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  1. Consider me a guy that thinks Michael Young could have a bounce back season. I don’t think he has deserved as much praise throughout his career as he has gotten, but I think this is a win for both sides. The Rangers need to get Young off the team for PR and Mike Olt reasons. The Phillies need a 3B. Maybe Young will get some bounce back effect from playing in the field at one position more than as a DH/utility guy. Just a thought.

    Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — December 7, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  2. Young also OPS’d over .800 in September after being putrid almost the entire year. Could he have been dealing with an injury? Either way, as a Phillies fan, I’m starting to come around on the idea of getting a bit Younger.

    Comment by Nik — December 7, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  3. The Phillies have Kevin Frandsen at 3B, who last year managed 1.6 WAR in 55 games for $850K. What, exactly, can Michael Young do that Frandsen cannot? And is it worth seven times the price? (Eight times, arguably, given that they’re already going to pay Frandsen)

    And Young is an atrocious fielder at third. Sure, he can hold down the position, but he hasn’t posted a positive UZR there since 8 innings in 2003. I’d much rather have the average defender with the average bat for $850K.

    And who are the Phillies supposed to be giving up for Young, anyway?

    Comment by Phrozen — December 7, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  4. Young could also be motivated by the FA contract offers out there and could try to make one more run at a contract. He could also be motivated by going into F U mode to show he’s not finished to his previous team.

    Comment by Nik — December 7, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  5. I will be both glad that Young isn’t taking at bats away from someone else in the lineup and also sad to see him depart should he choose to accept this trade. Though he’s never been as good as many in the fan base have perceived him to be, he was a bright spot during some very bad years in Arlington. I wish he could have gotten that ring here.

    My wife, on the other hand, is just sad to see him go. He’s Michael Young and he’s Mr. Ranger.

    Comment by Eric — December 7, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  6. Both Young’s walk rate and ISO have declined four years in a row. Does that really sound like a candidate for a bounce-back season?

    He’s also a freaking statue in the field.

    Comment by dirtbag — December 7, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  7. A pro-Michael Young article on FanGraphs?? Diplomatic immunity has just been revoked!

    Comment by Grand Admiral Braun — December 7, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

  8. Umm, you’re forgetting about what a great clubhouse presence M. Young is!!!

    Comment by James — December 7, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  9. And if he were the true professional, clubhouse presence, gritty, gutty, grinder that everyone has made him out to be his entire career, he would have already been motivated just by stepping on the field.

    Personally, I hope Philly is somehow making your bet so that the Rangers can unload him.

    Comment by dirtbag — December 7, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  10. Oh, right. Of course.

    Comment by Phrozen — December 7, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  11. If you’re counting on Frandsen to play in 2013 like he did in 2012, you’re going to be pretty bummed out.

    Comment by Sean — December 7, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  12. I’m not counting on that at all–didn’t mean to give the impression I was. I’m counting on him to be at least average, which I think is no great stretch at all. Surely a 100 wRC+ and 0 UZR isn’t too much to expect? Maybe one or two WAR.

    Comment by Phrozen — December 7, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  13. Wait– are you suggesting that guys who had about 600 PA below replacement level [-0.4] spanning five years through age 28 and then miss a full year and then put up a greater than average 210 PA are likely to regress back a bit…?

    :)

    Comment by Eric R — December 7, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

  14. Agree with Phrozen. That’s what I expect too. And while I expect Young to rebound in 2013, that’s about what I also expect from him.

    Is there some value to having both Frandsen and Young? Sure. But I don’t know that it’s worth $6 M plus prospects.

    Comment by schmenkman — December 7, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  15. this sounds to me like texas was orchestrating an elaborate scheme to acquire Revere, who’s name if only mentioned casually by Jon Daniels in the presence of Terry Ryan would cause Ryan to abruptly finish whatever he was eating/drinking and scurry away. The master plan of the Revere/Martin/Murphy outfield is now all but complete…

    Comment by justaguywholikesbaseball — December 7, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  16. Why would TX want Revere? They already have Gentry, Martin, and Borbon, no reason to deal for someone of Revere’s ilk.

    Comment by t ball — December 7, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  17. #6org

    Comment by Fact — December 7, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  18. It’s hard not to like this for the Phillies. Young is likely better than the status quo in 2013, so unless they can get someone who is better for a similar price, the risk is pretty low. They also won’t have the problem of cutting The Face of the Franchise loose like Texas did, so they can cut their losses and junk him in June if he’s not hitting.

    Come on, it’s not like they’ll have to pay him Brandon League money.

