LOS ANGELES, September 1, 2013 — The Dodgers acquired third baseman Michael Young from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for minor league pitcher Rob Rasmussen. The trade was announced just ahead of the 9 p.m. non-waiver deadline, which means Young will be available for the playoffs.
While the trade gives them depth, it does not do much in the way of improvement. The Dodgers are not getting the 20-plus homerun Michael Young. They will not be getting the Michael Young that batted over .300 for seven out of nine seasons until he turned 35.
Michael Young, who will turn 37 in October, has an overall batting average on the year of .272 in 504 at-bats. He has hit eight homeruns with 49 runs and 41 RBIs. Last year, in 156 games, Young batted .277 with just eight homeruns. Father Time has indeed met up with Michael Young.
Los Angeles will pay Young, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, about $1 million for the remainder of the season. Michael Young will be a free agent at the end of the year.
The Dodgers current third baseman, Juan Uribe, is almost 2 ½ years younger than Michael Young. Uribe, who is also a free agent after this season, is batting .268 with 7 homeruns, 35 runs and 37 RBIs in significantly less at-bats, 340. Uribe is also a major positive force in the locker room.
Young will most likely serve primarily as a pinch-hitter and spot starter. He has played third base and first base this year for the Phillies, but has spent significant time at each of the infield positions throughout his 14-year career.
A platoon situation would not make sense as both are right-handed batters that share very similar righty-lefty splits. Young is batting .288 against left-handed pitchers and .224 against right-handed pitchers. Uribe is batting .283 against lefties and .229 against righties.
The thing about this trade is that the Dodgers do not really need that much offensive production from their third baseman. The Dodgers’ lineup is stacked from Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez to the exciting rookie, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier. The Dodger offense should be able to find ways to create runs with or without significant production from third.
The Dodgers do, however, need a solid glove at third. This is what Uribe provides. In the field, Juan Uribe has committed just one error on the season, while Michael Young has eight errors. Those errors could likely mean the difference of winning and losing.
The added depth from this addition as well as another veteran presence in the locker room are definite positives in this trade for the Dodgers. Los Angeles also gets a chance to try out both Uribe and Young for the rest of the year and decide if the team would want to pursue either player in the offseason.
Ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, the Dodgers made a trade with the Miami Marlins for starter Ricky Nolasco.
The Dodgers currently lead the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West by 10 ½ games. They have the second best record in baseball with an 80-55 record. The Philadelphia Phillies sit in fourth place in the NL East, 21 ½ games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies, who have had an extremely disappointing season, fired their manager, Charlie Manuel. Ryne Sandberg was hired to replace him on an interim basis, for now.
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