Phillies acquiring Michael Young from the Rangers might bring more questions than answers
"KEEP ON PHIGHTIN' WITH JOE VALLEE"
Ok, right now I’m going to give you all the reasons why Michael Young IS a perfect fit for your Philadelphia Phillies. Everyone has been talking about this for close to a month now, but lets break it down:
1. Young is a right-handed batter in a Phillies lineup desperately needing power from the right side since the departure of Jayson Werth to the Nationals. Historically, Young has hit second and sometimes third in the batting order. This could work either way for the Phillies, as his presence in either spot would be welcome with the apparent loss of Chase Utley for God knows how long.
2. Young, the Texas Rangers longest tenured player, six-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner, has put aside his differences (for at least the time being) with Rangers' management to have a solid spring. This furthermore proves that Young is a character guy through and through. He wants to win, and Phillies players and their fans would welcome him with open arms.
3. Texas has made Young play virtually everywhere. In saying that, Texas has not been exactly forthright in the way they have handled these situations regarding Young, which is reportedly one of the reasons why he wants out of Texas. So depending on Utley or Placido Polanco’s status, Young could potentially play second, third, or if Jimmy Rollins gets injured again, possibly shortstop (?) (Although that is hopefully a big stretch.) if the Phils were to land him.
Unfortunately, there are usually minuses to go with plusses, and I’m now going to give you the reasons why Michael Young is probably not a practical fit for the team.
1. The Rangers owe Young $48 million left on the three remaining years of his contract. There is talk that Texas wasn’t budging on eating any of that money.
Ruben Amaro is good, but not even he can make that remaining money disappear. No team acquiring Young will take on his entire salary, so Texas has to soften their stance on Young’s contract if he is dealt.
2. Young is a team player, but has never batted fifth and has only 12 career at bats hitting sixth. Of course, Young would probably be open to the change , but do the Phils really need any other question marks right now?
3. With the loss of Cliff Lee to the Phillies (grin), the Rangers are in some need of pitching. The Phillies could offer Joe Blanton, but chances are Texas will want more than just the team’s fifth starter with estimated $16 million remaining on his contract. If this trade somehow happens, chances are the Fightins’ minor league system will become void of any bona fide talent for the foreseeable future. After all, the Rangers aren’t the Astros. This will not be Roy Oswalt part deux.
4. If the Phillies do inquire about Young, this means that Utley will most likely miss the season, or (dare I say it) his career might be pretty close to finished. The words used to describe Utley’s current injuries to his knee are terms you almost have to look up in a medical dictionary. It’s not like it’s a bad hip or sprained ligament in his thumb this time around.
The team obviously wouldn’t get Young for half of a season, so if Utley does return, where would Young play? Where does Placido Polanco fit in all of this? Does Polanco go to second and Young to third if Utley doesn’t return? Most likely, but keep in mind that Polanco isn’t 100% healthy, either. Though once a Gold Glove winner at short, there are also questions concerning Young’s defense over the last several years.
Final Thought: The Phillies will really have to consider the future for if this deal would come to fruition. Utley’s career, minor league prospects, and Young’s age come into play as well. He will be 35 in October, and he would be part of an already aging Phillies team.
Don’t expect this deal unless the Phillies can get Texas to eat a substantial part of Young’s salary, or (for better or for worse) they have a better understanding of Utley’s condition sometime later in the summer.
In the meantime, Keep on Phightin.'
Joe Vallee is a lifelong Phillies fan and former Phillies batboy. Joe has claimed to have seen about 98% of every Phillies game since the early 1980's.
Contact Joe Vallee at firstname.lastname@example.org
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