Phillies Trade Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to the Texas Rangers for Michael Young

The Phillies have been trying to acquire Young for over a year, and it appears that they have finally completed a deal involving to RH relievers with live arms in Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla.

Michael Young (36) has a long list of past accolades but they mean little now on the field as he is well into his decline phase.  At the plate Young will provide a good amount of contact but there is little power or walk ability to supplement.  At one point in his career Young was a good baserunner but at this point he is below average and is merely a station to station runner.  In the field Young isn’t good let alone average at anywhere other than DH, but he can play third base and that is where the Phillies intend to play him full time.  The Rangers are paying $10 million of Young’s $16 million 2013 salary.

Josh Lindblom (25) was acquired from the Dodgers in the Victorino trade along with Ethan Martin.  Lindblom is a live armed reliever with a mid-90s fastball and slurvy breaking ball.  Lindblom profiles as a middle reliever and his future in the big leagues is contingent on getting his home run tendencies under control..

Lisalverto Bonilla (22) was the Phillies #12 prospect going into 2012, and he proceeded to dominate out of the bullpen before getting an invite to Futures Game where a self inflicted injury ended his season.  Out of the bullpen Bonilla has a plus fastball and plus to plus plus change up to along with an average breaking ball.  If he stays in the bullpen he could be ready as a late inning reliever as soon as 2013.  If he returns to the rotation he has the ceiling of a mid rotation starter but there are some injury and size concerns about his future as a starter.

This seems like a lot to give up for a barely above replacement level player, especially if the Rangers put Bonilla back in the rotation.  However, despite the overpay the Phillies have not significantly weakened themselves as the system is flush with RH relievers.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

463 thoughts on “Phillies Trade Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to the Texas Rangers for Michael Young

  1. We included Bonilla for a guy Texas didn’t want and was thrilled to dump his salary? Yuck! What sense does it make to get a defensive CF who can’t hit and then add an aging defensive butcher at 3B? Better to stick with Frandsen and AAAA guys.

  2. I would be willing to bet that Young will bounce back. His numbers last year were down, but better than what the phils got out of 3b last year.

    1. His OPS was better than Phillies 3B last year by .010. That was probably cancelled out by how bad his defense is.

  3. Although I am happy with the Revere trade, I was hoping that Young wouldn’t accept the trade offer. I really see very little upside in this trade mostly due to parting with Bonilla. I would’ve been fine sending Schwimer for Young and feel that $6M is a very reasonable amount to be paying Young in hopes that his offense returns to some semblance of past performance prior to 2012. However, he is eggregious on defense and I think this is too much to give up for a one year rental of a player well past his prime.

        1. And then there’s the attrition rate for prospects that says most guys who are projected to be solid big league regulars don’t reach their ceiling.

          I think I say this every time there’s a trade involving minor leaguers on here, but add up the WAR of all the kids the Phillies have traded since their run began in 2007 and tell me the team doesn’t know their system better than anybody else, folks on this site included.

          Bonilla is a nice prospect, but nowhere near a sure thing. And, as someone pointed out below, perhaps not the brightest bulb around. If they could have gotten Michael Young for Tim Kennelly (did someone really suggest that? Yeesh), I’m sure they would have.

          1. Bonilla isn’t a sure thing, but neither is Michael Young at this point. We’re hoping that he has a big bounceback year at age 36. Not exactly a sure bet.

          2. LOL yeah, I said Tim Kennelly half serious. My thing is I’m not excited at all about Young. The deal was already a win for the Rangers because it freed up 6 million in payroll for them and got rid of Young who was a net negative last year. If we’re trading people for the privilege of hoping they produce 1 WAR as a position player we shouldn’t be giving up legitimate prospects. Instead of say Kennelly substitute in Schwimer or a reliever of that ilk. You don’t give up one of your top 3 relievers IMO for a 1 year rental low upside bounceback candidate. It’s not like the Phillies didn’t have other options. Granted they weren’t spectacular options but neither was Young. If the Rangers don’t want a guy like Schwimer instead of Bonilla than too bad for them and we just don’t do the trade. Polanco/Frandsen/Galvis would probably be better than Young next year.

  4. MLBTR now says the 1.2 million in extra benefits that Young received was to atone for him now having to pay State Income Tax. Wonder who kicked that in?

  5. Adding Bonilla to the deal ruins it from my perspective. I was ok with them taking a chance on a Young rebound, by taking on $6 mil, plus dealing two potentially useful players is just dumb.

  6. I am starting to be more rational as this sinks in. I think we may be overrating Bonilla a bit, this is still an egregious trade. I think it is very unlikely Bonilla sticks as a starter and there are some rumblings of other injury concerns, so there is little chance that we gave up anything more than two relievers, that being said they did just give up what projects to be two major league players for the rights to pay Michael Young 6 million dollars this year so the Rangers can sign Grienke.

  7. I understand that Young committed 2 errors while playing something like 24 games at third base in’12. The issue is more his current range rather than his ability to handle a glove. He was a Gold Glove shortstop as recently as 2008. The Phils could have gotten him for Lindblom alone if the Rangers weren’t kicking in so much money. Lots of folks have criticized Amaro for being “all in”. This was an “all in” trade without blowing the bank account. Therefore I’m sure Larry will love this move since it fits all his criteria at least some of the time.

  8. HBT says that Rangers paid the 1.2 million in Tax Equalization and Phillies gave him a full no-trade clause. Now, that ain’t so bad in itself.

    1. Well of course the Phillies won’t be able to trade him. If he sucks who is gonna want him? They’d just have to outright cut him

  9. I really hate losing Bonilla…… Young is a decent addition at $6M but giving up two more pitchers hurts. I was counting on Bonilla making it in 2014…

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bonilla in the majors in 2013. He’s already had some success in AA and relievers move quick. Especially ones with his stuff.

  10. Ugh, Bonilla.

    I’m willing to look at the bright sides of this trade. Let’s say that Young recovers enough offense next year to be a replacement level 3B. Big if, I realize, but I’m trying to be positive. It’s a relatively modest one-year commitment that will allow the team a half season to see what they’ve got in Cody Asche at AAA. It’s an economical move that, in theory at least, fills a hole while allowing them to spend big elsewhere.

    That said, if you were going to budget $6 million to buy a one year lottery ticket on a former all star, why didn’t they just pick up Polanco’s $5.5 million option? At least he gave them quality defense at third.

    As for what they gave up, it’s almost beside the point. Giving Michael Young 500 ABs is likely to harm the team far more than the loss of Lindblom and Bonilla, though it really does seem like they sold low on the latter

    1. Did you watch any games last year? When he actually did get on the field he could barely hit the ball out of the infield. Polanco had a great career but he is finished.

  11. Think about this for a minute. The reason why Ruben would part with Bonilla is because he knows something about him. From what I have heard he is a hot head, a complainer and a big drunk. Other teams don’t know what the Phillies know. His stuff is great but Ruben is probably assuming he will never be able to put it together and hold up. There are a lot of pitchers with great stuff and never make it. I think you’ll all see. Bonilla is a throw in and that is it. I’d be shocked if he pitched more than 3 years in the majors.

    1. I agree, from what I have heard about Bonilla he is a younger version of Vicente Padilla. Lots of talent, but a head case. I also thought the Phillies gave Lindblom more than ample opportunity to prove himself and he could not get it done

      1. Tom – you and Matt Winks are right that we are not behind the scenes and do not know these players. I think most of us agree that Lindblom is just not good. As for Bonilla, I hope the reason that they traded him rather than someone else was that they saw problems on the horizon that the rest of us just can’t see right now.

        People are freaking out a little bit about the players we traded but the organization’s pitching depth is as good as it has ever been – astonishingly good really. As for the particular players, Worley is probably no better than a 4, May has serious command and self-confidence issues and I think is not as good a prospect as Martin, Lindblom is horrible – good for them for spotting this and moving him out, Bonilla is a really good prospect but we’ve got a LOT of really good relief prospects. Not to say that we should be casting good prospects aside in trades for used up players but the Phillies still have a very, very deep reserve of mid to upper level starting pitching prospects as well as young relievers in the majors.

      2. Leaving aside the issue of whether what you say is true–I’m always a bit skeptical of rumors that such and such Latin player is a volatile head case/drunk–if Bonilla turns into Vicente Padilla, he will be a fantastic return for a washed up player that Texas was desperate to unload. Padilla, for all his faults, had stretches of dominance as a major league pitcher, made several all star teams, and was an effective starter as late as 2009. Also, he was once traded for Curt Schilling in his prime. If Bonilla ends up being that kind of a “problem” I’m sure the Rangers will be more than happy with the trade

        1. One all-star team in 2002, not several. 10.2 WAR (Baseball Reference) over 14 years=not dominant. Not necessarily disagreeing with you in theory, and I’m not sure what relevance Padilla has to the discussion. Just pointing out that Padilla was closer to “serviceable” than to “dominant”, even in short stretches.

    2. Agree. I made an earlier post on how the Phillies like to use these guys with make-up issues as trade fodder.

      1. A make up is HUGE. Can a guy that doesn’t have “it” make the majors and be decent? Sure. But when it is crunch time, who do you want with the ball. I realized this in 2004 when I looked at the Red Sox…guys like Derek Lowe, Joe Nelson and Mike Timlin…just had a look on their face like they had add the confidence on the worlds largest stage. Then I though about our roster with Wolfe, Padilla and Eric Milton…I didn’t get the same vibe.

