Back in March, Michael Young was on the Phillies radar. Here on Phillies Nation, I wrote this:
As first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Phillies put in a call to the Texas Rangers to discuss Michael Young, although talks were considered “brief.”
Young has announced his displeasure with the Rangers organization for dangling him in a trade after assuring him he was part of their future. That, in addition to signing or trading for multiple players that would take his place, including third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher/DH Mike Napoli.
The call made by the Phillies to inquire about Young is nothing more than a team doing their “due diligence,” which has become the chic term from the mouth of Ruben Amaro.
So, maybe the Phillies weren’t close to getting Young, but there was some interest there. And then, I said this:
Young, 34, is owed $48 million over the next three seasons; a healthy number for someone that age. That’s an annual average of $16 million, or roughly $10 million more than starting third baseman Placido Polanco is owed. At this stage, Young’s defense is lacking and would not be considered an upgrade over Polly, who is also 34.
Yes, Young has some pop in his bat, as evident by the 21 home runs he hit last year. But no one is sure is trading away Joe Blanton and more is worth another aging star.
If you’re asking my opinion here, the answer is no, it is not. I’ve been one of Michael Young‘s biggest fans on the east coast. Always enjoyed that sweet swing and the consistency he’s provided the past decade in Texas. At this stage in his career, however, that salary, added to an already bulging payroll in Philadelphia, makes little fiscal sense.
Well, he’s made me eat my words. Placido Polanco was injured throughout the entire 2011 season, as was Joe Blanton. The two together made as much as Michael Young.
Young, on the other hand, hit .338, tied for second best in the American League in the regular season. His power numbers suffered, as Young slugged only 11 home runs. But what’s the difference – he knocked in 106 runs and hit 41 doubles and six triples. In the Game 6 clincher as the Rangers took down the Tigers, Young went 3-for-6 with five RBI in the 15-5 Texas drubbing to get them back to the Fall Classic.
Defensively, the guy can do it all. He played 40 games at third base, 36 at first base, 14 at second base, and 1 at shortstop and could probably hold his own in the outfield if needed. He isn’t the greatest defender at any one position anymore, but is versatile enough and has a strong enough stick to move all over the diamond. The Phillies maybe didn’t have a shot at him last offseason, but they should have tried harder, and I should have shut my mouth.
Young made my comments look silly as he has led the Texas Rangers to another World Series trip. He’s the veteran leader and middle of the order presence that fits ever so nicely. He’s not your regular 40 home run guy batting cleanup, which he’s been doing this postseason, but it doesn’t matter. The guy is a sweet-swinging professional hitter that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
And how good would he look in this Phillies offense in 2012? With a need for a first baseman (possibly) and always a need for upgrading, Young could be the answer to what ails the Phils. Too bad, he’ll be looking for a third World Series trip with the Rangers in 2012. While the Phillies work to fix their roster.