SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 21: Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers looks on against the San Francisco Giants during a Major League Baseball game on June 21, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Phillies have filled their hole at third base with Michael Young after the veteran has accepted a rumored trade to Philadelphia. The Texas Rangers will be paying $10 million of the $16 million owed to Young in 2013. Heading to the Rangers in return for Young are reliever Josh Lindblom and prospect Lisalverto Bonilla.
2012 was the worst season of Young's career after he hit .277 with a .682 OPS and just eight homers. The 36-year old Young played all four infield positions as well as DH for the Rangers this past season, and was below average defensively at all four. With no DH to hide Young at, the Phillies might be forced to use Freddy Galvis as a defensive substitute late in games, potentially moving Young to first base to spell the iron-gloved Ryan Howard. Young has also shown a widening array of platoon splits over the past few seasons, hitting just .257 with a .643 OPS against righties in 2012.
In fairness to the Phillies, given the state of the free agent market at third base, they didn't give up a lot for Young. Lindblom was acquired at the trade deadline this past July from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade, and he struggled with his control after the trade, walking 17 batters in 23 1/3 innings. Lindblom also allowed a whopping 13 homers for the season in 71 innings, a trait that won't suit him very well in Arlington. As for Bonilla, he's a 22-year old pitcher who spent 2012 split between high-A and AA as a reliever, striking out 66 while walking 21 in 47 2/3 innings. He was a member of the World team in this summer's Futures Game, and was a midseason Eastern League All-Star. Currently in the Venezuelan Winter League, Bonilla has struck out 16 while walking five in 13 innings while pitching to a 6.92 ERA.
Essentially, the Phillies gave up a fringe major league reliever and a live-armed, erratic prospect for an established veteran on the downswing. Considering that Young isn't a long-term fix for the Phillies and is really just a one-year stopgap while waiting for prospect Cody Asche to fully mature, I can't exactly run them through the ringer for rolling the dice with Young, even if I don't expect him to provide a ton of offensive value to the team in 2013.