Michael Young has been playing a smart game as he fields trade rumors. Unlike a lot of players, Young has an ace in the hole and is using it to his advantage as he handpicks where he wants to go but more importantly where he doesn’t want to go.
When Young signed with the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason, he was offered a one-year deal. The expectation was that Young, a career .300 hitter, would bolster the offense in a much needed way as the Phillies made a run at the postseason. It was always known that Young was signed to be a stopgap, a one-year solution to give third baseman of the future Cody Asche, a chance to have a season in Triple-A.
As the Phillies struggled, however, contending for the playoffs seemed all but out of the question, Young’s was the first name to pop up in terms of the team being sellers. While his glove is iffy, Young’s bat even at 36, is still good enough that some AL teams, namely the Boston Red Sox, NY Yankees and Texas Rangers, expressed preliminary interest.
And with Asche ready for his promotion, trading Young to one of his suitors seemed all but guaranteed. But that is when Young threw a curveball into the Phillies’ plans in the form of his full no-trade clause.
Initially telling the organization he would accept a trade to any contender, Young since backtracked saying he wanted only to go to the Rangers and would only waive his no-trade clause for that team. Unfortunately, Texas’ interest was never that serious making a trade back to his former team nearly impossible.
The other team that was seriously pursuing Young was the Red Sox, but as of reports from this morning from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston, it would appear that Boston is no longer interested. It couldn’t have come at a worse time though because shortly before Edes’ report, Young had announced his willingness to waive to go to Boston.
Young’s sole remaining suitor, coincidentally turning out as the best fit, is the Yankees.
With upcoming Biogenesis suspensions expected any day now, it is about 99% certain New York is going to need a third baseman and/ or DH to replace Alex Rodriguez who is likely going to be suspended for at least this season.
The only problem, however, is that Young has to want to go to New York for this to happen.
The general consensus from those on MLB Trade Rumors is that Young has not flat out refused a trade to any team. Rather, he is using his no-trade clause to steer the Phillies in the direction he wants to go. Texas was first on his list, Boston second. It is unclear where or if New York fits in his plans.
Young has to know though that if he refuses a trade to New York, there are no clear suitors remaining. He would be stuck with the Phillies, while he could have gone to a contender for a chance to win his first World Series ring, even if it is a long shot. Instead, he’ll end up riding the bench or platooning at first as Asche is up for the rest of the season barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Young’s best and maybe only choice at this point is to waive the clause and go to New York. He’ll play almost everyday and have a chance to play for a winner. There really is no downside to that.