Michael Young Rumors
In 2008, Kyle Lohse waited until March to sign and landed in the place he'd call home for five seasons -- St. Louis. Spring Training is underway again, and Lohse again remains unsigned. However, unlike 2008 when he had a career 4.82 ERA, Lohse is coming off a 3.11 ERA over his past 399 1/3 innings. ESPN's Buster Olney talked to a longtime MLB evaluator who says in addition to draft pick compensation, AL teams are wary of Lohse's poor AL track record. The evaluator also added that teams shy away former Cardinals pitchers, as they often struggle to find success elsewhere (Twitter links).
More from around the Majors...
- Phillies ace Cliff Lee told Jayson Stark of ESPN that he was "baffled" by the way the Rangers treated Michael Young in his final years with the team. Lee called Young the "perfect teammate" and the "heart and soul" of the Rangers team. "...in my opinion, you want guys like Michael Young around," said Lee, who was reunited with his former teammate after the Phillies traded for him this winter.
- Both Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins have offered strong praise for Phillies prospect Domonic Brown this Spring, writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. Murphy opines that both players feel this is the time to finally give Brown a chance to be an everyday Major Leaguer.
- Michael Weiner, the exeutive director of the MLB Players Union, spoke with reporters (including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca) about drug testing and the possibility of more severe punishment for players who have been discovered to have multiple offenses in the past. Weiner discusses the fine line between representing players who are subject to discipline and attempting to enforce a clean game. Weiner also says that after Spring Training, there will be discussions about whether or not the new qualifying offer system is working as intended, given the damage to Lohse's market.
- Former Twins, Rangers and Astros minor leaguer Mark Hamburger has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive on two instances for recreational drug use, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy. Hamburger, a free agent after being released by Houston earlier this month, would have to serve out his suspension upon signing with a new team.
Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez was one of several players whose names were found in the records of Biogenesis, a Miami clinic linked to PEDs, as revealed last month by the Miami New Times. According to a new report from ESPN's Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn, however, none of the substances that Gonzalez allegedly purchased are banned by Major League Baseball. Gonzalez has denied any personal involvement with Biogenesis, though his father is a client of the clinic.
Here are some more items from around the NL East...
- Fish and Quinn cite Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello as one of the new names listed as having received PEDs from Biogenesis. Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Athletics left-hander Jordan Norberto, Padres right-hander Fautino De Los Santos and Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez were also named.
- After six seasons as a pitcher, Micah Owings is trying to make the Nationals' roster as a first baseman. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post chronicles Owings' decision to make the move, which included a talk with Rick Ankiel, another pitcher-turned-hitter. Owings, who signed a minor league deal with the Nats earlier this month, has a .283/.310/.502 line in 219 career Major League plate appearances.
- Giancarlo Stanton has been the subject of trade rumors for much of the offseason but CBS Sports' Jon Heyman hears from the Marlins that Stanton is "not going anywhere" (Twitter link). We heard last month that Miami wasn't considering a Stanton deal and hadn't even internally discussed such a move.
- The Phillies' acquisition of Michael Young was the team's best offseason move, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Brookover favored Young over free agent third base options like Kevin Youkilis and Mark Reynolds due to the ex-Ranger's durability and clubhouse leadership.
Wade Davis told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that he’s excited to join the Royals, since he’ll be asked to start in Kansas City. The right-hander said he’s been “champing at the bit” to start again after spending the 2012 season in the bullpen. Here’s the latest from Olney, starting with the recent Rays-Royals trade...
- One GM said Wil Myers is “not without his flaws,” Olney reports. The prospect struck out 140 times this past season and, as the GM notes, “holes are exposed at the next level."
- Olney suggests A.J. Pierzynski could be a fit for the Rays, but notes that rival evaluators don’t particularly like his defense. One agent predicts the White Sox will end up re-signing the free agent catcher.
- The Dodgers have interest in Joel Hanrahan, Olney reports. The Pirates have some interest in Chris Capuano, so perhaps there’s a match for the two NL clubs. Both players have one guaranteed year remaining on their contracts.
- Friends of Michael Young’s say he feels he was lied to repeatedly with the Rangers, according to Olney. The Phillies acquired the veteran infielder over the weekend after Young approved the proposed trade.
The Phillies have made a couple of significant trades in the past week, acquiring Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for Vance Worley and Trevor May, and also landing Michael Young and cash from the Rangers for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. Here's the latest on the Phils...
