Michael Young Continues to Plug Along – For Texas

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, October 16, 2011 11:58 AM | Comments: 14
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts


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.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 31 kittykat

    Avatar of kittykat

    So, is it now back to Cole Hamels for Michael Young as suggested last season by Mitch Williams? Go for it, Phils!

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Michael Young is potentially a Hall-of-Fame player. He is far from finished and if the Rangers with the World Championship (I hope they do) this year, then that would only add to the legend. He is not coming to the Phillies, as that window has closed. We do, however, desperately need an outstanding utility player who can hit for the infield — a player like Mariano Duncan who can play third, second and shortstop. Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez simply do not cut the mustard offensively. Mayberry could be our super utility player for the outfield and first base as he is a fine outfielder and decent first baseman.
    First, we need to determine what we are going to do about signing Madson, Rollins and Hamels, unless we have a super-uitility type fall in our laps. We also need a reliable power bat for left field, and I do not know if that bat belongs to Dom Brown.

  • Posts: 0 T. Martin

    The Rangers could be more motivated to move Young than they were last year given that CJ Wilson is a FA, they’re already rumored to be prepping an offer for Sabathia and Andrus, Napoli and Cruz are ALL arb eligible. Add it up and these signings are gonna cost them a huge sum of money. So if somebody like the Phillies came calling with a couple of younger cost-controlled prospects and/or pitchers like Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton the Rangers will listen.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Yeah they could move him, but he’s a vocal leader and I think something like that may upset the Texas fan base. He’s been the face of the team. And the Phillies may not be able to afford a guy like him unless Blanton and Kendrick are both gone. Can they afford to pillage all their pitching depth? A guy like Young would be a great fit here. He’s exactly the kind of hitter Amaro was talking about.

  • Posts: 0 Bob

    This is why I say you guys at phillies nation know NOTHING about this game. Not that I think we could have ever gotten young but you should know the rangers all time hit leader is an extremely valuable player.

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Well I only watch hockey and golf, so maybe you’re right. I hate baseball anyway.

      Yes, he’s extremely valuable, but at $16 million per season, before this year it wasn’t a slam dunk that he would be worth it for the Phillies. Not that there was a trade there anyway.


  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Some people are such d!cks on here sometimes…

    Young in his 3 seasons prior to this one, hit .284, then .322, then .284
    his steals dropped from 10, 8, 4
    HR were 12, 22, 21

    and didn’t have a definite position… at $16 M per year… and people’s best idea to acquire him was “Trade Blanton”

    you had an aging contact hitter, declining speed and range, being paid a ton of money, etc… there was a ton of reasons not to think Young would have a big season this year

    • Posts: 7 Ryk

      Avatar of Ryk

      I completely agree with Don. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Pat. Nobody had any idea that Young would have the season he did.

      • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

        Avatar of Pat Gallen

        I’m not really being hard on myself. I will sleep tonight.

        I was just watching Michael Young tear it up and figured I would call myself out for being wrong. Guy is having a great year and is really the glue of the Rangers.

  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Hey, Bob. Who are you? Where did you come from ?
    Actually, on second thought, don’t bother answering. Your response will probably make no sense anyway?

    As for Michael Young….I hope he and the Rangers win the whole thing and he gets a ring. Same for Nolan Ryan (even if he did get one with the ’69 Mets).

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Hey BOB —- Go back to Account Temps, because you may know how to count beans but you are ignorant about baseball.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Michael Young:

    1. Not that good a hitter. Using the comprehensive wOBA stat, he’s at .348, exactly the same as Shane Victorino’s. A pretty good hitter, but I haven’t heard many calls for Vic to go in the Hall of Fame.

    2. He’s a much worse hitter away from very hitter-friendly Arlington. Coming to relatively neutral CBP would not treat him kindly.

    3. He turns 35 on Wednesday (10/19). Happy Birthday to him, but not a good time to invest in someone who’s not that great to begin with.

    4. Pay him $16 MILLION each year for his age 35 and 36 seasons? I don’t think so.

    5. Trade Hamels for him? Insane.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Taking the comparison to Victorino a step further:

    - first, you can only compare them as hitters. Victorino is the much better player overall, since he plays a difficult position well, while Young was never a very good fielder to begin with (Gold Glove notwithstanding), and is now primarily a DH.

    - comparing them as hitters, not only do they have the same exact career wOBA, but they were also similar overall in 2011: Victorino .372 wOBA, Young .369 wOBA

    - but how can that be, you say, since Young had the much higher average (.338 to .279)

    - Victorino made up some of the difference by walking more: 9.4% of the time, vs. 6.8%, so their OBPs were closer than their averages would indicate (Young .380, Vic .355)

    - Victorino also connected with much more power. His Slugging Percentage was somewhat higher (.491 to .474), but more to the point, the isolated power portion of that (i.e. ISO, which is the difference between Slugging and Batting Average), was much higher: Vic .212, Young .136. Put another way, Victorino got 1.75 bases per hit, while Young got 1.40. The only Phillies starters that were lower were Polanco (1.22) and Ruiz (1.35).

  • Posts: 41 JakeyJ

    Avatar of JakeyJ

    Schmenkman’s 5 point plan to avoid a Hamels for Young trade makes sense to me. I can’t believe another pitcher even suggested such a trade, let alone it being Wild Thing. What if Polanco comes back and stays healthy and has a great season next year and Young is the one with a nagging injury and poor season. They are both the same age,of course this is possible. Pat’s advice in this article suddenly looks pretty good. And at that cost?

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