• July 1, 2022

It’s Time For Phillies To Make A Move To Get Michael Young

Ruben Amaro Jr. didn’t become a popular general manager in this city by just going through the motions and doing nothing to contribute to the Phillies continued success post 2008.

He got on the fans “good side” by being an aggressive general manager, making block buster moves left and right every single year he has been in the position.

In 2009, he acquired Cliff Lee at the trade deadline. That ensuing off-season, he traded for Roy Halladay. His only “uh-oh moment” was dealing Lee at the same time in a different transaction to “replenish the farm system.” He made up for the unpopular decision of trading Lee by getting Roy Oswalt at the 2010 trade deadline and signing Lee as a free agent this past December.

It’s time for Amaro to once again make another big time deal and bring in Texas Rangers third baseman Michael Young.

A week ago, I alluded to trading for Young as an option just in case Chase Utley is not healthy for the start of the season. At the time, Utley’s injury status was completely up in the air and no one really knew anything. I didn’t feel Young was the club’s best option though because when Utley would return, the Phillies would have a $48 million player on the bench.

I changed my mine. Acquiring him should be Amaro’s priority at this point of the season.


One week later, it’s still unknown when Utley will play and whether or not he’ll get surgery, but clearly his knee problem hasn’t improved. At first, he was diagnosed with general soreness. Next, it was patellar tendonitis. Now, he’s diagnosed with chondromalacia, also known as “Runner’s Knee,” and the team is seeking other medical opinions.

To be blunt, this is a bad sign.

Assuming Utley is out a long time, the Phils lineup is down two significant members from last season – Jayson Werth hitting fifth and Utley batting third.

The heart of one of the league’s top lineups over the past few years is now depleted since Ryan Howard has no protection.

Ben Francisco taking over that fifth spot is manageable because he’s been on fire in spring training and he’s right handed. But, there’s no one that is on the roster now worthy enough to take Utley’s role as the No. 3 hitter.

Raul Ibanez is too risky because of his inconsistency in 2010. It’s more ideal to have Placido Polanco hit in the two spot because of his success there last season. Jimmy Rollins needs to play “small ball,” which is not the role of a number three hitter. Shane Victorino should lead off and doesn’t have enough power to bat third. Wilson Valdez is a good defensive fill-in for Utley at second base, but he’s not the greatest of hitters.

Young is clearly the answer. In my eyes, moved from a distant alternative to the only option there is. Valdez was a viable short term substitute for Utley. But, if he’s out a long time, which is looking more likely everyday, then the Phils have to get Young.

Young hit .284 a year ago with 21 home runs and 91 RBIs. It was a down year for him statistically, but those numbers aren’t bad either.

Prior to the beginning of spring training, the Rangers organization and Young were reportedly having issues with one another regarding trade rumors. Not to mention, Texas signed Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli in the off-season.

And at one point, there was even a rumor going around that Young could be dealt to the Phillies, but that quickly died down.

But now, the stove is starting to heat up again regarding Young and the Phillies. The Rangers need pitching, considering Brandon Webb’s injury and the Phils need a solid hitting infielder. Not to mention, on the Rangers official team Web Site, Young isn’t even listed as a starter on the depth chart, thus making him Texas’s designated hitter, which he is not happy about.

Blanton, who is owed $17 million of the next two years, and cash for Young, whose contract is good for three more years at $48 million, is a very plausible deal for Amaro and Rangers general manger Jon Daniels to make.

Pat Gillick, who preceded Amaro, was successful in his short stint as the Phillies general manager because he was a master at “The B-List” of players and that was a key part to the club winning the World Series in 2008. But, the Phils won that year because they got hot at the right time, not because they were a league-wide powerhouse.

Since Gillick left after 2008 and Amaro took over, the Phillies remained good and became great. They did so because of Amaro’s aggressiveness to make big time deals rather than revert to “The B-List.”

Amaro needs to do that one more time by trading for Young.

If that happens, Young can play third base and Polanco can move to second. Not to mention, the middle of the order will have decent power as in the past, along with a steady right handed bat in Young.

Phillies fans are concerned. Making this happen will ease their worries.