        To me, there is no point to having mentally weak guys who pitch well when it doesn;t matter, put up good numbers and then crumble during crunch time.
        (I support the Worley trade but this is what I will miss about him, even though he was a 4th starter, that is a 4th starter that can pitch on the road in the playoffs and not crumble. If he was going to get beat, he would be beat because he wasn’t good enough, not because he wasn’t gutsy enough)

        1. I don’t even know where to begin to respond to this comment, except to ask if it’s satire

  12. Actually, apropos of my last comment, it seems like “selling low” is a common theme of the Phillies moves so far this offseason. They sold low on May, dealing him after a year of struggles. They sold low on Bonilla, after a season that ended prematurely due to that bonehead injury. You could argue they sold low on Worley, coming off the surgery. It seems like they’re eager to trade Valle, after a so-so year. Now, it could be that they are unloading all these guys at the right moment, before they lost all their value. But I’m concerned they’ve given up four young pitchers, all of whom are or profile as major leaguers, maybe even potentially very ones, in return for a light hitting center fielder and a washed up slugger who can no longer slug.

    1. On this point I came to the idea that this might be Joe Jordan and not Amaro. Ultimately it is Amaro’s call but Jordan may be more willing to move players that he does not like as prospects. Depending on the arc of some their careers he may still be selling high. It is hard to judge these trades in the moment though.

    2. There is only so much room on the 40 man roster and we can’t keep all our prospects. Another poster (sorry forgot your name) pointed out that May and Bonilla would have to be protected next year on the 40 man roster as their six years are up. I will leave the personnel decisions to the Phillies professionals who have done a good job so far in judging prospects.

  13. An avg MLB player has an ofp(overall future potential ) of 50. I am not a scout but from what is out there he has 55 control, 70 change up. 60 fastball and a 50 curve. That is an ofp of 59. A 60 is considered an all star caliber player. I am not happy about loosing this kid!

    1. OFP’s are not pure averaging of tools grades, there is some amount taken into account for the position. If he was a starter I would say he has 60 ceiling (mid-rotation starter), as a reliever he is a 55 with some late inning potential but likely a good middle reliever. The OFP isn’t everything as there is also risk and since he has little above AA with some injury concerns (do to frame and past injuries) you have to say he is at least medium to high risk on getting close to his ceiling.

  14. Reading some of these comments you would think Bonilla was Mariano Rivera. 33 innings above A ball, yes his stuff is good but Young is a significant upgrade for this team. You want to talk about his poor defense? Frandsen can’t even make the throw from 3rd to 1st. Yes Young had a down year offensively last year, but that wasn’t the first time that has happened to him, and everytime he has always bounced back with a nice season right after. Lindblom is awful.

    1. Young is the Derek Jeter of 3B without the ability to make the routine play. Many people contend that Young is not an upgrade on Frandsen and Galvis and that is the argument. Young has almost no range at this point and he hasn’t posted a positive defensive WAR since 2008 and nothing higher than 1.0 since 2002 as a second baseman.

      1. My argument is that Frandsen is worse defensively than Young, and I think that will become apparent pretty quickly. I’ve never seen so many throwing errors as I saw from Frandsen. It’s also not like he has any real power to speak of so anyone that criticizes Young for his lack of power doesn’t have a leg to stand on there. I’ll take Young and his pedigree and background over Frandsen every day of the week.

          1. +1

            Also, Young has the potential to be a lingering problem, as we all know that Manuel is not eager to bench his seasoned veterans. At least with Fransden you had the fact that Charlie has no respect for him working in favor of reasonable team management. I can just see the post game press conference now: “Young’s done it before,” Manuel said. “He used to be a 100 RBI guy. I don’t see how taking him out of the lineup is going to help him get back to that 100 RBI mentality.”

        1. The problem is Young is worse defensively than Frandsen and to be clear Frandsen isn’t good at defense. The only argument you can make for the move is on the offensive side. Young will have to turn back the clocks a bit to bring the offensive value because it wasn’t there last year.

          1. He doesn’t have to turn them back that far. 2 years ago he hit .330 with 100 RBI’s and was 8th in MVP votes

      2. As the scout in the AFL said, range is not as critical at the corner infield positions as opposed to quickness.

            1. Rangers’ fan here – I’m sure no one is reading this (considering this is almost January 1st) but Michael Young’s reflexes are horrible. His range is horrible. HORRIBLE.

      3. I hope Young is the Derek Jeter of 3B. That would be a significant upgrade since he has had a heck of a career. Spare that WAR Garbage.

        1. I don’t understand your complete trashing of WAR. I could quote you all the components but that would take too long and confuse you. I was mostly comparing their defense (Jeter is a much better offensive player), you don’t need fancy metrics to watch games and just say that he is really bad, Frandsen wasn’t good but come back to me in May when you are sick of how bad Young is at third. When it comes to power, Young’s .370 slugging would have but him a point behind the hulking slugger Juan Pierre and just ahead of Freddy Galvis. WAR is just a convenient way of summing all of the data to one number,

          1. Yeah Young did not have a good year last year but 2 years ago he had a great year. Let’s hope he cuts the last 2 years in half and that will be pretty good year. WAR is just too arbitrary. There are too many arbitrary things in it for me to take it seriously. Like I said I haven’t watched Young play yet, nd he might be bad at 3rd, but I will take my chances with him and his pedigree at the plate and the fact that I can put Galvis in the late innings for him, than a guy who hit for a good average for 3 months, didn’t show me anything in the field either (let’s not forget the Sunday Braves game he cost them among others), and the fact that he is a career minor leaguer. Keep Frandsen in a 100-150 AB’s and he will be fine. This was worth taking a chance on especially since I defy anybody to come up with any alternative they could have done.

            1. I’d like you to specify what is arbitrary about WAR. The only reasonable thing I can think of is defense because it takes so long to stabilize. But if that’s the case, take his oWAR and the average of his dWAR from his past three years. That will stabilize his defensive stats and you’ll still have one of the worst players in MLB.

            2. Pretty much everything about it. The initial premise of it is arbitrary because I have to assume that these stats can measure how much they contribute to a win. You can not mathematically do it. Nothing about it can absolutely tell me how much each hit, out, fielding chance, strikeout, sacrifice or whatever else happens in a game contributes to a win or loss. There is nothing to assume with BA, Slugging, On Base %, or OPS. You take the numbers and measure. Nothing arbitrary about it.

            3. Each action has a certain percent chance of creating a run, how do we know this, because we have near on 100 years of data and so you can see using data what the runs created of each action is. Then you figure out how many runs a win is, again lots of data, not that difficult. Then you define a replacement player, this is by definition the random guy you could call up from AAA (this is done for each position individually), lets call him Pete Orr, and you determine how many runs he creates or costs (both on offense and defense). That is your baseline, then it as simple as saying how many more wins or losses was a certain player compared to that. The average major league regular is worth about 2 WAR.

              If you are wondering what the wins of a all 0 WAR team is, it will win around 40 games just because of the statistical randomness of baseball. All in all the most complicated thing is the defense where you have people watching every minute of every game and determining whether a guy should have been able to make a play or not. There are errors in that system which is why to determine a player’s defensive abilities multiple season sample sizes are needed to average out the noise. This is why you will see me quote offensive WAR and defensive WAR, because there can be weird things with the season to season defensive numbers.

            4. I appreciate the explanation and your passion for it. I am just not a believer. I see the word random used especially defining a replacement player. I think there is an awful lot there we have to assume. Like I said I will go by more pure numbers and my eyes more and I know that is extremely hard to do on the defensive side. I will try to refrain from killing the stat stuff. Was just stating my opinion. Don’t be offended by the term stat geek. Believe me I am about as geeky as it gets. I am a Fantasy Sports, Pro Wrestling, and Trivia geek. Doesn’t get much geekier than that. Who else would pick Rod Booker as a screen name?

          2. Matt the other thing that will get those of us who are not devotes of WAR backs up is the multiple statements from those of that mind who call Young the worst player in baseball. Which is a huge stretch considering we have had the like of Mike Martinez and Pete Orr, and Frandsen who are our replacement players and of them Frandsen is the only one who may be a vialble ML player over 300 or so ABs. And is it likely there is not going to be much difference between Young and Frandsen at the plate come the end of the year? Yes i would say that is the most likely outcome, but there is a significant chance that Young has something left in the tank and can outhit what Frandsen will likely do. And truthfully that risk is worth $6 mil + Lindblom + Bonilla as there were no other options that are SIGNIFICANTLY better than this. You can have a legitimate/rational argument with Youk, but there is really not much difference between the 2 as both at this point in their careers are sub par at best at 3B Youk has the edge on power and working counts and Young has the edge on contact and actually playing. 5 years ago this would be a great choice, now not so much. Truthfully between this move and RAJ’s comments I am actually excited about the prospects of Asche moving forward.

            1. A precise statement would be that last year Young was the worst REGULAR player in baseball. And I don’t think that one needs to beleive in WAR to accept that as being true. Who was worse?

              As for the rest of your argument, sure Young could be substantially better than Frandsen as a hitter but he also could be worse (he was worse in 2012). I’d say he is more likely to be better than worse, BUT he is also very likely to be a worse fielder, maybe a lot worse.