- During a press conference today, Young told the media that the Rangers were only going to give him 300 at-bats this season (Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on Twitter).
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is happy with the additions of Young and Revere but would like general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to make one more big splash, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- In a separate piece, Gelb writes that the Phillies figure to sign one of Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton to fill a corner vacancy. They've long coveted Ross, but aren't as big on Swisher, perhaps due to his price tag. Gelb notes that the Phillies could offer Hamilton a shorter-term deal with a high annual value if his demands decrease.
Earlier today, MLB approved the Michael Young trade making the deal between the Phillies and Rangers official. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is pleased Young is a Phillie telling reporters, including MLB.com's Paul Hagen, "Clearly, this brings a wonderful package to what we're trying to do here in Philadelphia. He has a tremendous track record. He has all the elements we're looking for." Rangers manager Ron Washington seconded that notion, as quoted by Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, "This is a very, very tough situation. Michael's been my go-to guy since I've been here. If there was crying in baseball, I guess I'd cry." There is definitely no crying in baseball, especially in Philadelphia, so put away the hankies and enjoy some more news and notes from the City of Brotherly Love.
- The Phillies believe Young will benefit from playing the field again and at just one position, tweets FOXSports.com Ken Rosenthal.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer disagrees with that assessment citing Young's advanced defensive metrics and that his wins above replacement in 2012 was among the worst in modern baseball history.
- Also in that same piece, Gelb writes the Phillies are $20MM below last season's payroll, so the club has plenty of financial flexibility to add offense to their outfield.
- Amaro stills wants to add a veteran presence to the bullpen, do a "little bit more" to improve their outfield, and is open to acquiring a "low-risk, high-reward type of guy" for the back of the rotation, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links).
- The Phillies have signed right-hander Zach Miner to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Miner, who pitched for Detroit from 2006-09, spent last season in the Tigers' organization pitching to a 2.79 ERA, 4.9 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 42 innings (including three starts) across three levels.
1:53pm: The Rangers will assume $10MM of Young's $16MM salary and the Phillies will be responsible for the $1.2MM Young will receive for waiving his no-trade clause, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
SUNDAY, 11:14am: The Phillies announced that the trade is official after receiving approval from MLB.
SATURDAY, 12:49pm: The Phillies have a new third baseman and an era has come to an end for the Rangers. Philadelphia has agreed to acquire infielder Michael Young from Texas in exchange for right-hander Josh Lindblom and minor leaguer Lisalverto Bonilla. Young will receive $1.2MM in benefits in exchange for agreeing to waive his no-trade clause, which accounts for the difference in state tax.
Young, 36, was originally drafted by the Blue Jays but has spent his entire big league career in Texas after being acquired as part of a package for Esteban Loaiza back in 2000. He hit just .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances this year, but he's one year removed from a .338/.380/.474 performance in 2011. Young is the Rangers' all-time leader in games played (1,823), plate appearances (8,047), hits (2,230), doubles (415), and triples (55) among many other statistics.
Lindblom, 25, has been traded for the second time in five months. The Phillies acquired him from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino swap just before the trade deadline. The righty pitched to a 3.55 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 71 total innings this year. Lindblom is a fly ball pitcher and thus very homer-prone (1.6 HR/9), which could be a bad mix for The Ballpark in Arlington. He is under team control through 2017.
Bonilla, 22, pitched to a 1.55 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 46 1/3 relief innings split between Single-A and Double-A this season. Baseball America ranked him as Philadelphia's number 12 prospect before the season in their 2012 Prospect Handbook, saying Bonilla "has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter, but he could also serve as a late-inning reliever."
The Rangers have been targeting free agent Zack Greinke as well as exploring three- and four-team trades for Justin Upton in recent days. They also remain in the hunt for Josh Hamilton. With Young gone, they lack an established DH and a right-handed platoon partner for first baseman Mitch Moreland. Top prospect Mike Olt could step in to fill that role if he isn't traded, however. Texas still needs a utility infielder as well.
Young will plug the third base hole for the Phillies, though the club will need to continue looking for outfield help. Lindblom's departure figures to ramp up their search for bullpen help as well. This is Philadelphia's second significant trade in the last week as they acquired Ben Revere from the Twins a few days ago. The two deals have cost the Phillies a total of four pitchers.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported Young had agreed to waive his no-trade clause (Twitter links) as well as miscellanous financial details (all Twitter links). Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News first reported the inclusion of Lindblom and Bonilla, which MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan confirmed. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters yesterday that he's "prepared to move on from Zack Greinke." Even the Dodgers are considering moving on, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday. The Rangers maintain interest in the free agent right-hander, but there's not much clarity beyond that. Here are the latest rumors surrounding Greinke with the most recent updates up top...
