As we get set to turn the calendar over to July, expect trade deadline discussion to intensify over the course of the next few weeks. The Phillies are still 7.5 games out of a playoff spot, and appear increasingly incapable of shifting out of neutral, losing again Saturday night 4-3 to the Dodgers.
One team that’s clearly looking to add at the deadline is the Red Sox. They’ve already been linked to Jonathan Papelbon, expensive closers being a luxury for sub-.500 ball clubs. Now the latest news has them in pursuit of Michael Young. According to George A. King III for the New York Post (via SB Nation), the Sox are “very interested” in the veteran infielder if he becomes available.
“They want him badly,’’ an industry source said of the Red Sox, who demoted the struggling Will Middlebrooks to the minors and are playing Jose Inglesias at third base.
Despite Boston’s seemingly high level of interest in Young, the story tends to focus on the Yankees, who also might be in the market for a third baseman. New York is mentioned here as a possible destination for Carlos Ruiz as well.
King says the Phillies had two scouts at Yankee Stadium last week, so it sure sounds like there could be some action there.
The Phillies acquired Young from Texas as a stopgap at third base after they declined to pick up Placido Polanco’s option. Young is a free agent at the end of the season, and the organization has prospects in the farm system – Cody Asche at Lehigh Valley and Maikel Franco at Reading.
In other words, if they aren’t making a run at the postseason he becomes expendable.
The Rangers agreed to pay all but $6 million of Young’s salary, so he’s attractive from a value standpoint. He does have a no-trade clause, but waived it once already to come to Philly.
What another general manager would be willing to part with to obtain the 36 year old is another matter. Kevin Cooney writes in today’s Courier Times that he may not fetch much in return. The Phillies sent relievers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to Texas in the deal for Young.
Young has performed to about the level of expectations coming into this season. His .287 batting average is good for second in the clubhouse – one point behind Ben Revere – to go with five home runs and 21 runs batted in through 75 games. He is second in the National League with 16 groundout double plays however.
While GMs are leisurely pushing their shopping carts around the Phillies roster, much of what happens will be determined over the next few weeks. But once Ruben Amaro determines his team is out of contention, Michael Young should be high on the short list of players who can move.