Scratch third base from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.'s to-do list.
After Texas' Michael Young agreed to waive his no-trade rights Saturday, the Phillies completed a trade for the seven-time all-star by sending relievers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to the Rangers.
Young has primarily been a designated hitter for the Rangers the last two seasons, but he figures to receive the bulk of his playing time at third base with the Phillies, freeing up Freddy Galvis as a utility guy who plays second base, shortstop, and third base.
That scenario is not insignificant because it could allow manager Charlie Manuel to rest shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley more frequently than he has in the past. Young also has the ability to play all four infield positions, including shortstop.
The Phillies, however, acquired him in the hope that he will provide a significant offensive boost. Young, 36, has twice led the American League in hits, most recently in 2011, when he batted .338 with 41 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, and a career-high 106 RBIs.
Young, a righthanded hitter, is not a pure power bat, but he has hit 21 or more home runs four times in his career and has had 33 doubles or more nine times. His numbers tailed off some in 2012 as he hit .277 with a .312 on-base percentage and a career-low .682 OPS.
The biggest question mark is how he will perform defensively at third base. He won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008, then became the Rangers' third baseman in 2009 and 2010. After Texas acquired Adrian Beltre, Young became the Rangers' primary designated hitter the last two seasons. He started 25 games at third base last season and 39 games the year before.
In order to complete the trade, Young had to waive his no-trade rights as a player who spent 10 years in the big leagues, including five with the same team. The sides also had to agree on financial terms. The Rangers agreed to pay $10 million of Young's $16 million salary for 2013.
The Phillies surrendered the 25-year-old Lindblom and the 22-year-old Bonilla to acquire Young. Both are righthanded relievers.
Lindblom joined the Phillies in midseason after being traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers for centerfielder Shane Victorino. After posting some impressive numbers in parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, Lindblom struggled with the Phillies, going 1-3 with one save and a 4.63 ERA in 26 appearances. His biggest issue was throwing strikes. He walked 17 batters in 231/3 innings.
Bonilla was considered a rising prospect in the Phillies organization and earned a spot in the Futures Game for some of baseball's top prospects last summer in Kansas City. He never pitched in the game, however, because he suffered a freak thumb injury in a hotel room the night before the game. The injury ended his season. Bonilla was a combined 3-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 31 games at single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last season.
With the addition of Young, the Phillies' to-do list now consists of a veteran late-inning reliever, a righthanded-hitting corner outfielder, and a veteran starting pitcher to fill out the back of the rotation.
In veteran infielder and longtime Texas Ranger Michael Young, the Phillies may be getting the big bat they so badly need for the left side of their infield. Or, they may be getting an aging veteran, like Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez before him, whose big-hitting days are largely behind him.
Young's offensive numbers dipped last year on a playoff Rangers team, but as a full-time player since 2002 he has played fewer than 155 games just once (135 in 2009), he has batted better than .300 seven times (batting champion in 2005), had at least 200 hits six times, and is a seven-time all-star.
Here are his career offensive statistics, the last two seasons as a regular designated hitter:
Year G H/AB Avg. HR RBI 2B 3B OPS*
2012 156 169/611 .277 8 67 27 3 .682
2011 159 213/631 .338 11 106 41 6 .854
2010 157 186/656 .284 21 91 36 3 .774
2009 135 174/541 .322 22 68 36 2 .892
2008 155 183/645 .284 12 82 36 2 .741
2007 156 201/639 .315 9 94 37 1 .783
2006 162 217/691 .314 14 103 52 3 .814
2005 159 221/668 .331 24 91 40 5 .899
2004 160 216/690 .313 22 99 33 9 .836
2003 160 204/666 .306 14 72 33 9 .785
2002 156 150/573 .262 9 62 26 8 .690
2001 106 96/386 .298 11 49 18 4 .699
2000 2 0/2 .000 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals: Young has a .301 career average in 12 full seasons, all with the Texas Rangers. He has hit 177 home runs, an average of 16 per season, and has 984 RBIs, an average of 87.
*OPS: On-base percentage plus slugging percentage.
- Gary Potosky