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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Phillies obtain Michael Young

Earlier today, I posted about the Ben Revere trade that the Phillies made earlier this week, and briefly touched on the possibility of the Phils trading for Michael Young.  Young, 36, has played for the Texas Rangers for 13 seasons.  In 2012, Young had a sub-par season on the way to accumulating a -2.4 rWAR.  I mentioned earlier how I wasn't thrilled about the Phillies pursuing Young, and I'm not satisfied now that they made the deal.

I don't think it will be hard for Young to "earn" his $6 million (the Rangers are paying $10 million of the $16 million he's due in 2013).  Each win is worth about 4-5 million dollars, so Young will need to be slightly over a 1 WAR player.  Should he play mostly 3B, his just filling in the position will give him decent "value", and should he help him be "worth" what the Phillies are paying him.  My concern isn't about the money the Phils are spending on him.  I'm more concerned about just how highly the Phillies valued him and what they gave up to get him.

I'm not even talking about Josh Lindblom, whom the Phillies received in the Shane Victorino trade.  Lindblom is nothing special to me, and I never really understood the hype.  I'm more upset that the Phillies traded Lisalverto Bonilla.  I don't even know who he is, and his being dealt bothers me.  While he's merely a AA reliever, which in itself suggests there's not a high ceiling for him, his minor league numbers are encouraging.  Yes, he's still got a ways to go before reaching the majors, but the guy has a cumulative 9.3 K/9 to go with a 2.7 BB/9 in the minors.  This past season in Reading, Bonilla struck out 12.5/9 IP (yes, in just 33 innings), but walked 4.6/9 IP over that same time span.

I'm not sure this trade is anything to be furious about, but it's just not encouraging to see the types of players that the Phillies value/consider disposable.  It seems to imply that they still just don't get the sabermetric side of things.  

I certainly hope the Phillies aren't done dealing yet, or it will be a painful season to be a Phillies fan.  

By the way, the Phillies' gap in starting rotation dominance is quickly closing as the Nationals have a nice trio of their own in Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Haren.  Combine this with offensive talent like Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Mike Morse, Bryce Harper, Denard Span, and bullpen arms like Clippard, Storen, and Stammen, and it's clear the Phillies are going to have their hands full for years to come.  


Robby Bonfire said...

Way to go, Phillies, another typical one step forward, three steps backward, short-term patching, myopic vision trade. Of course we understand they are trying to "Win it for Charlie" in his last go-round. Wow, is that funny or what, mortgage more of the future to celebrate the hideous incompetence of the present and recent past?

Major surprise if the Phillies escape the divisional basement, next season. You can just hear the bones creaking and the injuries piling up, already. Can Chase start in 160 games, Charlie? Hell, let's go for it, right? What's a little burn-out between friends?

Robby Bonfire said...

.250, 18 home runs, 70 RBI's, D.L. twice = I'm so excited!

Robby Bonfire said...

Good Gawd, Adams is 34, and Lannan is the worst starter in the N.L. vs. the Phillies (5 1/2+ ERA and 3-13 career record) who, apparently don't want to beat him up any more.

Can somebody just put a straitjacket on Amaro? He is a brush fire about to sweep down the entire canyon.

This horse race between the Phillies and the Yankees to see which franchise can field the oldest team in baseball history in 2013, is becoming ~fascinating,~ for lack of a more disparaging word.

Robby Bonfire said...

Polanco to Miami? Oh, "The Horror!"

Seriously, three thoughts. 1. Baseball desperately needs to contract, too many AA and AAA grunts and DH types hanging on an extra 3-5 years - for the money - not for any contribution they can make, because they have none to give.

2. What the puck is Miami's problem? This is just about the most absurd signing of the last decade. This man is physically beaten to a pulp, old by baseball standards, and spent, to where he is not even a one-dimensional "role player" any more. How awful, today, to wake up if you're a Marlins fan, to get the news of this signing. "Stopgap City" is what they should rename Miami.

And 3., as I've observed before, old guys get to hang on because teams, for the most part, don't want to bring up kids 18-21, and lose them to Free Agency in just six years at their career peak. This is an awful corner MLB has painted itself into, the FA eligibility requirement should kick in when players turn 30, so that dozens of budding young careers are not forestalled until their mid-20's. (See: Philadelphia Phillies, for the most egregious textbook cases on that one.)

When they crapper the DH, and change the FA qualifier to age 30, guess what, we who support the game get a much better product. As it now stands, with too many teams, a cruddy FA qualifier, and with the idiot DH (Tailor made for washed-up greybeards) we are being shafted for the price we are paying to keep this TV-ratings numbers racket going.

hk said...

"I don't think it will be hard for Young to "earn" his $6 million (the Rangers are paying $10 million of the $16 million he's due in 2013). Each win is worth about 4-5 million dollars, so Young will need to be slightly over a 1 WAR player."

I could not disagree with this comment more for the following reasons:

1. The $4M-$5M per win is used to assess the value of a free agent, not a player acquired in trade. I'm not sure Young will provide enough WAR to be worth parting with Bonilla, much less to be worth getting $6M.

2. I think that Fangraphs' assessment of $/WAR is bull**** because moves are not made in a vacuum. In this case, Young should not be compared to a replacement level player, he should be compared to Kevin Frandsen because Young is taking PT from Frandsen. To be worth the $6M plus the prospect traded, Young will have to produce more than 1.2 to 1.5 WAR. To me, he'll have to produce ~3.5 WAR, which is ~2.0 WAR more than the ~1.5 WAR I would expect Frandsen to produce in 400-500 PA's at 3B, to be worth the price.

3. Last year, without the 21.7 Replacement Runs Above Replacement - I know that sounds redundant - that Young received from Ron Washington insanely giving him 611 PA's, Young produced -34.8 RAR (or 34.8 RBR Runs Below Replacement). I just don't see him rebounding enough in 2013 to produce the WAR necessary to justify the cost and the opportunity cost (taking the PA's away from Frandsen).

Scott Graham said...

Fair enough. I tried to dial back my anger that the Phillies traded for Michael Young. I don't like him. I don't like that the Phillies like him. I just got the feeling I was being too critical, and tried to temper my... temper.

I don't think he's going to be good for the Phils. I probably should have looked at it more like Young over Frandsen and Young's contract over Frandsen's contract, but instead I looked at it more like, Frandsen vs. his contract.

hk said...

"By the way, the Phillies' gap in starting rotation dominance is quickly closing as the Nationals have a nice trio of their own in Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Haren."

Now, there's a comment with which I wholeheartedly agree. When the Phils traded Worley for Revere to fill CF instead of paying $15M per year to Upton or Bourn, I figured the next play was to sign one of the top free agent SP's, preferably Anibal Sanchez, but I would have been okay with Edwin Jackson. Instead of giving $13M per year to Edwin, they pissed away $14.5M + Bonilla on Young, Adams and Lannan.

Robby Bonfire said...

How I wish MLB would contract the Phillies and one other dumpy franchise and bring the A's back to Philadelphia which would solve the Bay Area crowed tenancy debacle.

Imagine, the A's left Philadelphia for Cowtown, than for Jerry Brown Country, for lack of a better metaphore, and now are playing it like a bunch of homeless Gypsies just running around in circles. Maybe UCLA can resurrect its "Tent City" of the '80's for them and let them use Jackie Robinson Stadium, capacity 2500.

One lost franchise, Saber skills GM, or not. Sort of like the Phillies are a lost organization, except the Phillies do have a great fan base, which the A's forfeited, back in the Dark Ages, at the "behest" of the Yankees. (Don't get me started as regards the Yankees screwing both the A's and the Phillies, way back when.)

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