              Youk at this stage of their careers is much better than Young (in essentially every aspect of the game except contact rate), but since I’ve already watsed half my morning on this site, I’ll leave proof of that assertion to a later date.

              All this wouldn’t be so bad if we assume that Manuel will replace Young with Frandsen or Galvis if Young struggles. I don’t think that that is a fair assumption.

            2. I am not willing to give Youk what it looks like he is going to get. He is originally who I wanted.

            3. Obviously we don’t know for sure what other moves the Phillies are going to make this season. But (a) it’s not your money, and (b) likely paying Youk what he wants, as opposed to the Phillies share of Young’s contract, would not preclude any reasonable additional move on the Phillies part.

            4. Your right it’s not my money but I have a realistic view of what they might spend. Also in my eyes he is not worth what the 2 reported offers he is getting.

    2. Couldn’t agree more. Except I don’t think Lindblom is awful. That being said I don’t care that we traded him.

  15. I grew resigned to this trade, was not happy about the money but not worried because I think the Phils expect to break the luxury tax this year and come under next yet and was thrilled to get rid of Lindblom (he really sucks) but getting rid of Bonilla hurts even if the team is positively loaded with other relief candidates (and, to their credit, they are). i say that because Bonilla’s change is a special pitch and gives him an intriguing upside and, among the relief candidates, he is the only young one I can easily see transitioning to the rotation. Again, they are so loaded with relievers that they almost have to trade some of these players, but not necessarily Bonilla, and certainly not in this trade.

  16. lindblom was not real successful his pitches seemed very flat I think that on paper we gave up a big chip but the reality is that we have several similar pieces. I’d prefer Bonilla to DeFratus who has similar stuff and has made the majors. Bonilla cost himself with the stunt he pulled at the Futures Game.

  17. A big “meh” from me on this trade. We gave up little (IMO) in return for someone that doesn’t really provide much of an improvement at 3B. I guess it’s the club taking a relatively low cost gamble that Young will revert to form from a few years ago. At worst, you have a one-year overpaid bench bat with RH pop, which is an affordable mistake for this club

    1. An overpaid bench bat is fine, I just hope that Charlie doesn’t keep running him out there everyday if plays like he did last year.

      1. That’s a very astute point – if “played” properly, this is really a $ 6 million option. You bring this guy in and, for $ 6 million, you are hoping he can hit something like he did in prior years and his lack of defense will not be exposed as much at third as it was at second and short. But if it doesn’t work, they need to play someone else (especially if Galvis or Asche break through – which easily could happen). I don’t like the move because you could have signed Youkilis and gotten much better offense and defense without surrendering prospects but maybe this move is as much a vote of confidence for Asche and Galvis as it is anything else and, certainly, Galvis is doing nothing but helping himself with his encouraging performance on offense in Venezuela. It’s looking more and more likely that Galvis will be replacement level or better on offense, which, due to his defense, will make him at least an above average starter because he’s like 2-3 WAR defensive player.

        1. Given the financial dynamics of today’s baseball a qualified 3B – like Mike Schmidt, even today at age 60 or whatever, would command a $3mm salary. Actually, Mike just declared he is coming out of retirement and the Dodgers offered him 11 million per year. Let’s be serious, 6 MM is chump change any more. And a 3B player – heck there aren’t any more of those anyway. What’s the problem here ? Trade one of 13 possible relievers and an unproven pitcher for a neo HOF player – whether he plays or not – sometimes you got to bet and hope you win. WAR and all this other nonsense – the man is a professional and he will give it his best shot. How about .285 ; 4 HR ; 65 rbi ; plays some !B when Howard needs a rest ; plays DH vs. AL teams ; it is still worth more than the one ML relief pitcher traded – and if he helps in the clubhouse and with Frandsen, who knows ? I would suggest some warm milk and everybody lighten up a little bit. Phils were not going to get Eddie Mathews after all…..

    2. I agree with this comment. The Phillies didn’t trade the Rangers anything significant and they didn’t receive anything significant. It’s a 1 year gamble, that Michael Young can hit closer to his 2010-11 averages, than his 2012 season. If he stinks, he is a decent utility bat and they are no worse than before they got him.
      Actually the more I look at this trade, the more it makes me believe they think Cody Asche is legitimate.

      1. Agree regarding Asche. The fact that we never heard of the Phils even considering more than 1-2 year deals at 3B this offseason is very telling.

      2. I wouldn’t give Asche all the credit, I think it speaks to the depth of third base in the system as a whole, I would expect starting 2014 a parade of prospect third baseman, switching each year until someone establishes themselves as a regular and pushes the rest to trades or other positions (Asche just gets first dibs on trying to claim the position)

  18. I’d have been much more pissed if it was DeFratus. DeFratus is the real deal and will be a big part of the BP this year.

    1. We disagree. DeFratus is much more of a sure thing (he has the ability to become a very good 7th inning reliever and, if all goes well, possibly a set up man) but, man, Bonilla has a killer change-up – it’s like a “70″ grade pitch – and he can throw hard too. He has more upside than DeFratus but maybe slightly more risk because he’s farther away from the majors.

      1. I agree with you. I’m not sure what to expect from De Fratus because he wasn’t throwing as hard with the Phillies as had been advertised. Maybe that velocity comes back but it’s a big difference from the 95-98 we heard and the 92 he was showing consistently.

        1. He’s been very up and down. In 2011 he was in the low 90s – right around 92 as you said. This last time, it was better – he was generally 93-95, but none of his pitches ranked as plus pitches. But do I like him more than Lindblom? Hell yeah. I like David Herndon more than Lindblom so I’m thrilled he’s gone.

          1. DeFratus has thrown 95 in multiple games…his slider is absolutely nasty…making the team last year after being hurt for 90% of the season was huge…HE IS A SURE THING

            1. Just because you say it in ALL CAPS does not make it so. He is still an injury risk and the issue is not whether he can make a major league roster ( if healthy he likely can) but how valuable he can be if he makes it. He looks like a good middle reliever right now, with a set up man upside. His slider is above average but was not a plus pitch last year. I like him just fine but you are overrating him as a prospect.

  19. I like (don’t love) this trade for a number of reasons:
    1. We gave up hardly anything. Lindblom was a middle reliever that could not play at our park with his HR rate and Bonilla is a RELIEF pitching prospect of which we have ample amounts of.
    2. The Phillies will only owe Young around 6 million dollars because the Rangers ate more than 62% of his contract. This plus the Revere trade gives the team plenty of spending room to add an impact bat, bullpen arm, or starter while satisfying our need for a 3B and CF.
    3. The Phillies are only paying for one year of him which is exactly what we were looking to commit to as we wait to see if Asche is ready or explore better 3B options in 2013.
    4. I believe his season this year will be much improved from last year as he gets regular playing time and positional security. He’s 1 year removed from hitting .330 when he was starting 1B most of the season. 36 is not too old for major league baseball players in this day and age, see Berkman, Lance and Ibanez, Raul.

    What could make this trade better depends on what Ruben does with the extra money he has to spend.

    1. “RELIEF pitching prospect of which we have ample amounts of.”

      Some relief pitching prospects are better than others. By all reports, Bonilla had at least as much upside any anybody else in the system. I’ll take one Bonilla over a basketful of Friend’s/Knigge’s/ and Defratuses. Why couldn’t they trade one of them for the geezer. Well, because Texas wanted out best prospect, and Rube gave it to them.

    1. Strikeouts are overrated. Doesn’t matter how often a guy strikes out if he is productive when he doesn’t strike out.

      1. Tough for a runner on base to move without making contact. This is typical new stat geek thought. People who don’t watch the games but think they know baseball by creating stats to look at. It is obvious by WATCHING the games the Phillies need more guys that make contact.

        1. I’m sorry, what? The typical “stat geek” thought is that a strikeout is the worst outcome for a hitter and the best outcome for a pitcher because it fails to put the ball in play, where anything can happen. Stop bashing SABRmetrics when you clearly don’t know that much about them.

          1. Don’t care to know that much about them. I will watch and judge and stick with the basics. Yes I do realize a double play is worse than the K, but the Phillies need more balls in play. That is obvious when you watch. Also, I truly don’t believe you can judge fielding better than by what you can see. I don’t buy any of those fielding stats I am sorry. I am not saying Young is going to be a good fielder or even close, but I have seen plenty of teams win with a 3B with bad range and nothing special with the hands. The Dodgers in the 70′s with Ron Cey would be an example. My judgements won’t be any more wrong or right than those who judge with all those other waste of time stats. Don’t be upset by the term geek by the way. I could be called a geek with plenty of the stuff I do. There was no offense intended. Like I said I just don’t buy a stat unless it is completely pure like say OPS.

            1. Well Ron Cey actually grades out much better than Young defensively with the new stats over his career. So maybe that’s why that worked out.

            2. Out of pure curiousity how did Frandsen, Wigginton, Fontenot, and Polanco grade out at 3B on those stats just for a comparison. Just so I could get an idea of how they rank on those stats.

            3. Career wise Polanco is by far the best. Even during his decline these last few years he’s never been negative. Wigginton is a consistent -1 dWAR over the last few years but he’s played some OF mixed in there with everywhere else so you could argue he’s played less strenuous positions than Young. Frandsen and Fontenot come in around 0 dWar usually but they don’t play enough for those stats to be as reliable. Young has averaged about -1.4 dWAR over the last 4 years and only has 3 years in his career when he was slightly positive.