    Comment by Neil — December 7, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

  19. While I love to mock the Phillies, this is $6 million dollars. There are two possibilities: (1) Young was/is really in steep decline and he’ll be useless. The Phillies don’t have the Rangers problems in terms of how they can/will treat Young. (2) Young had a random or injury-caused bad year and he is a servicable third baseman in 2013 (a 2-3 WAR player). If you average out those chances, along with the risk of injury, I think you get a player worth about $6 million dollars.

    Comment by TKDC — December 7, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  20. Well isn’t a win worth about $5M? If he’s a 2-3 win player, that would make him quite a pickup for them at the cost.

    Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — December 7, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

  21. His decline in BABIP coincided with a painfully obvious decline in bat speed. I wouldn’t expect a bounce back.

    Comment by l1ay — December 7, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  22. Overall it’s not that great for Philly. We need a long term solution at 3rd. We haven’t had a great 3rd baseman since Rolen. Polanco had his best years away from Philly. Trading another prospect from our already thin farm system for a one-year rental isn’t the best course of action. It isn’t super terrible because Young does bring some valuable intangibles and versatility. Don’t forget people that Young can play SS and 2B, two spots currently filled by 30+ yr old players with injury issues. If Rollins or Utley go down, it’ll be nice to have a guy like Young who can fill in. Preferably I would like to have seen a Reynolds signing. I think Charlie can help with his strikeouts a little.

    Comment by Ryan — December 7, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  23. Yes, but he could also be worth nothing, which would make it a waste of money. I was just saying the risk that he sucks is balanced out by the reward if last year was just a blip. I guess he could fall in the middle, but I think it is more likely that he is useless (~0 WAR) or a servicable player (2-3 WAR) than him actually being a 1 WAR player.

    Comment by TKDC — December 7, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  24. “the deal makes a world of sense for Texas”

    Yes it does, but not for the reasons mentioned. It makes sense because Texas management chooses not to control manager Ron Washington, thus giving him the freedom to give MY 600 ABs, which he is dumb enough to do and will do as long as he and Young are together. I cannot fathom why the solution is not to fire Washington and let the new manager platoon Young with him ending up around 300-350 ABs and being productive for the Rangers, but that will not happen. No, this trade is for one reason, the Rangers feel they can put another playoff team together to make a deep run, but not with the manager giving Young 600 ABs. Texas is protecting the team fro Washington by dumping Young.

    Comment by Rogers Hornsby — December 7, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  25. Are you implying that Mark Reynolds is a long term solution at third? And also Reynolds can play third, and young can play third, second and short in the sense that they are physically capable of standing in those positions on the field with a glove on one hand. If you’re definition of playing a position includes a requirement that one can make just 3/4 of the plays of an average major league fielder at those positions, than no, Reynolds and Young can not play those positions

    Comment by agam22 — December 7, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  26. your name is a fantastic blend of star wars and baseball and i love you

    Comment by jim — December 7, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  27. But he my team!

    Comment by LK — December 7, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  28. Not sure why you’d expect a 100 wRC+ from Frandsen. You’re much more likely to see a wRC+ between 75-90 or thereabouts, much closer to his overall past performance. Being average at the plate is pretty optimistic, given his past and his age.

    I liken this to last season when everyone thought Mayberry could easily handle the starting job and perform quite well. That 133 wRC+ was looking really good, but he never had that level of performance in the minor leagues. He simply wasn’t able to sustain that performance. Now, he could come back and sustain that performance eventually, but just expecting it to happen was a bit foolhardy.

    I would temper expectations on Frandsen and be pleasantly surprised if he’s average offensively.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — December 7, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  29. But his babip fell quite a bit below his career average despite maintaining a high line drive rate and an increasing ground ball rate. His iffb rate was still low as well. Though he is atrocious defensively it’s not unreasonable to believe he’ll perform better at the plate next season. And considering what’s available this offseason, Young may be a viable option.

    Comment by chuckb — December 7, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  30. Even if he can’t be an everyday guy anymore, the Philly infield needs a lot of plan B’s. They can afford $6m as a one year gamble for a guy who at worst can play 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in a pinch, especially since they didn’t break the bank in center field.

    Comment by KM — December 7, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  31. I think the biggest issue with Frandsen is that his biggest upside is that he has a 100 wRC+ and 0 UZR. His downside is that he’s completely terrible, and the Phillies are back to square one.
    Young’s upside is basically 2009/2011, which is a pretty darn nice player to have for $6 million. His downside is to have pretty much the same wRC+ as Frandsen’s had for his career.

    I’m not a huge Michael Young, but for $6 million I think he’s a really good gamble.

    Comment by JayT — December 7, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  32. I’m kind of with TKDC on this, but that’s because I expect he’ll either be average or a little better than that and get playing time, or not do well and not get very much playing time.

