After 13 seasons and more than 1,800 games – the entirety of his big-league career – in a single organization, Michael Young agreed Saturday to waive his no-trade rights and leave the Texas Rangers for the Philadelphia Phillies.
With his permission, Young has been traded to the Phillies for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor-league right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla, and become their primary third baseman. The Rangers are expected to pay as much as $10 million of Young’s $16 million salary for 2013.
Young will receive an extra $1.2 million to cover the difference in state income tax.
Young, 36, likely would have lost playing time in Texas, where he was expected to be marginalized by the emergence of young infielders Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt. Already in recent seasons, Young had been pushed off shortstop by Elvis Andrus, then from third base by Adrian Beltre.
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The latter development so disappointed Young – the heart of the franchise for many years – that he asked to be traded, though later withdrew the request. In 2011 he enjoyed one of his better offensive seasons and, as a result, the Rangers made their second consecutive World Series appearance.
The past season, however, was not as productive. Getting most of his at-bats from designated-hitter and first base, Young posted the lowest OPS (.682) of his career. He batted .277, with a career-low eight home runs.
The very professional Young, de facto captain of the Rangers, had a year remaining on his contract. Weighing their infield and DH options, the Rangers could install Profar (20 in February) at second base, move Ian Kinsler to first base and make Mitch Moreland their regular DH. Another possibility has Olt at first base and Kinsler moving to a corner outfield spot, perhaps in a super-utility role.
Some of the crowding could be undone with a trade. The Rangers are attempting to acquire right fielder Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and could seek a starting pitcher in a trade, particularly if they are outbid by the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander Zack Greinke.
The Phillies, meantime, are attempting to build back from a disappointing 2012, in which they finished 81-81 and failed to win the NL East for the first time in six seasons. Faced with several holes on their roster, they acquired center fielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday and then reached an agreement on the trade for Young.
Young lives with his family in the Arlington area and is active in the community. Professionally, the Phillies will provide regular playing time at third base and many more at-bats, and therefore the opportunity to rebound from last season.
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