Potential Michael Young Suitors, Trade Packages After He Cleared Waivers
In doing so, any team can make an offer to the Phillies for Young and, assuming he will agree to a move, he'll be dealt between now and the August 31 waiver trade deadline. This doesn't mean that a deal is imminent or even likely, but there are avenues open to both parties.
There was some chatter early Thursday when Young was initially in the Phillies' lineup for an afternoon game against the Chicago Cubs then got scratched soon after. But it turns out a sore hamstring was the culprit, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
With the trade winds possibly swirling around Young and the Phillies once again, we wanted to look at teams that might have an interest in acquiring his services for the stretch run and what they could give up to make it happen.
New York Yankees
Trade: Michael Young to New York for Dellin Betances
Sure, the Yankees just got back a pretty notable third baseman who is also over the hill.
But it's not like Alex Rodriguez solves all their problems. In fact, if you think of the media headache caused by just having A-Rod around, it could compound their issues.
Young is a surprisingly decent fit for the Yankees, who made an offer for him shortly before the July 31 trade deadline.
Their lineup still has plenty of holes, like at first base where Lyle Overbay's .246/.295/.416 line isn't going to cut it. Young's bat is hardly ideal for first base because he has no power—actually less than Overbay this season. But his .343 on-base percentage is a vast improvement over what they are currently getting.
Of course, the Phillies don't appear willing to trade anyone under any circumstance. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reported that Brian Cashman "ran into a brick wall" in negotiations with Ruben Amaro on July 31.
Given what we have seen with the Phillies this season, it would be surprising if that stance changed now. But you can never say never in trade talks, especially since Young is a free agent at the end of the year and under no obligation to stay in Philadelphia.
If the two sides do open negotiations, which will likely only happen if the Yankees can turn things around to get back in the playoff race, there are pieces to be had for the Phillies.
Betances just needs a change of scenery. Despite having a strong bounce-back year in Triple-A with 88 strikeouts and just 37 walks in 72.2 innings, the Yankees aren't going to give him another chance. He could be a nice player to take a gamble on and pitch out of a big league bullpen.
Boston Red Sox
Trade: Michael Young to Boston for Travis Shaw
As much fun as it is to just say the name Brock Holt, the Red Sox could stand for an upgrade at the hot corner. Young has his flaws—we have talked about his lack of pop, and there's also his porous defense—but he is an upgrade for a Boston team that has serious playoff aspirations.
Like their arch-rival Yankees, the Red Sox were interested in Young at the non-waiver deadline. He was reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause if the Phillies were able to reach an agreement with Boston, but nothing ever materialized.
Third base has been one of the few problem areas for the Red Sox this season. As a whole, their third basemen are hitting just .235/.274/.376 with 12 home runs in 428 at-bats. Young's .276/.343/.404 line would be a nice upgrade for what is already the best offense in baseball.
The Phillies might be able to find a lower-level minor leaguer in Boston's system who would project to the majors. Amaro would have a solid Boston farm system to choose from.
Despite having a high strikeout total in Double-A this season, Shaw is without a clearly defined position and is buried deep down the depth chart in Boston. He is a tweener limited to first base without possessing the kind of power necessary to play there.
Shaw does have some offensive upside. He's got a solid swing and approach that give him a chance to hit for average and get on base at a respectable clip.
Trade: Michael Young to Cleveland for Tony Wolters
There are two problems, as I see it, with the Indians acquiring Young, and one reasonable explanation for it to happen.
The two reasons against it are that Cleveland already has a young third baseman in Lonnie Chisenhall who needs to get consistent reps for the team to know what it has in him. Young basically fills the same basic role as a platoon player who can't hit lefties (.230/.325/.380 in 2013).
However, if one were to make an argument for Young, it would be that his splits versus right-handed pitching are better than Chisenhall's (.292/.349/.412 vs. .257/.298/.404). The team just designated Mark Reynolds for assignment, leaving them with a potential hole to fill.
There are other issues the Indians have to worry about, like taking on additional salary and trading away a prospect, but those are minor considering that the Phillies could increase their take ever so slightly by absorbing the rest of Young's contract.
Wolters actually serves a purpose for the Phillies. He converted to catcher this season after being a shortstop and second baseman the previous three years. While still learning to play the position, the 21-year-old has some skills (arm strength, fringe-average power) that can be attractive as a reclamation project.
The Phillies badly need depth at catcher in their system with Carlos Ruiz hitting free agency and Tommy Joseph, a key piece acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade last year, sustaining a season-ending concussion that could force him to move off the position.
Trade: Michael Young to Cincinnati for Tucker Barnhart
If ever there were a more perfect marriage between player and manager than Michael Young and Dusty Baker, I've never seen it. Young is an old, slow, clearly-past-his-prime player, and Baker plays those guys without regard for the results.
In this case, however, Young would actually represent an upgrade for the Reds at third base, at least from an offensive standpoint. Todd Frazier has had a miserable season with the bat, hitting .233/.326/.384.
But because of Baker's unflinching loyalty, Frazier has played in 105 games.
Young doesn't have the defensive chops that Frazier does, but the Reds also need a little more punch in their lineup. They rank 12th in runs, 15th in slugging and 18th in on-base percentage.
Young wouldn't have to be put in a pressure spot in the order. The Reds would add a little more firepower (or at least a few points in OBP). And Young would get the chance to compete in a pennant race again.
Like Wolters, Barnhart is a catcher who gives the Phillies options. Barnhart is closer to the big leagues, playing this season at Double-A and hitting fairly well (.275/.357/.373) while showing slight improvements catching advanced stuff. He projects more as a backup, but the Phillies need any help they can get.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Trade: Michael Young to Los Angeles for James Baldwin
The Dodgers have gotten some of the worst production in baseball out of their third basemen. That is not surprising considering Jerry Hairston and Nick Punto have been manning the position. Those two have combined to hit .230/.301/.327 with seven home runs.
One reason it is conceivable that Young would accept a trade to the Dodgers is because they are contenders, possibly even favorites in the National League considering the roll they have been on since the end of June.
We also know that the Dodgers aren't afraid to throw money at anyone, so if Young were to accept a trade and perform well in Los Angeles, he could conceivably get a multi-year extension at the age of 37.
Baldwin's stock has dropped the last two years. His raw tools have not translated to success on the field, but he is the kind of prospect the Phillies usually take a chance on. He has all the tools to be a solid big leaguer. His athleticism is something Amaro and Co. would love to have in their system.