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Michael Young to Phillies a Done Deal

Dec 8, 2012, 2:37 PM EDT

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The Phillies have sent reliever Josh Lindblom and Minor League
pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla to Texas to complete the swap for third baseman
Michael Young, who waived his no-trade clause on Saturday. Reports confirm the
Rangers will pay $10 million of Young’s $16 million salary.

The 36-year-old Young is coming off of his worst season since 2002, his first full year in the big leagues — yeah, he’s been around for awhile. This was Beerleaguer’s synopsis earlier in the week:

Young was really, really, really bad last year. Out of 143 qualifying
major-leaguers, he was 125th in OPS. He hit .257/.291/.352 against
righties. He had 27 doubles and grounded into 26 double plays.

That said, Young is in the final year of his contract, thus clearly meant only as a stopgap at third. There weren’t many (any?) great options in free agency, and Young was able to be had on the relative cheap.

Lindblom came over in the deal that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers in July, going 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA in 25 games for the Phillies. Bonilla, 22, posted promising numbers in 2012 between Clearwater and Reading. The righthander was 3-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 31 relief appearances. More on him from Phuture Phillies.

It doesn’t hurt Texas is paying more than half of Young’s salary, either.

The seven-time All Star is not as far removed from a quality season as you might think. Young led the American League in hits in ’11, and was among the leaders in batting average (3rd), on-base percentage (8th), doubles (10th), and RBI (5th). He has also played every position in the infield.

It certainly is not the flashiest move the Phillies could make. Young may very well be in rapid decline — although his numbers bounced back in September and October last season — but Ruben Amaro Jr. is gambling he can do better than Placido Polanco or Kevin Frandsen. How do you see that working out for the Fightins?