Michael Young is coming to Philadelphia.
After two days weighing his options, the 36-year old lifetime Texas Ranger has decided to leave the only organization he has ever played for, waiving his no-trade option for a chance to play third base everyday with the Phillies.
In exchange for Young, the Phillies will send back 25-year old right-handed reliever, Josh Lindblom, and Lisalverto Bonilla, a 22-year old right-handed pitcher who split time between Single-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading last season.
Texas has also agreed to pay $10 million of Young’s $16 million 2013 salary in the deal. Young will also reportedly make $1.2 million in benefits in the trade, though who will be paying that amount is still unclear. The deal is still pending a physical.
Young, a career .301 hitter, is coming off his worst season ever in the big leagues. In 2012, he hit .277/.312/.370, while hitting a career-low eight home runs, and 67 RBI. His .682 OPS and -1.4 WAR were also the lowest marks of his career.
Playing third base will be an adjustment for Young, as he hasn’t played there full-time since Adrian Beltre came to Texas before the 2011 season. In 2010, Young played 155 games at third base for the Rangers.
The Spin: Unlike our own Ian Riccaboni, I’m actually OK with this deal for a couple of reasons:
1) The Phillies didn’t give up very much for Young. Lindblom was mostly unimpressive in his time with the Phils after coming over from the Dodgers, and Bonilla, while sporting great numbers in the minors and a Double-A all star game appearance, is still just an unproven prospect. The Phillies have enough pitching depth to absorb both of these losses. With Texas paying more than half his salary, the Phillies fill a hole while leaving themselves the financial flexibility needed to go out and sign a corner outfielder (I like Nick Swisher, but Josh Hamilton has been speculated as a possibility ad nauseam since word of a potential Young trade broke).
2) I love that the Phillies got a veteran guy with a track record of success who can presumably play third regularly for them without a long-term commitment. In what is an undeniably weak market for third base this offseason, I felt committing to any of the available options for more than a season would be a mistake. With only one year of Young, the Phillies now have an opportunity to evaluate what’s available at third base following the 2013 season, when there could be more attractive options available, either in trade or through free agency, or possibly in prospect Cody Asche. At worst, Young is a stopgap who will likely give the Phillies as much as they got from the position last year at a reasonable cost. At best, Young, finding comfort in the stability of knowing where he’ll be playing everyday, rediscovers his form from two years ago, when he posted an .854 OPS and a 3.7 WAR. His defense will surely leave something to be desired, but Amaro is rolling the dice on the possibility that he’ll look more like the Michael Young from 2003 to 2011 at the plate than the guy who was a shell of himself last year.