The Phillies should try to move Michael Young in August.
The Philadelphia Phillies were a complete bust at the trade deadline. When word surfaced that Ruben Amaro Jr. might be willing to shop perennial trade deadline frequenter Cliff Lee (even with Amaro's wildly unreasonable expectations of what he could get in return), it almost seemed like Philly was finally waving the white flag.
While complete silence ensued, the Phillies could still end up making some moves in August due to the bloated contracts of their most coveted trade chips.
This was the biggest surprise of the deadline. Young was drawing interest from a number of teams—especially the Yankees at the last minute. Shockingly, Amaro was asking for too much, reported CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Still, he's the most likely to go in August. There's a reason why Matt Snyder of CBS Sports used Young as an example of the waivers process in his most recent article.
Young has a no-trade clause, but is willing to waive it in a few cases:
Snyder also reports that Young would accept a trade to the Yankees.
Plenty of teams have a need for Young and would be willing to shell out the cash. There's a good chance he'll clear waivers due to his salary of $16 million, so he'll then land back on the trade market. Since MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported that Texas likely won't trade for Young and the Yankees were ready to make an offer, look for further New York negotiations in the not so distant future.
Seeing as the Phillies just brought up prospect Cody Asche to play third, which moved Young over to first, it doesn't seem like Philly is set on keeping Young.
The Yankees are also interested in Chooch:
yankees made offer for michael young & inquiry on carlos ruiz. but the phillies declined the bids. http://t.co/kQ4vd7ybif— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 1, 2013
While Chooch is not the most expensive (he's making $5 million) compared to other Phillies, he is relative to someone like Kelly Shoppach.
While New York made the latest inquiry, the St. Louis Cardinals would be wise to look into the Panamanian catcher.
St. Louis couldn't do much backstop-wise before the deadline, seeing that All-Star and MVP candidate Yadier Molina only just landed on the DL, but as the Cardinals have found themselves two-and-a-half games back in the National League Central and are without their premier game-caller, they're now desperately in need of someone to fill the hole.
If Chooch clears waivers, St. Louis has many prospects to offer the Phils. They wouldn't give up someone like Michael Wacha or Carlos Martinez, considering Ruiz has been a dud offensively this year (.248/.298/.293), but Ruiz is one of the better game-callers in baseball, and Cardinals pitching is obviously used to good defense behind the dish. St. Louis should give up someone for Chooch if they want to compete with the red-hot Pirates.
While the Phillies have recently been talking about a new $13 million a year Utley deal (three years or two years and a vesting option for a third), according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Phils should still place him on waivers. Yes, he's a fan favorite and the face of the franchise and all of that mushy stuff, but contenders could use the DL king more at this point.
Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Philly should build around Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon—no mention of the second baseman.
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote today, "The decisions that Amaro and Co. have made have created a lineup that will be nearly impossible to improve if Utley returns to it."
Utley currently makes $15,285,714, so he'd likely clear waivers. The soaring Los Angeles Dodgers would be a great fit for him.
For starters, Utley is a California boy at heart. He went to UCLA and thrives in that environment.
Secondly, the Dodgers would surely benefit from an upgrade at second.
Utley's power numbers are creeping back up this season. (As Murphy writes, "10.4 percent of his plate appearances ending in extra-base hits, compared with 8.3 percent from 2009-12, a home run every 21.9 at-bats, compared with 24.6 over the previous four seasons.") They would definitely be a step up from Mark Ellis (.360 slugging and a .684 OPS compared to Utley's .505 and .845) and Nick Punto (pretty worthless).
The Phillies have guys like Cesar Hernandez (he can discontinue his outfield experiment if need be) and Freddy Galvis they can plug in at second if need be, and they could look to receive a Dee Gordon or Joc Pederson from L.A.