            4. Realizing that these are varying sample sizes:
              Wigginton -1.7 dWAR
              Frandsen -0.2 dWAR (likely close to -1 over full season)
              Polanco 0.4 dWAR
              Fontenot 0.2 dWAR
              MiniMart 0.6 dWAR

            5. Looking at that I agree that Wigginton was as bad anybody I have ever seen at 3B last year. Made Dave Hollins look like Rolen. By that stat I think I am reading that Frandsen is only slightly below average. If I am correct in what I am reading I don’t buy that one. While he made a few spectacular plays, he also made some awful plays and had issues throwing the ball. Don’t buy that one. If Fontenot is slightly above don’t buy that either. He was bad as well. While it looked like Polanco lost a little range wise he was still real good out there I thought (unfortunately can’t hit at all anymore). Again I know i don’t watch every team and I get that I am far from a know it all. Just going by what it looks llke a good 3B should be to me from watching for a long time. I appreciate the info and the passion you guys have for the stat stuff. I am just not a believer as an accurate measure. Thanks again.

            6. Guys that play less can’t accumulate total WAR as much. Like Matt said Frandsen probably would have been around -1 which would make him much worse than Average but still better than the -2 Young was.

  20. I’m looking for some positives with these moves. Less strikeouts in the lineup with Revere and Young??? Just asking

    1. Assuming the Phils pony up the cash given risks involved, does these trade portend another shoe to drop, 1st a defensive minded CF and now a Ranger icon – hello Josh Hamilton?

  21. I just looked at Young’s home/road splits. He hitting .283/.326/.410 career away from the very hitter friendly park in Arlington. Not impressive.

          1. Park factors are calculated with an eye to home/road differentials. So difference in hitters only matters a little.

  22. Last thought: I haven’t liked either of these moves, but it’s possible they are just preludes to a big move, as they both serve to fill needs with virtually no long-term salary commitment. I’m not sure what that big move is going to be, but I am pretty sure Amaro is not going to go into spring training without making at least one headline-making acquisition.

    1. Apropos of that, this on twitter:

      MT @JeffPassan Source thinks #Phillies primed to do something “big.” Anything from pursuing Hamilton to a late Greinke run to trade for OF.

      I’ve personally been advocating a Greinke run. The numbers guys would like them to trade for Choo, so that’s not going to happen. I think the most likely outcome is something bold and a little bit irrational, perhaps a prospect laden trade for a left handed hitting hitting corner outfielder. I’m guess Andre Ethier.

      1. I’m hoping no more trades. I liked the Revere trade and am fine with what we gave up in this one (although I would rather not have Young), but at some point the Phils need to stop dipping into the farm system and start thinking about the future. Even if they trade now, you know there will be another trade at the deadline, assuming they’re competitive.

  23. Generally content/fine with this move. I was never a huge Lindblom fan, and Bonilla is a 22 yr old AA relief pitcher. RH RP grow on trees, and we have plenty of them. I actually still prefer Schwimmer above both of these guys we gave up.

    Young obviously has dropped off, but he is still an improvement for our club and there really wasn’t another good viable alternative.

  24. There are two kinds of overrating going on in this thread. 1) Overrating of Bonilla. Seriously guys. Relax. He has lucked pretty good, but he is not a premium spec. He has upside. That’s it. 2) A SERIOUS overrating of Kevin Frandsen buoyed by his .366 BABIP.

    1. I think the primary over-rating that some are doing is Michael Young. He could well be a below-replacement-level player, whom Cholly gives 500+ AB. Some of us are willing to trust that a minor leaguer who has done well, will have success in the bigs. Others distrust any rookie, but are willing to bet on a rebound from any aged ‘name’ player, coming off an awful season.

            1. Because your replies about it have stated as much. You’re speaking out of ignorance and the perception of stats that you clearly haven’t read much about (or have been reading about them from the wrong sources). In addition, no one is saying SABR stats are the end-all be-all, but they are a useful tool for a evaluation that should be utilized. You would prefer to just throw it out altogether.

            2. I wouldn’t say all, but most. It does come off to me that most people do look at it as end be all. If I am misreading my apologies.

            3. The Rays seem to use it best. That is, they use it in conjunction with their scouting and all the other information they can get their hands on. I think the results speak for themselves when it comes to that ball club. They’re in a tremendous position and spend barely anything compared to us.

            4. Have a lot of respect for how the Rays do things? Good point. That being said I watch Joe Maddon manage (and yes I do watch Rays games and my father either listens to or watches almost all of them) and the thing I like about him is I don’t think he goes by the book or the stats constantly. I think he does some things on gut instinct which I don’t see hardly anybody do including Charlie Manuel. One of the reasons I think he is one of the best if not the best.

            5. The SABR community has basically unanimously voiced their opinion that he is the best manager in baseball, and that it’s not even close.

    2. I agree about Frandsen. Going into the season with Galvis/Frandsen is very risky. First, there’s a reasonably good chance Galvis has to fill in for an injured Utley or Rollins at some point. Then you’re left with Frandsen and I’d say there’s a good chance he isn’t even passable as an everyday player. He is a 30 year old with a career wRC of 83 and adequate defense at best.

      Yes, there’s a chance Michael Young isn’t passable either, but at least you have another option at little cost and retain flexibility to make an impact move elsewhere.

      The only thing that worries me, which I mentioned in another comment, is the possibility that Young sucks but Charlie continues to play him anyway.

      1. This is exactly right. Anyone who wanted to go at 3rd with a Frandsen/Galvis platoon is nuts. With our infield being older Galvis will get 2 to 4 games a week for rest or injuries anyway. While I like Frandsen’s bat, I will be shocked if Young is a lot worse than he was defensively. The guy had issues throwing to 1st. He is 100 to 150 AB guy. This trade was worth a shot.

      2. It is that last bit that I really don’t like about this deal, the reason that Young had the worst WAR last year was because unlike other players that were bad he was continuously run out onto the field where he struggled, the Phillies may have just tied themselves to Young for better or worse.

  25. It might be just a one year aberration, but Young had a very significant platoon split this past season.

  26. Any chance Franco could get a shot in 2014? Say he finishes the year in AA and rakes, could see him get ST invite then, right?

    1. It’s possible. I’m sure they’re hoping that one of Asche and Franco can be plugged into 3rd in 2014.

  27. I hated this trade when I first heard of it. But listen,

    1.I think Young has a chance to be a big payoff. Maybe he doesnt hit .338 again. Maybe he doesn’t hit 24 homeruns again. But what if he hits .280 and 15 homeruns? And average fielding? Thats a welcome addition over a light hitting Polanco or Galvis or Frandson

    2. Right handed bat. I haven’t heard anyone even mention this.

    3. Lindblom sucks. He is a non factor. Basically the trade was Bonilla (whom I liked) for Young. Fair deal.

    I see the lineup as follows

    1. Revere
    2.Young
    3. Utley
    4.Howard
    5.Ruf
    6.Rollins
    7.Chooch
    8.Dbrown
    9.Pitcher (Dempster, Grienke)

    Thats maybe around the 5th best lineup in the NL. With good pitching this is a playoff team. Anyone notice how fast this team is getting younger? Kudos to Ruben. Asche comes in later this year and Utley probably wont be resigned. Rollins may be replaced by Galvis.

      1. Why would anyone think he will hit 15 HR’s? He didn’t do that in 2011 the year everyone that doesn’t think he is trash is raving about. It’s not like Arlington is a pitcher park. Maybe he gets 10-12 HR and that’s probably being generous. The big drop last year wasn’t in his homers it was in his doubles which is an even worse sign.

    1. I like Revere and Young one and two but Jimmy will KICK and SCREAM like a little child if he isn’t hitting lead off. Unfortunately, I think the lineup will look like this

      Rollins
      Young
      Utley
      Howard
      Free Agent RF – Ross -?? (not really a five hitter in my mind)
      Ruf
      Ruiz
      Revere

      I would like Swisher (but not enough to give up the draft pick)

      Maybe they go with Ross and then if Ruf is killing it, he gets moved to 5.

      I would trade Brown, Biddle, Valle, DeFratus and Quinn for Stanton. Shit, I’d even throw in Galvis and Pettibone if they wanted. Stanton in this lineup would be AWESOME!

      1. and one more thing, while is seems pretty bad to give up Worley and May for an 8 hole hitter (they could have just signed DeWayne Wise to play a good CF and bat 8th) , I don’t think Revere will hit 8 for very long, if not this year, definitely next year and the rest of the years to come, he will be at the top of that lineup.

        1. Guy had 150 hits through 120 games. I dont think he should be in front of the pitcher. Would be a waste. Brown needs to be there.

      2. Stanton is damn near worth the farm. And yes the lineup may unfortunatly look like that. I do like Cody Ross though, moreso than swisher.

      3. I think it’s going to look like this the way Charlie was talking on Missenelli’s show the other day:

        Revere
        Rollins
        Utley
        Howard
        Right Fielder/Left Fielder
        Young
        Ruf/Brown/Mayberry/Nix rotation
        Kratz

        on opening day.

