Michael Young to Phillies a Done Deal

Michael Young to Phillies a Done Deal

The Phillies have sent reliever Josh Lindblom and Minor League
pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla to Texas to complete the swap for third baseman
Michael Young, who waived his no-trade clause on Saturday. Reports confirm the
Rangers will pay $10 million of Young’s $16 million salary.

The 36-year-old Young is coming off of his worst season since 2002, his first full year in the big leagues -- yeah, he's been around for awhile. This was Beerleaguer's synopsis earlier in the week:

Young was really, really, really bad last year. Out of 143 qualifying
major-leaguers, he was 125th in OPS. He hit .257/.291/.352 against
righties. He had 27 doubles and grounded into 26 double plays.

That said, Young is in the final year of his contract, thus clearly meant only as a stopgap at third. There weren't many (any?) great options in free agency, and Young was able to be had on the relative cheap.

Lindblom came over in the deal that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers in July, going 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA in 25 games for the Phillies. Bonilla, 22, posted promising numbers in 2012 between Clearwater and Reading. The righthander was 3-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 31 relief appearances. More on him from Phuture Phillies.

It doesn't hurt Texas is paying more than half of Young's salary, either.

The seven-time All Star is not as far removed from a quality season as you might think. Young led the American League in hits in '11, and was among the leaders in batting average (3rd), on-base percentage (8th), doubles (10th), and RBI (5th). He has also played every position in the infield.

It certainly is not the flashiest move the Phillies could make. Young may very well be in rapid decline -- although his numbers bounced back in September and October last season -- but Ruben Amaro Jr. is gambling he can do better than Placido Polanco or Kevin Frandsen. How do you see that working out for the Fightins?

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Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Phillies corner outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick is finally nearing a return. He'll begin a rehab assignment tonight with Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Kendrick has been out since April 15 with an oblique strain. He did defensive work during the Phillies' road trip and has been taking outdoor batting practice at home this week.

Kendrick was off to a hot start when the oblique injury sent him to the DL. In 10 games, he went 13 for 39 (.333) with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs. He batted second all 10 games.

The Phillies are in a bad offensive funk and could use Kendrick's bat over Michael Saunders' right now. The Phils' 1-2 hitters were among the most productive in the majors in April, hitting close to .350 for the month. They're down to .282 on the season as Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera have slumped in May.

With Clay Buchholz likely out for the season and Saunders providing little offense so far, the Phillies' trio of offseason veteran additions has not panned out through two months.

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

It's only natural to have some reservations about Lane Johnson after he was suspended for 10 games last season for his second violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. One more positive test and the Eagles will lose their starting right tackle for two full years.

Fortunately, Johnson seems determined to avoid any future run-ins with the league. The 27-year-old changed his entire approach this offseason, cutting out negative influences or any other voices at all while preparing for the 2017 season.

"I just trained by myself back in Oklahoma," Johnson said after the Eagles' first full-team practice of OTAs on Tuesday. "Trained by myself and everything went good. I came back, my body weight is about 325, so I'm heavier than I've ever been. I feel in good shape, and I have a lot to prove, so it's a big year for me.

"I did everything by myself. There wasn't going to be any mishaps."

Two suspensions totaling 14 games later, Johnson has gained a healthy fear of being unknowingly steered toward an illegal supplement.

Johnson tested positive for PEDs before the season last year after taking a banned substance known as peptides and was eventually slapped with the full 10-game penalty after a lengthy appeal process. The fifth-year veteran always maintained peptides were not listed on the label of the offending supplement.

Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the players' association in November after the suspension was upheld. Its status is ongoing.

Johnson also served a four-game suspension in 2014.

When he's not in trouble with the league office, Johnson is a vital cog in the Eagles' offense. They went 5-1 with him and 2-8 without him last season.

"I feel like whenever I'm playing, I try to be the best right tackle in the NFL," Johnson said. "My deal is to just stay on the field, play a complete season, and I think it will be a big year for me."

Johnson isn't concerned about losing a competitive edge, physically or mentally, after dropping supplements altogether.

"I've always been the athlete that I am," Johnson said. "That's what I'll continue to prove. I'm gonna go play and show people what I can do."

Signed in January 2016 to a five-year contract extension worth $56 million, Johnson has plenty to prove. He was working out in place of 35-year-old left tackle Jason Peters, who wasn't at the start of OTAs, on Tuesday and is expected to one day replace the nine-time Pro Bowl selection permanently.

Despite his checkered past, it sounds like Johnson knows exactly what's on the line, which is why he chose to go it alone this offseason. The only person you can trust is yourself.

Then again, Johnson still has his vices, which might raise some eyebrows with the news he's up to 325 pounds — eight more than his listed weight.

"My big deal is cutting out the ice cream, the Ben & Jerry's late at night — the stuff you want to indulge in," Johnson said. "If you get me on an ice cream binge, it's not good."

The Eagles can probably deal with a little extra ice cream, just as long as Johnson remains committed to keeping dodgy supplements out of his body.