Yesterday was a crazy day for the Phillies. From Chase Utley’s non-committal response to whether he would be on the Phillies past the trade deadline, to Ruben Amaro leaving the door open for a potential Cliff Lee trade, to the Phillies losing two-one to the Tigers, to the Phillies signing Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. It was a lot to take in all in one day.
With the Phillies losing their sixth straight game to the Tigers last night and the Phillies signing Gonzalez, reports that the Rangers had interest in re-acquiring Michael Young kind of got swept under the rug. Today we learned a little more about how serious the Rangers are about bringing Young back.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers have talked about a deal that would send the Rangers’ all-time hits leader, Michael Young, back to Texas. But sources familiar with those discussions described those talks as exploratory and said no deal is close.
That quote came Jayson Stark’s piece this afternoon. Stark says that the Phillies are much more willing to trade Michael Young than a guy like Cliff Lee. That doesn’t mean much to me, because I never got the sense that moving Lee was a realistic possibility. Ken Rosenthal said this afternoon that he isn’t even sure the Phillies will move Michael Young, saying the following on the Phillies plan for Young at the deadline.
The Phillies’ direction remains unclear and its possible that they might not even deal Michael Young. His .344 OBP is the highest of any team regular and the return that they would get on him is unknown. The Phillies also value Young’s clubhouse presence. Young also has a full no-trade clause, so he can effectively control the process. If he’s zeroed in on returning to the Rangers, he can conceivably block deals to other clubs until that gets done. Both sides are interested in a reunion.
So Stark and Rosenthal not being sure about Young’s availability, is still probably a sign that the Phillies aren’t sure on what they want to do with Young. It’s Saturday, and the trade deadline is Wednesday, so the Phillies need to begin to establish a direction for the deadline to ensure the best return for guys like Young, should they choose to move him.
9:00 EST Update: MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers do not intend to reacquire Michael Young.
The Rangers are not planning to bring back Michael Young. Major League sources said a trade for Young between the Phillies and the Rangers is not going to happen.
If the Rangers can get turned around, they could revisit these trade discussions in August. Players need to clear waivers before they can be traded after Wednesday’s Deadline. But there is a good chance that at least some of the players being talked about will clear waivers or be in position to be claimed by the Rangers.
So a waiver wire deal in August isn’t completely out of the picture, but you get the sense that if the Rangers really viewed Young as a solution, they wouldn’t have traded him this past off-season.
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