Report: Everybody Loves Michael Young

Report: Everybody Loves Michael Young

We’ve already heard a report that the Red Sox might be interested in trade for Phillies’ third baseman Michael Young, and also that the Yankees could be a fit as well. Well if Ken Rosenthal is correct, there are a dozen or so teams that could be trying to swing a deadline deal to acquire the seven-time All-Star’s services.

In a report filed to FOXSports.com, Rosenthal described the interest in Young around the league as “intense” on Tuesday, adding the number of teams that have already contacted the Phillies has reached double digits. Here’s more:

Young, 36, is batting .288 with a .759 OPS after joining the Phillies in an offseason trade from his longtime team, the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox would play Young at third base. The Yankees, another interested team, could play him at third and first. Other clubs, sources say, would use Young at least part-time at second, which he last played in 2012 and last played regularly in ‘03.

The demand for Young is rising in part because of the shortage of quality right-handed hitters on the trade market. The Phillies, however, have no obvious internal replacement for Young, particularly if they plan to overtake the Braves in the National League East.

Aside from his right-handed bat, it’s clear Young is also attractive to buyers because of his versatility in the infield. Besides being able to play second and third, he’s also made a few appearances at first base for Philadelphia in 2013.

As for Rosenthal’s claim that the Phils have no obvious replacement for Young, that may not be entirely true. Kevin Frandsen has been an absolute treat coming off of the bench this season, and even going back to his call-up last summer. Over at The Good Phight, the argument has been made Frandsen is actually having a better season than Young at the plate.

That’s difficult to dispute, although I would be concerned about how Frandsen would hold up playing every day over the remainder of the season. His gritty style of play can be very punishing on his body. If Frandsen were to become an everyday player, it also shortens the Fightins’ bench, unless Freddy Galvis can recapture his stroke from earlier this season.

That said, if the Phillies want to give it one last shot with this core, the front office may have to get creative. Their relief pitching simply is not good enough to go deep, but most would say Ruben Amaro Jr. isn’t in a position to be moving certain or (m)any prospects at all, while there are few if any tradable commodities on the 25-man roster who have viable replacements. Moving Young might be their best chance at patching up up the bullpen for a postseason run.

Young also has a full no-trade clause, so we don’t know how that will come into play.

Of course, what happens in the less-than two weeks to follow the All-Star break could determine the Phillies’ course of action anyhow. One thing is for certain right now though, and that is Michael Young is in demand.

>> Young drawing heavy trade interest [FOX]

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn't get a handle on Kunitz's shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh -- where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday -- by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise's second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson's brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to "just play," code for fighting through Ottawa's neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport's ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary -- a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 -- by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone -- who stretched his left skate to stay onside -- fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz's screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson's shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray's back right to Dzingel's stick.

Notes
The home team is 21-20 in overtime Game 7s in NHL playoff history. ... Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Karlsson had 16 assists in the playoffs to set a team record. ... The Penguins are 10-7 in Game 7s. ... It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).