        1. I don’t really like Revere and Rollins so close to each other. Why not have some speed at the bottom of the lineup?

  28. This team was prepared to sign Youkilis and Upton, for approx $10M and $15M avg per year respectively, for a total of $25M. They just filled both spots for roughly $7M, netting a savings of $18M per season. With two more open outfield spots in LF and RF, and one of them likely to be taken up by some combination of Brown and/or Ruf, I really believe this means the Phils are going to make a run at Hamilton or Swisher to play one of those corner OF spots, or even consider jumping in on the Greinke sweepstakes with the money saved. I think these two traded judged alone are not the greatest in the world, but they may just allow RAJ the financial flexibility to go do something big.

    1. If they go after Greinke do you think that leads to Lee getting traded to fill the other OF spot? Greinke is a pretty good pitcher but he’s not Lee good. I also worry about him in Philly.

      1. No, I think it means they go with Hamels, Greinke, Lee, Halladay, Kendrick in the rotation, with a bullpen of Papelbon, Bastardo, FA RH Setup Man TBD, Diekman or Horst, Aumont, DeFratus, and Cloyd, Rosenberg, or Pettibone as a long man.

        With what they would spend on Greinke, they would go a cheaper route in the OF than one of the names I mentioned above and have to rely a bit more on the Ruf / Brown / Nix / Mayberry group to cover 1 OF spot, and maybe half of another.

        Having said all that, I think they’d prefer to sign a veteran 4th starter type and spend more on getting a big time bat in the OF, but I think the above is a good plan B if for some reason they can’t land Hamilton or Swisher.

    2. Well, the Dodgers have reportedly offered Greinke $145M for 6 years. I seriously doubt the Phils would ante up that kind of money.

      If the Phils are looking to sign a SP, I’m thinking more along the lines of Edwin Jackson …

    3. Well with Greinke out of the picture I expect Texas to re-sign Hamilton. That leaves the Mariners desperate to pick someone up: perhaps Swisher or Bourn. I don’t know what we’ll be spending this money on. Probably a decent starter and maybe a bullpen arm.

    4. I don’t know where you got your numbers from I believe the reported offer for Upton was 5/$55 and I am pretty sure no offer was ever made for Youk.

  29. Nobody here really expected the Phils to go after any high-priced 3rd baseman for ’13…since it has become apparent that they believe Asche is real and will be ready soon, that is, by the end of ’13 or beginning of ’14. Young is not young but brings years of good offense with him; even now following his down ’12 season with a bit of recovery he will fill the empty offense in ’12 shown at 3rd for the team pending Asche.

    His defense may be questionable but we still will have Galvis to fill 3rd with defense in late innings. No miracles but a LOT better offense should result in ’13.

    A decent, timely, and modest move to put a better offense at bat. Without blocking the position in ’14. Good work.

  30. i am happy with this trade, i was nervous because i love what i’ve heard about bonilla,and his numbers. but to me, the emergence of morgan and wright allowed us to trade may and bonilla. and pettibone for worley. add in revere and the potential of young… oh and thank god we got rid of lindbum!!!

  31. Hey Matt or Gregg can one of you update Jesse Biddle’s profile? It’s kind of dated and I know the scouting report on him has changed a little

  32. I’m not happy about this one at all. I witnessed half of Bonilla’s outings last year. The kid is lights out. Nastiest change-up I’ve ever seen. He’s gonna be a good one, and we’re gonna be kicking ourselves in a couple years when he is a dominant big-leaguer.

    1. I can’t believe all the consternation over a single A reliever. I think Ruben made a good move here. The best he could do, perhaps, given the free agent market.

      1. He was also in AA and dominated there too. He’s got good stuff and his numbers and scouting reports were lining up. Of course he is a reliever at this point so limited value but the point people are making is Michael Young is no longer very good at baseball. Taking on part of his salary was us doing a favor to the Rangers. We shouldn’t have to give up things as valuable. If Bonilla pitches 3 years in the majors he will likely surpass the value that we get from Young the one season we get him. There were less intriguing Bullpen arms that could have been sent over.

        1. Does anyone know if Texas gave Ruben a list of relievers, starters or position players they were interested in? Texas has scouts too, so maybe Bonilla was the least of what we would have given up?? It would be nice to have that incite.

        2. That’s true of every deal for a veteran. You give up possible long-term help for short-term success. Our window is now with this aging team. If Young helps us get to the World Series I could care less what Bonilla does. Do we stick with unproven Frandsen for the entire year bc we’re afraid if dealing a minor league reliever?

          1. Do I think Frandsen is the answer, no. Do I think Michael Young is the answer, no. It’s not a dichotomy here. One of these players is being paid 1 million and the other cost 6 million and a pretty decent prospect after putting up -1+ WAR. He was one of the worst everyday players in the league. When you’re doing the other team a favor it shouldn’t cost you a piece as valuable as Bonilla. Not to mention it’s quite possible that Frandsen/Galvis while not appealing at all would outperform Young this year. Heck if we wanted an old guy we were banking on rebounding we could have just went with Polanco who was also worth more than Young in half the time last year.

        3. Less intriguing yes but you can’t judge Young by himself. Think of it this way. Take Young and another pitcher in our system, who might not have got the opportunity because of Bonilla, for 3 years and value that against Bonilla

      2. There are guys on the FA market who were better than Young last year, so I don’t think it was the best he could do. Especially since he gave up a guy who had over 12 K/9 in AA, and has maybe two plus pitches.

        1. Who was better than Young, that would have taken a 1 yr deal (& for 6 Mil)? Don’t you think they are leaving room for Asche?

          1. Unfortunately, Frandsen is better than Young. Offensively, Frandsen had a slightly positive WAR last year, while Young was negative. At age 36 I’m not betting on an improvement by Young.

            1. I will be shocked if Young doesn’t show me more when I WATCH the games. I don’t need some made up arbitrary stat to tell me about player. From what I WATCHED of Frandsen, Young can’t be too much worse in the field than Frandsen, and in a bad year Young clearly produced more than Frandsen offensively. Even forgetting the fact that Young has 2200 hits and Frandsen is 30 yr. old career minor leaguer.

            2. Well you haven’t watched Young as much as Frandsen now have you? The stats are done by people who have watched both. Defense isn’t just about not making errors it’s about having some range as well. Everyone around the league thinks Young is awful at defense and the stats back it up. The only hope of this move paying off is if he hits because he’s going to be bad in the field.

            3. Please tell me how you can absolutely measure range. I don’t care what any of the stat people tell me there is no way you can tell me you can absolutely give me a 100 % measure on range. If ya could they would showing these stats everywhere. They are arbitrary stats. I don’t think Young will be great or has been great in the field from what I hear. But I will take my chances with him and his pedigree on offense than a career minor leaguer who had 3 good months who I saw with my own eyes can’t field. Keep him as 100 AB guy and Frandsen will be fine. If ya expect to have winning team with him having to do more than that your crazy.

            4. They measure range by breaking the field down into measurable chunks. They then chart how far the player moved after the ball was hit. It gives a pretty solid idea of how much range a player has. It’s not 100% but it’s certainly better than “I know how good he is at defense. I watch him all year.”

            5. Do they measure how hard each ball comes off the bat on the one’s they get to and don’t get too? Do they measure how far away from each ball they were when they don’t get too it? Do they measure the quickness of each fielder? I don’t know just asking but somehow I doubt these are factored in. It seems almost impossible to measure these things and that is completely forgetting that if somebody positions themselves better than somebody else that takes the measure out of it anyway. I have no idea if Young will be good at 3B (probably won’t be). I just know Frandsen isn’t and Young is worth taking a chance on for the price. Obviously the Phils scouts think he is good enough to get by. I trust that more than the stats, and yes I know scouts have been wrong before as well. If he is as bad as some people think, worse comes to worse you use him as Utility guy and PH or trade him back to the AL. The fact that you have Galvis for the late innings also makes it worth taking a chance on as well.

            6. If you can confirm for me that all that stuff is included, and where the coach postioned a guy on top of it I am all ears. Somehow I don’t believe that will be the case.

            7. Also is the grass or turf measured for how high it is each day. Also the ground temperature if it is warmer will make the ball go faster. All of that should be factored when you see how fast the ball is going through the infield. Again if all of this calculated let me know.

            8. Do you realize your first sentence is looked at as completely ridiculous except to the overanalyzing stat universe.

    2. While I thought Bonilla had potential, and would like to still have him, I won’t kick myself if he becomes a good big leaguer. I think I’d kick myself more, if Ruben actually went into a season with Freddy Galvis and Kevin Fransden as their options at 3rd base.

  33. People need to calm down on this one. Bonilla is a talented reliever, but he’s a reliever who is coming off injury. I’m not saying the guy doesn’t have potential, but he is behind Aumont, De Fratus, Papelbon, Stutes and the Phils have Giles coming along as well.
    Young on a 1 year deal is fine. Did anyone really want Polanco again? I liked what Frandsen did, but over the long haul?
    It’s a gamble, but a good one. If Young can put up stats somewhere between is 2011 and 2012 season, it’s a win. Maybe Bonilla works out, but who can really say for sure.
    Finally, can people stop acting like all Amaro has to do is walk out and sign players. Youkilis would be great, but he has to agree to come here. He has a choice in the matter. And signing Bourn or Upton would forfeit the 16th overall pick and that pick will be a higher rated prospect than May or Bonilla

  34. I’m confused? I’ve followed this website for years & have been told that if a pitcher is not a starter, he loses considerable value as a prospect. Now it seems people are ready to jump off a cliff because we’re losing a reliever (Bonilla), yes he’s a great minor league reliever, but I’ve been hearing they’re easily replaceable, unless they become a lock down closer (what are those odds?). We needed someone to keep 3rd base warm for a year (Youkilis wanted a 2 or 3 yr deal for more than 6 Mil, I’ll bet). What were our options (Fransen, Galvis?). I realize Bonilla has talent, but talent alone doesn’t get one from a SSS in AA to closer status in the majors. The Phillies have a closer for 4 yrs & a number of other young RH canidates for the BP in the wings. I think I would have felt worse when they traded May, but we have Pettibone, Morgan, Martin & Bittle not that far away? Who predicted Worley would be such a success? I’m willing to give Young a chance to bounce back offensively & defensively. I hear he’s an excellent leader, clubhouse presence & professional. I’d like to think we’ll get his best effort.. Am I missing something? Just a side thought. What package of prospects would you be willing to give for Giancarlo Stanton??

