Phillies Scouting Michael Young

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2011

According to a report from Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, the Philadelphia Phillies have been aggressively scouting Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young. Young has been on the market all winter but the Rangers haven’t been able to complete a deal with another team. Could that change with Chase Utley on the shelf?

The Phillies are concerned about Chase Utley’s right knee, in part because the knee has yet to respond to a cortisone shot. The very tough Utley has yet to appear in a game. Phillies scout Charley Kerfeld had been watching the Rangers and was believed to be looking at Michael Young, but the Phillies hadn’t called the Rangers as of this morning. A trade of Joe Blanton for Michael Young has only been speculation to this point. (courtesy of Jon Heyman of SI.com)

Right now any talk of Young to the Phillies is pure speculation but one has to start wondering. With Chase Utley on the shelf, possibly long term, the Phillies will have to make a move. There’s just no way they can go (worst case scenario) an entire season with Wilson Valdez at second base.

My question would be what does one give up for Michael Young? The main rumor has been a straight up swap, Joe Blanton for Michael Young. I’m sure to many, especially Phillies fans, this deal would make sense but it really doesn’t.

No matter how nice it sounds, Texas won’t take only Blanton. They still feel like he’s a valuable asset for a contender, which they are and because of this they are asking for an arm and two legs in return. Just ask the Arizona Diamondbacks, they’ve been all over Young but can’t meet the Rangers steep demands. Those are rumored to be a package of top prospects and major league ready talent.

Do you give up that much talent for an aging veteran, who’s started his decline? Even if the Phillies were willing too, I don’t think they would.

The main reason I don’t think the Phillies will ever reach a deal for Young is money. Yes, many will go well they are giving up Blanton’s salary so it’s a wash. That’s far from being true. Blanton is making only $8 million per season, while Young is making $16. After 2011, Blanton has just one season left on his deal while Young would have two more seasons on the books. This would put Philadelphia in even more a financial mess then they are currently in.

Don’t take that the wrong way, the Phillies are not struggling financially but they’ve reached their salary limits. They’re at about $160 million for 2011 and this deal would put them over that number. It would also put them in more of a long term bind. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports also mentions this in an article about Young.

The Phillies, like many clubs, view Young as a better second baseman than third baseman. The team would face a void at second if Chase Utley misses significant time due to his knee injury, but the Phillies are near their payroll limit and unable to take on another major salary, sources say.

So do I think Michael Young makes Citizens Bank Park home? NO!

Personally, I don’t think there is any chance Young winds up in Philly. It’s a nice thought, especially if Utley will be out long term but even then it wouldn’t really benefit the team. They could easily find a better band aid, then a $16 million per season former baseball star.

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