- The Angels are "very unlikely" to make a last-minute play for Greinke as they did last year with Albert Pujols, a source tells ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter link).
- Also from Bowden's Twitter feed, a Dodgers source says that if the team can't sign Greinke, it will explore a trade for R.A. Dickey or pursue Anibal Sanchez in free agency. Sanchez is the Dodgers' top choice ahead of Kyle Lohse amongst free agent starters.
- Nolan Ryan and the rest of the Rangers front office blew Greinke away, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). Greinke apparently loves the team's chances of winning the World Series.
- The Dodgers are pessimistic about their chances of signing Greinke, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports. GM Ned Colletti had a memorable response when asked if he was on the doorstep of signing the free agent right-hander. "We're not on the front lawn. ... We're barely out of the car at the curb. It's better than driving around the neighborhood looking for the house. We know where the house is located. We just can't seem to get out of the car."
- Many trade and free agent possibilities are on hold as teams wait to see where Greinke will sign, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Greinke knows the Dodgers and Rangers are serious about signing him, but he now appears to be uncertain about his next step. The Rangers would prefer to sign Greinke, trade Michael Young to Philadelphia and acquire Justin Upton, Nightengale reports.
The Phillies and Rangers had advanced talks about a deal that would send Michael Young and cash to Philadelphia, according to multiple reports out of Nashville yesterday. Young would have to approve any trade, and there are mixed reports about his interest in leaving the Rangers for the Phillies. Here are the latest rumors on the trade talks involving Young...
- Though there's no word on Young's decision, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com gets the vibe the potential trade will happen (Twitter link).
- Young continues to think over his options, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).
12:34pm: Young has indicated a willingness to accept the trade but is likely to seek some sort of compensation for waiving his no-trade clause, reports Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. There are still some financial issues to work out before the deal is final.
Grant says the Rangers would receive righty Josh Lindblom and a minor leaguer in the trade. Lindblom, 25, pitched to a 3.55 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 71 innings this season. The Phillies acquired him from the Dodgers at the deadline in the Shane Victorino trade. The minor leaguer is believed to be right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla. The 22-year-old posted a 1.55 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 46 1/3 relief innings split between Single-A and Double-A in 2012.
10:19am: The Rangers expect a decision from Young today but do not know which way he is leaning, reports Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
9:30am: The Rangers and Phillies had advanced talks about a trade involving Michael Young earlier this week, and MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the deal could happen today. Young is expected to waive his no-trade clause to approve the move to Philadelphia.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports heard the Phillies are "recruiting (Young) like he's the No. 1 pick in the country." (Twitter link) It's unclear what Texas would receive in return for the franchise's all-time hits leader, but the team would reportedly eat more than half of Young's $16MM salary in the trade. A young Major League reliever and a low-level prospect could also be heading to the Rangers.
Young, 36, hit .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances this year and would presumably take over as the Phillies' full-time third baseman. He is heading into the final season of the five-year, $80MM extension he signed prior to the 2007 season. Young has full 10-and-5 no-trade protection.
This post was originally published on December 8th.
Earlier today, the Phillies acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for starting pitcher Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May. Here's a look at some of the reaction and fallout from the deal plus more out of the NL East..
- Michael Young is thought to be weighing his professional life versus his personal life as he decides whether to waive his no-trade clause and join the Phillies, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Young's family lives in Texas but he would have the opportunity to start at third base for the Phillies.
- One baseball source believes that no MLB team will give Adam LaRoche anything beyond a two-year deal, tweets Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The Nationals are optimistic that they'll retain the first baseman.
- If the Nationals are able to re-sign LaRoche, the source believes that they will trade Michael Morse for prospects, Ladson tweets. The source adds that the Rays would be the best choice in trade discussions as they are loaded with pitching prospects.
- The Phillies are are expected to pursue a veteran starter to fill the hole vacated by Worley in the rotation and have already been calling around, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com tweets.
- Given the price that Denard Span went for, the price the Phillies paid for Revere is shocking, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Cameron argues that the Phillies have robbed Peter to pay Paul by filling their centerfield vacancy by creating a hole in their rotation.
- Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) also sees the deal as an overpay for the Phillies and expresses optimism that May can get back on the right track in Minnesota.