, who was also in the mix to play third base for the Phillies before he signed a three year, $12 million contract with the White Sox. Both are roughly average hitters with poor defensive skills at multiple positions in their mid-30s. Both have enough value to be a nice stopgap third baseman on a contender, especially at a marginal price. Young’s $6 million pricetag next season is a little higher than Keppinger’s $4 million, but it’s only a one year commitment, so the overall deals aren’t that far apart in value. I’m sure there’s going to be a subset of folks who mock the Phillies acquisition of Young if he accepts the trade, based on the fact that Young was truly awful for the Rangers last year. However, at $6 million for one year, Young is a decent fill-in for a team in win now mode, and there is historical precedent for these kinds of players rebounding to prior form. Young might not be what he used to be anymore, but we shouldn’t just assume he’s done because he had one lousy season. For the Phillies, this is not a bad risk to take, and assuming it goes through, looks like a win-win for both sides.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks about Eminem referencing her

WATCH: Dwayne Harris dirty hit on Nolan Carroll sparks fight

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.