The Philadelphia Phillies have to trade Michael Young.
They just called up elite prospect Cody Asche, who just so happens to play third base, Young's primary position in Philly. And you don't bring up a guy like Asche—.295/.352/.485 with 15 homers, 68 RBI and 11 steals in Triple-A this year—if he's not going to play full time.
The Phillies have lost eight in a row, dropping them to 49-56 on the season, 11.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and even further out in the wild-card race. They have fallen into seller's territory.
And Young, who becomes a free agent after the season, has no real future in Philadelphia and could potentially bring a mid-level prospect back in return, is the perfect player to sell.
There's no reason not to trade him.
Unfortunately for the Phils, Young has a no-trade clause in his contract, giving him all of the leverage in the situation. Moreover, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the former Texas Ranger (not that Texas Ranger) is planning on using every bit of that leverage:
It was reported a few days by MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that a Young-to-the-Rangers deal was "not going to happen," but with this news, why wouldn't Jon Daniels at least make an inquiry?
Young, who spent his first 13 seasons with the Rangers, is a fan favorite in Arlington. He has a home there, his family there and is undeniably comfortable playing there.
Is the 36-year-old the player he used to be? Absolutely not. He's hitting .277/.342/.402/.743, and defensively is a far cry from the Gold Glover he was in 2008. Still, he would serve as an upgrade over the Rangers' current DH situation, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson:
Lance Berkman jogged a short while ago. His assessment: "Not good, to be honest." #Rangers— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) July 30, 2013
For a team that is six games behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West, adding Young would be the type of low-key move capable of making a significant difference.
Which is bad news for the Phillies.
The Rangers could offer as little as they wanted, and if Young's ultimatum is true, the Phils have two choices: accept the offer or lose Young in the offseason for nothing.
The Rangers could offer a turkey sandwich, and the Phils would be inclined to take it (although that's neither here nor there because turkey sandwiches are awesome).
That being said, there could be a little leeway, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman:
It will still be tough to get top dollar for Young, but adding the Boston Red Sox to the mix would at least give Ruben Amaro, Jr. a little bit of the leverage back.
Where will Michael Young be playing on August 1?
Nevertheless, the Phillies are in a difficult situation as the trade deadline approaches and the options—Young either sits behind Asche or is traded for pennies on the dollar—are continuing to dwindle quickly.