    1. ‘What package of prospects would you be willing to give for Giancarlo Stanton??’…..to start Mike Schwimer, Aaron Altherr, BJ Rosenberg, Tyler Greene, and cap it off with their choice Anthony Hewitt or Jiwan James–not both. We are giving up a lot but what the heck…you have to pay for quality.

        1. Hilarious! I’m not sure the phillies, no I am sure the phillies don’t have enuff to give for Stanton. Even if they offered Quinn, bidder, and pettibone that’s not enuff for Giancarlo. Imo

      1. Are you sure you want to give up on Hewitt? That sounds awfully steep. LOL.

        Seriously, if they want Stanton they need to start with Brown, Martin, Joseph or Valle, Roman Quinn, and probably more. Don’t think they have the ammo and I doubt the Marlins will send him to a team in the division anyway.

    2. Relievers do have less value than other players, but they do still have value. What this mostly comes down to is that Michael Young isn’t very good. And it’s not like Bonilla was blocked just because we already have a closer. It sure was nice having Ryan Madson in Philly, even though we already “had a closer” for most of the time he was here.

  35. Dylan Hernandez‏@dylanohernandez: Source: #Dodgers closing in on a six-year, $145-million deal with Zack Greinke.

  36. Earlier today, the Phillies finalized their trade for Michael Young, solving their third base problem in an offseason where there were few options on the open market. One baseball source believes that the Phillies aren’t done yet and are still primed to do something “big”, which could be anything from pursuing Josh Hamilton to a late Zack Greinke run to a trade for an outfielder, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

      1. Actually, I question your use of the word “afford.” The Phillies have better local tv ratings than the Dodgers and are looking forward to a new contract just as they are. The difference is that the Dodgers are willing to disregard the luxury tax, which is a relatively minor penalty in the whole scheme of things. The owners have been using the luxury tax as an artificial ceiling to keep salaries down, but all it takes is for one team to disregard it and win, and all bets will be off.

        Anyway, point is, the Phillies could have agreed to pay a free agent $24 million in the offseason–it wouldn’t have affected their profitability. It’s just that they weren’t willing to. Maybe that was smart, maybe not, but it was a choice, not an inevitability

        1. I’d suggest the Yankees have been doing just that, and there haven’t been very many followers. Boston, The Phils got close, I’m not sure where Toronto will be after the load they took off Miami?

  37. Any chance that the Phillies work out some package to swipe Upton away from the D-Backs? I don’t know why they would want Rollins or Galvis over what Andrus would offer but I think it would be worth a phone call.

    1. None. I promise you that RAJ called, but we just don’t have what the D’backs want. Only way we swing a trade is a 3-way, and I can’t think of a scenario where the third team would rather want anything we can give them than Upton.

  38. Another off-season need to cross off the list. A center-fielder and a third baseman for a mere $6.5mm. Nothing exceptional, but good job so far by RAJ. Let’s remember that there was nothing out there as far as 3b options.

    1. And what he got was, essentially, nothing. The difference is we shipped out Bonilla for nothing. Lindblom was addition by subtraction, but Bonilla has too much upside for this trade to make any sense to me. I’d rather have Youk on a two year deal than Young on any kind of deal.

      1. LOL. Nothing? Young is certainly on the decline but your talking about a guy who batted .338 as recently as 2011. He was disgruntled in Texas (does anyone here not know of the recent history between Texas and Young?). I was actually hoping for Youk myself but at twice the price and twice the number of years I’d much rather have Young for a single season so we can bide the time to find out what we have in Asche.

        A prospect reliever in AA for a starting 3B who very well may lead the team in batting average? Sign me up

        1. I might add, a player that played wherever the team ask him too. Human nature being what it is, that might make someone a little less comfortable & less effective on defense & offense. I believe we have a player like that, who thinks he can only be a lead off hitter, whether he is or he isn’t. Did Jimmy want to switch to 3B to help the team? Many, who know Young, say he’s the consumate professional & a class act. We had a guy like that here in 2011, but he moved on to the Yankees & did a nice job, for the most part. He didn’t have a great yr in 2011 & I believe he was 40? Not everything is stats & occurs between the lines… For $6 Mil, a worthless major league RP & a minor league RH RP. I would take that gamble & hope Charlie knows how to use him! Sometimes the moves that aren’t blockbusters turn out the best. What blockbuster trades did the Giants make last yr.??

          1. There is some narrative work here. Two years ago when the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre and forced Young off of third he demanded to be traded for an entire offseason. There was also a good amount of complaining for all of the other position movements. The Phillies approached Rollins about a move (something I am not entirely sure they did), and like Young he didn’t agree, Young just happened to be peaceful when he was forced off.

  39. Count me in the hate the trade group. I did not want Young at almost any cost.
    I have no idea why Phillies move Bonilla to the bullpen when has 3 Major league pitches includes an plus plus out pitch. If Rangers are smart, they will instantly put him in their AA rotation and watch him become a #3 starter.
    Rangers had no place for Young, why did Phillies have to give up much of anything?
    I did not want Young at just about any cost. Rather get Mark Reynolds who is likely just as bad a fielder but would actually provide right handed power.

    After the Wilton Lopez deal looking smart for Amaro, the 2 deals he actually makes seems like signifcant overpays, but I am not a fan of what they got in return so I am obviously biased.

    1. So you think you’re smarter than the professionals who decided he couldn’t be a starter? Have you ever seen Bonilla? I bet he stays in the bullpen. I regret losing Bonilla too but let’s not overvalue what he is at this point.

    1. Why is everybody convinced that Young is done offensively. He’s one year removed from an amazing season. Is it impossible for him to bounce back?

      1. There are a couple of factors in that. One he is 36 years old and players are usually entering steep declines at that point. Have some had bounce back years at that age and older- rarely. The most recent example I can think of is Berkman who was a year younger. Also, Young below average power has been in decline for multiple years. It is not just a one year thing. Lastly, even if Young does bounce back offensively you are hoping for something like a 2 offensive WAR which he is more likely to give back defensively.

        1. Stats, stats stats…..last 4 year average of Young’s slash —.305/.350/.450/.800 — better then the average bear I would say.

          1. The problem with averaging his last 4 years is that there is a trend of decline, that is a decent method of looking at when a player is in their prime and their skills are relatively stable, even the scouting reports say that Young is declining.

          2. Ironic that anti-stats guy uses stats to make his argument. Picking and choosing which stats you use to base an argument on doesn’t make you smarter than the “stat-heads”.

    2. Probably not. People tend to think that just throwing a lot of decent or good players into a trade balances it, but you have to give up a star to get a star. You have to remember that star players are more valuable than just what they provide you on the field because they take up only one roster spot.

      Take, for example, a trade offer of 5 players who put up 2 WAR a year for, say, Chase Utley in his prime (6 WAR player). Now we’d be receiving 10 WAR for 6 WAR, so that would seem like a win for us, right? Except with Utley, you can fill the roster with 4 other players who put up 1-2 WAR (extremely easy to find), and you’re looking at a trade of 10 WAR for 10-14 WAR. And that’s assuming you can only find replacement level players to fill those other four spots, when in reality it’s pretty likely you have a 3-4 WAR player or two for some of those spots.

      Now we have to look at how we value the players you mentioned. Aumont and JDF are good, but they are bullpen pieces, and still somewhat unproven ones at that. There are always bullpen pieces to be found on the open market, so I doubt the D’backs see much value in them. Revere is a solid player, but certainly no star, plus the D’backs must think they have a surplus of OF talent if they are willing to deal Upton. Then we get into the prospects. Morgan is a solid prospect. He seems pretty likely to make it to the majors, but he’s no ace. He’d be low on the teams SP depth chart, what the D’backs want is an ace, not a number 4. Joseph is another solid prospect, probably one they’d think about, but certainly not a centerpiece in a trade for Justin Upton. Finally we have Quinn. He is someone that we can definitely dream on; a guy with the tool and potential to be a star at the MLB level, but he simply does not have the track record yet to be valued highly enough to be a center piece in this trade.

      So basically, the D’backs want star players, which is something we don’t have to offer them. The truth of the matter is we have plenty of players in our system that would be great for making a deal more appealing to other teams, but we lack a centerpiece that is needed to start the conversations.

    3. I tried posting this before, but it doesn’t seem to have gone through. I apologize if this ends up getting posted multiple times or if someone has to moderate it, etc.:

      Probably not. People tend to think that just throwing a lot of decent or good players into a trade balances it, but you have to give up a star to get a star. You have to remember that star players are more valuable than just what they provide you on the field because they take up only one roster spot.

