The Phillies have themselves a new third baseman. He's Michael Young, formerly of the Texas Rangers, and he comes to town with a 'no trade clause' no matter what the circumstances in fact he had the same clause with the Rangers but he approved the trade to come to the Philies. Young is a 7 time All-Star and has been in the MLB for 13 years and last year he turned in one of his worst seasons ever in terms of production despite having 611 AB.
What Young is capable of is better things than he did last year. His batting average dipped to .277 on the season last year, but prior to that it was over .300 or just near there. His power stats dipped too, he finished the season with 8 HR and 67 RBI on the year. The year before he had 106 RBI and 11 HR, and in 2010 he had 91 RBI and 21 HR.
Young has been highly paid in the last two seasons as well, making $16M last year and $16M the previous year and is owed $16M in this upcoming 2013 season. The baseball salaries are again making a crazy swing upwards with a lot of players this year, no telling when this will all end. Baseball tickets are already high, and the Phillies have sprung a new way to price games on the fans this year, as we'll find out that you'll be paying more to see certain teams than others if you don't have a season ticket plan that is. That is the subject of another post though and it's great to see that the Phillies have started to at least fill some spots on the roster that are needed.
The signing of Young kind of puts a damper on Kevin Frandsen's signing earlier in the off-season by the Phils. Frandsen looked like he was ready to step up and play third base for the Phillies this upcoming year. Kevin was signed last month for 850K, and in 55 games with the Phillies last year, seemed like a player that was out there producing. Now Frandsen's status with the Phillies may be relegated to bench player, unless Young gets injured at some point next season.
Ruben Amaro has been out searching for a big fish to land, as the Phillies again want to keep hunting for high priced free agents to fill their needs rather than focusing on young talent and bringing that talent to a higher level. This may be the last year of this style of bringing in new players though if the Phillies don't make it to the World Series again. Ownership has spoken many times this off-season that Amaro 'has his work cut out for him' and perhaps this is the first signal that all of these high paid free agent signings will be stopped. It depends on fan support though, if the fans keep supporting the team and keeping the money flowing, Amaro can continue his spending spree the likes that have never been seen in Philly in any prior period of time in their history.
We'll see if Young can have what it takes to make the kind of contribution to the Phillies that the team needs. At 36 years old, players are not the same as they were just a few years prior.