With yet another drop below the .500 mark and another DL trip for one of their relief pitchers, the Philadelphia Phillies are seeing their likelihood of making the postseason take a turn for the worse.
Whether they'll be buyers or sellers is still up in the air (despite Ruben Amaro Jr.'s insistence on the former there's still ambivalence), but what's clearer is that Michael Young probably won't be in red pinstripes much longer.
While Young has been fairly productive (slash line of .283/.346/.413 and is hitting .315 with five home runs and 20 RBI since June 1, according to ESPN's Doug Mittler), they don't need him.
In an interview with Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, an NL executive stated that "They could plug in Kevin Frandsen, and there wouldn't be that much dropoff at all."
Much of baseball perceives Young to be a lucrative trade chip. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted this last week:
Even if nothing materializes in the next week, that doesn't mean Young is staying put.
According to Heyman in the previously cited article, "Young makes $16 million in the last year of an $80 million deal, so it's possible he could clear waivers and be traded after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He has a complete no-trade, which he received as part of his deal to accept the trade from Texas to Philly."
According to Mark Feinsand of New York Daily News, a trade involving Young and Joba Chamberlain could be a possibility, which would certainly be an economical route, a road less traveled in Philadelphia (see Howard, Ryan).
If not Chamberlain, though, the Yankees don't really have anyone to offer. Their farm system isn't known for producing spectacular talent, and most current New York prospects aren't due up until 2015 at the earliest.
While the Yankees may be a viable destination, there have also been reports that the Boston Red Sox are also actively pursuing the third baseman:
The Red Sox have a top scout peeking in on Phillies-Mets today. Yesterday, too. Michael Young possible Sox' target if Phillies sell— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) July 21, 2013
The BoSox need someone in the hot corner and have a better shot at the postseason than the Yankees. The Phillies have holes in the outfield and Boston has both mid- and upper-level prospects—Jackie Bradley and Bryce Brentz for example—that could fill them.
Rosenthal also indicated that the Cincinnati Reds are a possible target.
Cincy's slew of injuries makes it an eager shopper. Obviously the Reds won't be giving up Billy Hamilton, but they have a group of talented pitchers that could help Philly's relief needs. That being said, none of them will break into the bigs anytime soon.
With all of this in mind, Boston should be the frontrunner. Now we just have to see if Amaro will budge.