      Take, for example, a trade offer of 5 players who put up 2 WAR a year for, say, Chase Utley in his prime (6 WAR player). Now we’d be receiving 10 WAR for 6 WAR, so that would seem like a win for us, right? Except with Utley, you can fill the roster with 4 other players who put up 1-2 WAR (extremely easy to find), and you’re looking at a trade of 10 WAR for 10-14 WAR. And that’s assuming you can only find replacement level players to fill those other four spots, when in reality it’s pretty likely you have a 3-4 WAR player or two for some of those spots.

      Now we have to look at how we value the players you mentioned. Aumont and JDF are good, but they are bullpen pieces, and still somewhat unproven ones at that. There are always bullpen pieces to be found on the open market, so I doubt the D’backs see much value in them. Revere is a solid player, but certainly no star, plus the D’backs must think they have a surplus of OF talent if they are willing to deal Upton. Then we get into the prospects. Morgan is a solid prospect. He seems pretty likely to make it to the majors, but he’s no ace. He’d be low on the teams SP depth chart, what the D’backs want is an ace, not a number 4. Joseph is another solid prospect, probably one they’d think about, but certainly not a centerpiece in a trade for Justin Upton. Finally we have Quinn. He is someone that we can definitely dream on; a guy with the tool and potential to be a star at the MLB level, but he simply does not have the track record yet to be valued highly enough to be a center piece in this trade.

      So basically, the D’backs want star players, which is something we don’t have to offer them. The truth of the matter is we have plenty of players in our system that would be great for making a deal more appealing to other teams, but we lack a centerpiece that is needed to start the conversations.

      1. And of course it shows up as soon as I post this (yes I did reload the page, multiple times, before I posted again).

  40. Change course for a minute because no, we don’t have what Arizona wants. I still think Texas will flinch and trade Andrus for him but that’s not our deal. What if the Marlins realize they can’t make their RF happy. Does an off of Dom, Valle, and Biddle to start get their attention? Stanton is better than Upton…

    1. I thought we went over this ground in other threads in the last couple of weeks. No we don’t have what it takes to land Stanton. If the Marlins wanted to trade him they get at least a top 10, a top 25, and a top 50 prospect. We maybe have one of those.

  41. Here’s the bottom line. The 3B market was dreadful, it could be a huge mistake to go into a season expecting Frandsen to come close to what he hit last year, you can’t pencil Galvis into 3B because we just can’t count on Utley to be healthy, Asche is a terrific looking prospect who is hopefully only a year away and we don’t want to block him, Bonilla has only pitched a few games above A ball and his body type relegates him to be a reliever, Lindblom gives up fly balls which will always be homers at CNP, Young is a professional who could get excited by the chance to start again on a veteran team with a chance to win and he could easily hit 300 for only $6M, for all these reasons, this was a decent move. Hopefully, more moves are still coming (Adams, corner OF, Lannan type SP).

  42. There has been a disturbing trend of the “and a prospect” portion of the trade being significant (Domingo Santana, Trevor May and now Bonilla) This trade looks good now but might sting in a few years. The cupboard seems to get thinner and thinner every year.

  43. Alright, i’m going to weigh in… I don’t care about Bonilla… just don’t. He wasn’t a top 10 prospect, and even more importantly, depending on how you weigh relievers, might not even be in the top 20. The best major league relievers uasually only become relievers late in their minor league careers or after they’ve made it to the majors.

    Bonilla may have been great, but he was JUST A RELIEVER!!! We’ve got a bunch of very good relievers. And they’re all much closer to MLB ready. I’m perfectly content with this.

    During the year EVERYONE on here talked about how they only wanted a stop gap, not a long term solution to the 3rd base position. Well guess what, we got one, for 6 million. As to how Young performs this year… I’d be happy to put a bet down he impoves over 2012. The 50th percentile to me is an OPS around 750, about 100 points higher then either Galvis or Frandensen would have achieved. Acceptable for the 6 million they’re spending and the flexibility after 2013.

    1. Bonilla probably was about #10 among our minor league prospects. An increasing number of major league relievers were drafted/signed with the intention from day one that they would be relievers in the major leagues. Many started at some point in their minor league career with the intent of building up their arms and giving them more IP to practice their stuff.

      I don’t think we are over-loaded with relievers. Many have said the major league pen was a weakness last year. Bonilla had both great success and electric stuff at AA last season. Aumont has almost as good stuff, but not the repeatability or success. I don’t think any of our other relievers, apart from Papelbon, can match Bonilla in terms of stuff. Some described him as having the best arm on the Phillies farm last season.

      Part of my view on the deal is that I don’t expect a bounce back from YOung, nor do I expect his overall game to be better than what Frandsen would have given us this season. Despite being described as a great clubhouse guy, there is a reason he has been on the block for several years.

      This trade continues a long line of trades in which RA has given more minor league players in order to take back more $ from the other team. This has hurt the Phillies long term prospects.

    2. By far the most rational thoughts on this topic. Bonilla likely has a future in a big league bullpen, but it’s not as if he’s the next Mariano Rivera. Young helps the club this year while not blocking the young 3B talent on the horizon, and gives RAJ financial flexibility to address needs in other areas. That’s worth a RHP relief prospect that would struggle to crack the organization’s top 10 list.

    3. Just a reliever ? Do you realize we lost over 20 games because of our bull pen. Bonilla could have been the setup man for paps as soon as 2013. And the opinion that he has done it in aball is crap. Weather it is rookie ball or big leagues. Stuff is stuff and Bonilla has it. Great pick up for rangers. Kudos to them and their scouting dept. they got their future closer or setup man or possible mid rotation starter if they decide to go that route.

  44. Apologies to the stat people for my slightly agressive nature last night. Just not a believer sorry. Just shows what about 10 to 15 beers will do. Good discussions out there. Don’t be offended by my use of the word geek. Nobody is more geekier than me, trust me. You can look at my screen name and know that.

  45. I disagree with the premise of Young that “he is well into his decline phase”. The man was 8th in the AL MVP voting just 2 years ago. He had one bad year. It may be a blip or it may be a decline, it is too early to tell. He did have a good September and he is now playing for his next contract, so I’m glad the Phillies are taking a chance on him bouncing back.

    This discussion thus far also seems to ignore the fact that Young gives the Phillies experienced depth at every infield position. Young has been very durable and healthy his whole career, averaging 157 games per year the last 3. Compare that to Rollins, Utley, and Howard. Considering those 3 all-time great Phillies infielders’ injury issues of the past 3 seasons, I would not be surprised to see the Rangers’ all time great infielder Michael Young playing fewer than half his games at 3B. I’m sure Young will also get some innings in the outfield in spring training at least. I think that who plays more at 3B between Young and Frandsen will be determined on the field by who Manual thinks gives the Phillies a better chance to win that day, and Charlie does like to play the hot bat. And he does prefer defense at 3rd with a ground ball pitchers. So, if Young slumps offensively or is putrid defensively, I’m not worried that Young will take playing time away from Frandsen or Galvis, if they happen to prove they deserve more playing time. An who will be a better right handed bat to play at 1B, Young or Mayberry? Offense will rule that decision. My biggest wish about this trade is that it means the end of Hector Luna (it really happened, June 3, 2012) playing 1B and batting clean-up!

    1. As I said, I’m not going to repeat all of the reasons why I disagree with this. But one point to make: he is 36 years old. The vast, vast majority of baebal lplayers have been in steep decline at that age. Even absent his historically poor 2012, we could assumer that he was in his decline phase. (I would add that he was nowhere near the 8th best player in the AL in 2011.)

      Now, aging paths are bumpy, and we can probably assume a small rebound given just how bad 2012 was. But to expect a signficant rebound is foolish,

      How bad was Young as an hitter in 2012? I could go on for pages & have in the past, but put it this way: Ty Wiggintoin was a better hitter than Young in 2012. Nix was better. So was Orr. Heck, Mike Fontenot was a little better.

      As for durability, I certainly hope 2013 is an exception to Young’s durability. Every day he is on the DL will be a good day for the Phillies.

      He has already become my least favorite Phillie ever.

        1. If Young is hitting .280/.330/.400 In July,, with few errors at third but limited range as well – about the best case as I see it – I’m sure that some people around here will (wrongly) feel vindicated. I’ll still hate the trade, because the whole package – hitting, fielding, base running – still won’t be all that great, not worth even the admittedly low cost to acquire him.

        1. What is rational, really, about ANY criteria for having a most/least favorite player? I’m not sure that “over the hill poor fielding thrid baseman who symbolizes the team’s poor talent judgment” is inherently a good reason to dislike a player, but it’s an infinitely better reason than the “reasons” why so many fans hate the best shortstop in franchise history.

            1. I have watched Larry Bowa and I love Larry Bowa as a player (not a manager), but Larry Bowa is no Jimmy Rollins.

      1. Larry: Freddy Garcia, Danny Tartabull and Andy Ashby all send their thanks for giving them a night off.

  46. Not going to repeat all the reasons why I hate this. In sort, a player in steep decline.

    That said, it’s true that the downside is low. They didn’t give up much, and, while I think this is subtraction by addition – i.e., he makes the team worse – he likely doesn’t make the team much worse. Even if he doesn’t rebound at all (and he likely will, a little) and Manuel stubbornly sticks with him (as is likely) he probably only costs the Phillies a couple wins.