David Uram

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  • I agree 100% G-Man and have stated this for a godo week or so now.
    It would be foolish for the Phils to count on anything from Utley this Season at this point.. It also would be foolish to think they can consistently score runs with no #3 or #5 Hitter to protect Howars (who will get pitched around almost every trip to the plate and will rarely be challenged)
    I propose RHP J Blanton for IF M Young,
    Then I would play Polanco at 2B (which is his best postion and an upgrade over Utley) and play M Young at 3B and keep Wilson Valdez as the backup for 2B/SS & 3B to give the “regular” players a day off .. I would play Valdez 3 times per week to keep him sharp

    Proposed Batting Line-up

    Versus a RHP
    #1) Rollins
    #2) Polanco
    #3) Howard (I would move Howard up to #3 to get more At-Bats)
    #4) Ibanez
    #5) Young
    #6) Victorino
    #7) Gload
    #8) Ruiz

    Versus a LHP
    #1) Rollins
    #2) Polanco
    #3) M Young
    #4) Howard
    #5) Francisco
    #6) Victorino
    #7) Mayberry Jr
    #8) Ruiz

    That’s it for now..

  • I agree Gary but I dont think they will make a move this soon I do see them possibly trading for a player before the deadline but it looks like they are rolling with the players they have.

  • Here’s what I also like about this trade..
    Let’s say that Utley can return somtime in late Summer for the playoff rush
    Then Polanco could always play a little OF if need be and M Young could also play a little 1B if need to too

  • Dominic Browns lack of development has set this franchise back. After watching SF mediocre lineup get hot at the right time and ride the arms of there very talented staff has me less concerned about this lineup. Saying all that, If you were gonna unload Blantons contract and pick up Michael Youngs you probably could of kept Jason Werth and unloaded Blanton with similar financial ramifications. Brown has definetly made this orginization scramble.

  • We don’t need Michael Young. All we need to do is score 3-4 runs a game and we should be good to go. All this talk about Werth and Utley — thats fine, they are big time losses — but so what? We don’t need a ridiculous offense to win the Series this year. As long as we can provide a good amount of run support for our Aces, we will be fine.

  • To Birdo,
    Even with Werth & Utley last season, the Phils Offense was anemic during the Playoffs against both the Reds & Giants last season ..
    So take them away from 2011 Team and how do you expect the Phils to andvance to the World Series with such a light-hitting team.. WHo is going to drive in the Runs… R Howard probably won’t see many Fastballs all season long and will continually get pitched around…
    I guess your thinking Rollins/Victorino/Ibanez/Francisco will all have Career Seasons this year.. Wishful thinking ..

  • Thats fine, the year before the Phillies offense was lights out in the playoffs. It is what it is. It happens. Sometimes youre hot, sometimes youre not.

    I fully expect them to bounce back and hopefully their offense will get back on track. Please tell me you remember that the OPENING DAY starters played like what? 20 games together last year?

    Lets hope they can stay healthy (aside from Utley) and continue to grow as a team.

  • #1 Michael Young is 34
    #2 Young has 3 years at $16m per left on his deal.
    #3 Young’s numbers have declined from his prime already
    #4 If Utley returns, who sits?
    #5 Blanton for Young? Please.

  • It all dpeends on if you want to compete for a WS,
    WHy go out and sign Halladay and Lee if you just want to be good,solid team..
    They have a chance to be great and get on a WS run for the next 2-3 years before all the good players are too old… Do you wnat to win now or not is the question and since this team is built to win now, then go out and get a right-hand bat that replaced Utley in the Line-up or you can kiss a 2011 WS appearance goodbye..

  • This is a dumb idea.

    He’s bad at just about every position defensively. And how the hell is he a better hitter than anyone on the team? People with higher OPS than Young last year: Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Ibanez, Ross Gload, nearly Victorino…Nearly Ben Francisco. His K/BB rate is higher than 2 and his OBP was weak. Michael Young was good. He’s not that good anymore. He’s only hit more than 15 home runs in a year, 4 times.

    2004-2006 Young was good, but 2009 was more of a random year, than what Young’s reality is now.

  • too much money for a washed up player , stick with what they have and use the young guys

  • making this move right now makes no sense. there will be better value deals at the trade deadline, and the front office will have a better idea of how well the current guys are hitting. they shouldn’t be in any hurry to take on that kind of salary for a 34 year old that you will be stuck with for the next 3 years. furthermore the phillies won’t fall behind anyone in the NL East with this pitching staff.

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