    The playing time itself will account for most of the value in the 2-3 WAR figure.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — December 7, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  33. No mention of his home/road splits? His OPS is over 100 points lower on the road then at home over his career. I know he’s going to a decent hitters park but those splits don’t lie. He’s been bad away from Arlington. I can’t imagine his defense will be great as he has been a -10 UZR guy for his career everywhere including 3rd. The only way this deal makes sense is if the Phillies plan on bringing in Hamilton and want Young to be their for support. I think if Utley, Rollins and Galvis are healthy Young really does not get on the field. At least Galvis can catch it and throw it. Well it’s just 6 million dollars, who knows I guess.

    Comment by Spit Ball — December 7, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

  34. How in the hell can Kevin Frandsen be considered an ‘average bat’?

    Comment by Don Draper — December 7, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  35. At first, I read that as “his wife” and immediately thought, “Does that mean his actual wife or Ron Washington?”

    Comment by Visitor — December 7, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  36. I’m just pissed that we need to even bother to take a chance on a ancient guy like Young… as a regular 3B. You could justify him as a super sub.

    This is piss poor planning.

    I have nothing against Michael Young, and I AM glad that there will be some right handed bats in the lineup. But overall… not thrilled.

    Comment by Dave S — December 7, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

  37. Unless Ruben Amaro Jr. has a big splash move up his sleeve–signing Josh Hamilton, for instance–I am just not seeing how the Phillies are going to be very competitive for a playoff spot in 2013. They seem pretty far behind Washington and Atlanta at this point, which leaves them gunning for the second wild card spot. And the Giants and Dodgers both figure to be pretty good in 2013.

    Comment by Robbie G. — December 7, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  38. I agree about Washington. Just not seeing that Atlanta is much better. In fact, I could see Atlanta tanking in the way the Phils did last year.

    Comment by Dave S — December 7, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  39. umm, he can be flipped at the trade deadline for some more prospects, if he can get on a roll early in the year. Fransden cannot, but his presence allows such a trade. No, not quite the market for 3b as say, RP generally. But, I can see a Philly/NYY trade in June-July involving Young going to NYY if Arod is not rehabbing well.

    Comment by Cidron — December 7, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  40. Being a statue there isnt a big deal when you got Andrus eating up ground left and right immediately beside him at 3B. OR, Philly could move him to 1b and move Howard to 3b. Almost worked for Detroit, right? Big guy at 3b.

    Comment by Cidron — December 7, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

  41. Andrus is the PTBNL in this deal?

    Comment by Heather — December 7, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  42. C: Frandsen put together a 127 wRC+ last year in the Majors, and a 112 at AAA in 2011. I’m not expecting anything more than 100 from him in ’13, and with average defense. He’s not gonna win awards. He’s not gonna make people forget Mike Schmidt. He’s just gonna hold down 3B adequately, for less than a million bucks, until a better option comes along.

    I don’t think that’s out of line; nor is it remotely like expecting Mayberry to repeat his 2011 performance.

    Comment by Phrozen — December 7, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  43. I hope this is a joke. Howard is left-handed…let’s just put him behind the plate with Ruiz gone. He’s big! He can block Papelbon’s splitter!

    Comment by spu — December 8, 2012 @ 12:10 am

  44. Defense is overrated. Make most of the routine plays and mash at the plate and you’ll be out there.

    Comment by spu — December 8, 2012 @ 12:13 am

  45. Most players hit better at home than on the road and its not as if CBP is a pitcher’s haven anyway.

    Comment by NEPP — December 8, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  46. They replaced Michael Bourn & Chipper Jones with BJ Upton. That’s not an improvement really.

    They improved their bullpen but at the cost of weakening the backend of their rotation.

    The Nats are the team to beat in the East but the Braves didnt improve really…at least not through FA or trades.

    Comment by NEPP — December 8, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  47. someone’s sarcasm detector’s on the fritz.

    Comment by chuckb — December 8, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  48. I think you’re underselling how atrocious young is at the keystone.

    Comment by Mitch — December 8, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  49. I could not disagree more with Dave on this one. M Young will butcher 3B abominably, and will have no DH fallback. Sheet, Dave doesn’t even get into the defensive side of this. He won’t have the big benefit of his Texas home park. As for BABIP, it was low and it should stay low. Why? Because he’s a very predictable hitter between LCF and RF line, with very diminishing gap power. So it’s easier to defend him, by shading all 3 OF’s to the right and pinching in. M Young is toast and a horrible fit for an NL team, especially at that cost. What he is now is a mediocre-at-best shortside platoon DH. Dave, let’s please make a wager!

