Phillies acquire 7-time All-Star Michael Young
In this Oct. 5, 2012, file photo, Texas Rangers' Michael Young watches from the dugout during an American League wild-card playoff baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Arlington, Texas. The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired the seven-time All-Star from the Texas for two relief pitchers. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 1:35PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 9, 2012 2:29PM EST
PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Young's leadership skills were as attractive to the Philadelphia Phillies as his hitting ability.
The Phillies acquired the seven-time All-Star infielder from the Texas Rangers for two relief pitchers, filling a void at third base. The deal was announced Sunday, a day after Young agreed to waive his no-trade clause.
"Michael brings a lot to our team, not just on the field, but off it as well," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He has been one of the premiere hitters in the American League for a decade and is someone who has a tremendous presence in the clubhouse. We couldn't be happier that he has accepted the assignment to come to the Phillies."
Young is known for being an unselfish player and a true professional -- two qualities Philadelphia's front office values in a player.
"He has all the elements we're looking for," Amaro said. "First of all, the makeup is extraordinary. He's the ultimate team player. He knows how to play baseball. He's a winning baseball player. He's had the opportunity to be in big games in the playoffs and he just fits real well."
The Rangers get right-hander Josh Lindblom and minor league righty Lisalverto Bonilla. The Rangers also will pay a significant portion of Young's salary for 2013. Young is due to earn $16 million. Reports said the Phillies will pay him about $6 million.
Young batted .277 with eight homers and 67 RBIs in 2012, a down year for him. He hit .288 with runners in scoring position and .333 against left-handed pitchers. He made 40 starts at first base, 25 at third base, 14 at second base and four at shortstop.
"I think that's just part of the process of being a Major League player," Amaro said. "You don't have a great year every year. He's had some years where he hit .280 and others where he hit .330. But at the same time, even when his numbers aren't extraordinary, and they were still pretty darn good last year, maybe better than anybody we had on our club, but the fact of the matter is he's a professional hitter. He's a guy who we know will strive to be the best player he can be. And even when he's not having productive hits, I know he's the kind of guy who makes productive outs. So there's a lot of pluses to this guy."
From 2003-11, Young hit at least .300 seven times and averaged 17 homers and 90 RBIs. A former AL Gold Glove winner at shortstop, Young hasn't played third base regularly since 2010. Seven Phillies started at third base last year, including often-injured former All-Star Placido Polanco.
Young was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 1997 amateur draft. He was traded to the Rangers on July 19, 2000 for pitcher Esteban Loaiza. Young has a .301 average with 177 home runs and 984 RBIs in 1,823 major league games -- all with Texas. He is the club leader in games, at-bats (7,399), runs (1,085), hits (2,230), doubles (415), triples (55) and total bases (3,286).
Young began his career at second base with the Rangers. He moved to shortstop to accommodate Alfonso Soriano, who was acquired in the trade that sent Alex Rodriguez to the New York Yankees. Young won his only Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008 and then moved to third base to make room for Elvis Andrus in 2009. He played two seasons at third before moving to designated hitter and a utility role after Adrian Beltre arrived in Texas.
Young has a .248 average with 3, homers, 10 doubles and 19 RBIs in 34 post-season games.