The Philadelphia Phillies traded for Michael Young this past offseason in hopes that he could fuel a return to the playoffs. With the Phillies' playoff hopes fading, though, the Philadelphia front office made the decision to deal the popular third baseman to Los Angeles.
MLB made the move official:
UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 2, at 1:55 p.m. EST
From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
Michael Young on approving trade to the #Dodgers: "It was an immediate yes."— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) September 2, 2013
---End of update---
Young spent the first 13 seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers, but with players like Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar standing in his way, the Rangers thought that the best move for everyone involved was trading Young away. While Young has been a full-time starter for the Phillies, their season hasn't gone as well as originally hoped.
The blame doesn't fall on Young's shoulders, though, as he has had a strong season in the National League. Young isn't going to hit .330 or mash 20 homers in a season at this point in his career, but he is a serviceable player still, hitting a solid .272 with eight home runs and 41 RBI so far this season.
In addition to his experience, Young is incredibly valuable because of his versatility. His skill set allows him to hit pretty much anywhere in the order as he can man the No. 2 hole, thrive low in the lineup or even be a middle-of-the-order guy in a pinch.
Young can also play a number of different positions, which should come in handy down the stretch. The California native has primarily played third base this season, but he has gotten in a few games at first, and he also has a lot of experience playing up the middle at second base and shortstop. It's unlikely that Young will be asked to play middle infield on a regular basis, but he can get the job done if needed.
There is no denying that Young is the ideal acquisition for a team that is trying to make a World Series run as he is willing to do anything in order to win. Young fell just short of winning the World Series on two occasions with the Rangers, and his opportunities to win it all are dwindling as he is 36 years of age.
He probably won't provide All-Star level production moving forward, but he is capable of turning it up a couple notches. Young has six career 200-hit seasons to his credit, which is a testament to his scrappiness and his ability to battle at the plate.
Is this a smart move for the Phillies?
Young is never an easy out, and that is something that will come in handy once October rolls around. His career playoff numbers are fairly nondescript at .248 with three home runs and 19 RBI, but he has really only had two playoff runs. The Rangers technically made the playoffs last season, but they were out after one game as the Baltimore Orioles ousted them in the wild card game.
He is obviously hoping to last a bit longer this year as he seeks his first World Series ring. In addition, Young is playing for a new contract. He is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the season, and a big performance down the stretch could potentially net him a multi-year deal.
Young may not be the same player he once was, but he is still very useful. Look for him to prove that moving forward, and expect him to parlay that into a nice contract during the offseason.
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