The long wait is over. And the Phillies have filled two of their biggest holes this week with their second trade in three days.
According to numerous reports, the Phils finalized a deal for long-time Texas Rangers third baseman Michael Young on Saturday afternoon. In exchange for Young, the Phillies sent right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla the Rangers.
The move comes two days after the Phils filled their need for a center fielder by consummating a trade with the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere. With a little more than two months until pitchers and catchers hold their first workout in Clearwater, Fla., the Phillies have seven of their eight regular positions accounted for following the two trades.
The 36-year-old Young, who has spent his entire career in Texas, had to approve the trade. It took him over 48 hours to do so.
The Phils likely aren't finished working this winter. In addition to seeking a power-hitting corner outfielder, the Phils will almost certainly pursue a veteran reliever and possibly a starting pitcher, too.
With Vance Worley a part of the Revere deal, the Phils suddenly have a vacancy in their rotation, although Tyler Cloyd and fellow right-hander Jonathan Pettibone could also compete for that spot.
The Phils actually completed their portion of the Young trade before getting Revere. But since Young is a 10/5 player – at least 10 years in the big leagues, at least the last five with the same team – he could veto any trade.
There was speculation that Young, who has played his entire big league career with Texas, would not accept any trade this winter. But apparently the idea of being a regular third baseman on a veteran-laden, championship-hungry team was able to convince him to leave the Rangers, where he was likely to be the odd man out of a rising, young infield in Arlington.
As a part of the trade, the Rangers will assume a large chunk of the $16 million Young is owed in 2013, the last year of his contract.
In acquiring both Young and Revere, the latter of whom isn't even arbitration eligible, the Phils solved two holes in their lineup without having to spend premium dollars. That could allow them to address the remaining need in the batting order – an impact bat to play right field – by hitting the free agent market with a renewed aggression.
Among the outfielders on the open market are Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher and Cody Ross. Ichiro Suzuki could be another option, although he wouldn't appear to be an ideal fit for a team that would likely prefer a right-handed hitter with power.
Righthanded-hitting Alfonso Soriano is another name that could be had in a trade, with the Cubs assuming most of the salary, but since he's a left fielder it doesn't appear on the surface to be a great match. Rookie Darin Ruf is limited to left field and first base.
Young, meanwhile, likely takes over Placido Polanco's role as not only the primary third baseman but also as a right-handed bat to hit second between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley at the top of the Phillies order.
Young is coming off a down year in 2012. He hit .277 with a .312 on-base percentage and a .682 OPS in 156 games.
But he hit .338 with a .380 OBP in 2011, finishing third in the American League in hitting and 8th in the AL MVP voting. A seven-time All-Star and former batting champion, Young, who hasn't played third base regularly since 2010, is a career .301 hitter with a .347 OBP in 13 big league seasons, all with the Rangers.