    Comment by mikec — December 8, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

  50. What Young can do that Frandsen can’t is hit the ball out of the park occasionally.

    Comment by Alby — December 8, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  51. Phrozen: And he put up a 103 wRC+ in 2012 at AAA, which is the largest of all those samples, at a lower level.

    Despite his ML totals last season, he still carries an 83 wRC+. If you think the last 200 PAs are more important than the previous 600 at the major league level, that’s fine. But you’re betting on the longshot rather than the favorite.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — December 8, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  52. Fortunately for the Phillies, Chase Utley plays at the keystone base. Or, are you saying he’s atrocious playing in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania?

    Comment by hk — December 8, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  53. Question though, what is the success rate on players bouncing back from -1+ war seasons?

    Comment by Jesse — December 8, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  54. We do not need a long term solution at third. In 1 or 2 years, the Phillies will be bringing up Cody Asche to take that spot and Michael Young serves as a perfect fit in that time. Overall it’s a decent pick for Philly. No starter on the Opening day lineup except for Ben Revere could hit for MY’s 2012 avg.these days.

    Comment by Kevin — December 8, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  55. Love how Dave declines to mention that he will likely be the worst defensive 3B in baseball next year (amoung starters at least).

    I don’t see a big bounce back from Young next year. We know that as they age, hitters BB% and ISO decline, and their GB% increases. Well, Young had his 2nd lowest BB%, lowest ISO, and highest GB% of his career last year. ANd now that he won’t be playing in RBIa 82 games a year, shouldn’t we expect at LEAST the ISO to keep declining?

    If you think that an 85 wRC+ and -15 to -20 UZR is worth what this is costing Philly, then I guess this is a good trade.

    Comment by Keystone Heavy — December 8, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  56. It’s not too bad to have some backup help for the right side of the infield as well. Young at 2B or 1B isn’t a bad-looking option if the regulars are playing at 30%.

    Comment by Chase Utley — December 8, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  57. I’m one of the biggest MY haters there is, but you’re so full of shit it’s unbelievable. The arrogance in your post is baffling, to say the least. Why are you on here commenting and not managing a Major League Baseball team?

    Comment by JF — December 8, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  58. Everything you say is still just speculation. The problem I see with just about every comment on here is that people are speaking opinions, but as a fact. That’s not how it works. I’m super glad you think MY will be terrible (I’ve never liked him at all), but I’m super embarrassed for you that you speak in absolutes.

    Comment by JF — December 8, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  59. Why no mention of the defense?

    Comment by jc — December 8, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

  60. Wow that was a pretty obnoxious post. Plus you said “at that cost.” You realize they are only paying 6 million right?

    Comment by nilbog44 — December 8, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  61. Depending upon which position(s) he plays and how often, it’s hard to say how much his poor defense will cost relative to the position adjustment he’ll get from playing in the field. However, even if the + from the position adjustment is offset by the – from his poor defense, if playing in the field leads to him needing more days off, the reduced playing time will hurt his WAR. He’s 36 years old, coming off a season in which 45% of his PA’s came as a DH and he’s moving to the NL where he can only DH in 10 games at most. I would not be surprised to see his PA’s drop by ~20% and such a drop in Replacement Runs would equate to losing another ~0.4 WAR. As a Phillies fan, I read this article with the hope that it would make me optimistic about the move, but unfortunately it did not.

    Comment by hk — December 9, 2012 @ 7:36 am

  62. http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?players=1176,1286

    Comment by Jesse — December 10, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  63. No Mark Reynolds is not a long term solution. But at 28 he is still young enough to grow a little. Add him with a great hitting coach like Manuel then maybe he can improve. Oh and Reynolds just signed with Cleveland for 1 year, $6 million. Look at that, the same number as we are paying for Young! And we wouldn’t have lost two prospects to get him. Again, the Young deal wasn’t bad. I’m just spoiled by Amaro pulling out some amazing trades and deals. And there is a possibility that Reynolds didn’t want to come to Philly. I just would have loved to have seen more power to our lineup. Hopefully Ruf and balance our lineup now by winning the job in the corner. GO PHILLY!

    Comment by Ryan — December 10, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  64. I think you’re underselling how atrocious Utley’s knees are at the keystone…of his legs.

    Shut up, I’m already showing myself out.

    Comment by a — December 10, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  65. Not yet. Atlanta freed up money by “weakening” the back half of their rotation (as if losing essentially your 6th and 7th best pitchers is that significant). Atlanta will find another bat for either left for third.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — December 10, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  66. Is this a joke. He used evidence to back up his prediction. I guess we have as much absolute proof that Young will win the MVP award as that of the contrary. however,the logic and evidence suggests he’ll probably keep declining and be a horrible fielder.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — December 10, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

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