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Well, this wasn't the way they drew it up. The Phillies came into the offseason expecting to fill their biggest voids via the free agent market and instead swung two trades to find their center fielder and third baseman.
Now, after days of speculation, Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the Phillies have acquired Michael Young from the Texas Rangers in exchange for pitchers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla.
Young, 36, spent the first 13 years of his career as a member of the Rangers. He is a contact hitter with average power that, assuming his 2012 season was just an outlier, should be an upgrade over what the Phillies already had at third base—Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis.
At this point in his career, Young is a below average defender with limited range, but he won't be terrible at third base. He isn't going to win a Gold Glove, but he isn't going to kill them there either.
Lindblom, 25, was acquired by the Phillies from the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer as part of the Shane Victorino trade. The Phillies expected him to come aboard and become the club's eighth inning setup man, but it was painfully clear that those were unrealistic expectations.
Lindblom has a solid fastball and a decent breaking ball, but he is a flyball pitcher who tends to work in the upper half of the strike zone. I don't expect that to work any better in Texas than it did in Philadelphia.
The most interesting player in this deal has to be the 22-year-old Lisalverto Bonilla. A right-handed pitcher, the Phillies converted him into a reliever full-time last season and he was incredible.
A hand injury forced him to miss some time during the 2012 season, but the progress was obvious. Bonilla has a chance to develop three above average pitches: A fastball, changeup and slider. He generates a fair amount of sink on his fastball, which helps him to generate groundballs.
Texas is also paying roughly $10 million of the $16 million owed to Young in the deal.
All in all, this is a solid move for the Phillies. After seeing the way Lindblom fared in Citizens Bank Park (and beyond), the Phillies essentially traded a spare part who may not have made their bullpen under different circumstances and a prospect with upside for a starting third baseman.
In the future, this deal will be measured by what Young was able to do in one season as the Phillies' third baseman. If he can rebound by playing slightly less than average defense at third and making solid contact, presumably from the second spot in the Phillies' order, this could be a good deal.
Even if Bonilla reaches his potential, trading relief pitchers is not something that this club needs to worry about right now. This is a solid move, in my opinion.