Phillies finalize trade for third baseman Michael Young
Scratch third base from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s to-do list.
After Texas’ Michael Young agreed to waive his no-trade rights Saturday, the Phillies completed a trade for the seven-time all-star by sending relievers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to the Rangers.
Young has primarily been a designated hitter for the Rangers the last two seasons, but he figures to receive the bulk of his playing time at third base with the Phillies, freeing up Freddy Galvis as a utility guy who plays second base, shortstop and third base.
That scenario is not insignificant because it could allow manager Charlie Manuel to rest shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley on a more frequent basis than he has in the past. Young also has the ability to play all four infield positions, including shortstop.
The Phillies, however, acquired him in the hope that he will provide a significant offensive boost. Young, 36, has twice led the American League in hits, most recently in 2011 when he batted .338 with 41 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs and a career-high 106 RBIs.
Young, a right-handed hitter, is not a pure power bat, but he has hit 21 or more home runs four times in his career and has had 33 doubles or more nine times. His numbers tailed off some in 2012 as he hit .277 with a .312 on-base percentage and a career-low .682 OPS.
The biggest question mark is how he will perform defensively at third base. He won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008, then became the Rangers’ third baseman in 2009 and 2010. After Texas acquired Adrian Beltre, Young became the Rangers’ primary designated hitter the last two seasons. He started 25 games at third base last season and 39 games the year before.
In order to complete the trade, Young had to waive his no-trade rights as a player who spent 10 years in the big leagues, including five with the same team. The sides also had to agree on financial terms. The Rangers agreed to pay $10 million of Young’s $16 million salary for 2013.
The Phillies surrendered the 25-year-old Lindblom and the 22-year-old Bonilla to acquire Young. Both pitchers are right-handed relievers.
Lindblom joined the Phillies in mid-season after being traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers for center fielder Shane Victorino. After posting some impressive numbers in parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, Lindblom struggled with the Phillies, going 1-3 with one save and a 4.63 ERA in 26 appearances. His biggest issue was throwing strikes. He walked 17 batters in 23 1/3 innings.
Bonilla was considered a rising prospect in the Phillies’ organization and earned a spot in the Futures Game for some of baseball’s top prospects last summer in Kansas City. He never pitched in the game, however, because he suffered a freak thumb injury in a hotel room the night before the game. The injury ended his season. Bonilla was a combined 3-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 31 games at single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last season.
With the addition of Young, the Phillies’ to-do list now consists of a veteran late-inning reliever, a right-handed hitting corner outfielder and a veteran starting pitcher to fill out the back of the rotation.
Contact Bob Brookover at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @brookob.