    But as I said, the real problem is yet another example of horrendous talent judgment for position players by the front office. I could go on for paragraphs, but let’s hit the one factor that, while not most important in this case, is none the less important and is a thread through esssentially every acquistion of a position player in the Amaro era: the Phillies are one of two or thre teams in the game who continue to undervalue BB. Look at the sorry examples (career unless otherwise stated):

    Young 6.6 carreer, 5.1 last year.
    Revere 5.4
    Nix 5.9
    Pierre 5.7
    Fransen 5.4
    Wiggington 7.5 (the best of this sorry group)
    Pence 7.3 (not bad compared to most of these others; it was lower when he was acquired)
    Polanco 5.4

    And now they apparently favor Ross (7.4) over Swisher (13.3).

    To give you some perspective, last year the national league average was 8.0%. That includes pitchers and bench players. People complain about Rollins and Vic being free swingers, but their career percentages are 7.6 and 7.8 respectively, and Rollins has been over 8% in 4 of the past 5 seasons. Utley is at 9.8, and that doesn’t account for his unussual number of HBP. Howard, also criticized for lack of plate discipline, is at 12.0.

    The one least controvestial and at the same time most impactful insight of the modern statistical revolution is probably the insight that BB are much more valuable than historically realized. This insight has been adopted by almost every major league franchise. Amaro is one of the few hold outs. And the results have been predictiable: the Phillies have gone from being one of the best teams in the league at drawing walks to one of the worst.

    Is that the main reason the current Phillies’ lineup is (as it stands now) in the bottom half of the league? No. But it is a contributing factor, and one that is very worrisome going forward.

    1. While I partially agree with you the Base on Balls is one of the most misused stats by the Sabremetrics people.The value of a walk is probably more situational than any other stat we measure. A walk to start off an inning is as valuable as a hit. Hell, a walk in that situation is probably more valuable than a first pitch hit since it ups the pitch count. A walk with two outs, a runner on second and a weak hitter up next has much less value.

      1. There is a situational aspect to this, but to a much lesser extent than “traditional” baseball recognized. Your example provides one of the most extreme possible examples of where a BB is of lesser value. Even there, take “weak hitter” out of the equation and the run expectation still goes up with a BB because of the greater chance of a multi run inning. In the vast, vast majority of situations BB are quite valuable. Mostly not as valuable as a hit, but then hitting metrics don’t assign it as much value as a hit. Obviously there is a situational variance (as there is for any hitting outcome), but a BB generally is worth about 75% as much as a single.

        But really situational hitting doesn’t even enter into the discussion when we talk about using BB to evaluate player performance over the course of a season where the “situational” performance evens out. It’s not like players “choose their spots” as to when to get a walk (except to a very limited extent, and not one that varies much from player to player).

        As for “Base on Balls is one of the most misused stats by the Sabremetrics people,” the fact that the Phillies’ front office apparently shares this provably false piece of misinformation is one of the reasons why I do not believe that the Phillies will make the post season again until 5 years after Amaro is fired.

    2. Pat Burrell, helped in the BB srars, he was the best on the Phillies during his tenure in pinstripes.

    3. I would rather have Ross at 2 for 12 or 14M than Swisher for what it looks like he will get. I agree with you that I wish we could get guys who walk more but Swisher is being overvalued. He might be the least clutch guy I have ever seen.

  47. Larry, et al,
    Are you using metrics to determine “steep decline?” How does one differentiate between just a really bad year (which preceded a pretty damn good one) and a disconcerting trend? When a player has a especially bad year at 36, does that necessarily mean the next will be worse? I’m asking in all honesty. I don’t love the trade, but have not given up all hope that Young’s trendlines will not be absolutely continuous…

    1. It isn’t just the metrics, for the most part those of us making the steep decline argument are combining the declining stats with scouting reports that say he has slowed down both at the plate and in the field. The key is take all the information and see if all tells you the same thing, if not figure out what you are missing.

    2. I’m not just using “metrics.” And as I said, his 2012 was SO bad, some rebound in his hitting can be expected. If I had to venture a prediction, I’d say .280/.320/.390. Which is a little (not much) better than Frandsen will likely do, though I think Frandsen is a better fielder than Young at this stage of Young’s career. The supporting evidence that he is, despite this, in steep decline:

      (1) As I said, the baseline assumption given normal aging curves is that a player of his age (36) is in steep decleine.

      (2) A close look at his numbers supports this. ISO and BB% have each declined each of the past 3 years. His batted ball data supports a decline narrative – his ground balls were up last year, fly balls and line drives down.

      (3) His baserunning metrics have declined; he’s not a prototypical speed guy, but he has relied more on his legs that a steroetypical power hitter, so this is a small factor to consider.

      (4) There have been reports that his swing speed is down, consistent both with his age and the numbers.

      There is a debate on this site about whether the front office is too attached to veterans. I take an intermediate view on this issue. But, with the possible exception of “star” level players (and Young does not qualify), it is almost always foolish to rely upon regular position players over the age of 35.

      1. LarryM…do you think Michael Young, if he plays 3/4 more years and gets 2700 hits, will be a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame?

        1. Okay, you’re obviously baiting me … but there’s never been a time when a player like Young would have been a serious HOF candidate, and, with eveolving understanding of player value, he certainly won’t in the current era. He was a solid regular for 10 years, but never really a true star.

          His best comp is Ray Durham. It’s actually a pretty good comp. Durham was a little (not a lot) better. Durham obviously won’t get many HOF votes. In past ages Young’s better BA would have gotten him more votes than Durham, though not nearly enough to be a serious candidate, These days voters have a more sophisticated understanding of player value, so Young won’t do much if at all better in HOF voting. If either player returns to the ballot for a second year it will be a schock.

          1. That sophisticted understanding you talk about is a joke. If that sophistication is about what you see on paper than being able to see a great player with your own eyes than that statement is ridiculous. This is typical of what is annoying about the stat stuff. Not saying Young is a HOFer at all, but this is the typical overanalysis that is annoying. I love this site and what it brings, and I know you stat guys are passionate about it, but I wonder how many games are actually getting watched.

            1. Look, there’s no way I’m going to convince you of this in a comment section. The simple fact is that more than 80% of the conclusions of modern statistical analysis have been accepted by 90% of baseball front offices – the very people who (at the same time) have most to lose by being wrong, and who tend to be (less so now, but still to a large degree) predisposed to reject that knowledge. Both numbers are conservative. They wouldn’t accept this stuff unless the evidence in support oif it was overwhelming.

              The hold outs are a few older journalists and a lot of uneducated fans. And two or three baseball front offices. Phillies fans are particularly resistant to this because the front office is probably the most conservative in terms of modern statistical analsyis and (until now) has been very successful over a course of years. There doesn’t happent o be a causal relationship between those facts (and ironicly, the successful Phillies teams looked very much like the kind of teams that a beleiver in modern statistical analysis would have built).

              Of course there are times where the eyes trump the numbers. (Though usually using BOTH is optimal.) But when evaluating performance restrospectively, espiecally hitting and base running (less so defense), there is little that the eyes can tell you that the numbers can’t. We have an incredibly accurate understanding of how the components of hitting add up to scoring runs and winning. The only remotely controversial aspect of hitting analysis is situational hitting, and even there we have numbers – the only issue is what if any weight to give those numbers. I’d go so far to say that for retrospective analysis of hitting, there is literally nothing that the “eye test” can contribute to the numbers. That’s less true of fielding, and less true of predictive analysis – especially for prospects. But none of the numbers guys claim otherwise.

              The irony here is that with Young, as usual, the scouting reports (lost a step defensively, was never a great defender to begin with, loss of bat speed) dovetail with the numerical analysis. The dissenters likely haven’t seen Young play much at all – they aren’t relying upon watching the player, they are relying upon an unsophisticated understanding of the stats. Oh, he batted over .270 last year in a down year, and is a year removed from a .330 season – with over 100 RBIs! That’s not watching him play, that’s incomplete (I’m being generous) statistical analysis.

            2. If what you are saying is true that 90 % of front offices rely on stats completely that is ridiculous. If that was the case advance scouting could be done away with and we could just look at the computer at the stats. Do I think some to these stats are relevant and used by front office people, I do? But Ruben didn’t go to Community College. If he felt all these stats were relevant (not to mention a HOFer Pat Gillick) he could have got rid of all of his scouts and just looked at the computer. You guys make it look like it’s a game of Strat O Matic. There is human element. Guys rebound from bad seasons, and god forbid if Ruben doesn’t completley buy the range stat that without a doubt leaves a lot of room for doubt to it’s legtimacy. If you prefer a career minor leaguer to start that is your choice.

            3. You’ve obviously been drinking again because no one is that bad at reading comprehension,

              No one but no one says that modern statistical analysis is the only thing to consider. Smart knowledgeable people – including 90% of front offices and all of those stat geeks – incoporate both. Less smart front offices – the Phillies and a couple others – rely almost entirely on tradtional scouting, valuable yes, but like fighting with one (statistical) hand tied behind their back.

              Stupid and or uninformed fans and WIP listensers rely on neither, just unsophisticated and incomplete ststistical “analysis” combined with thier own biases and poor instincts.

              You’re embarassing yourself with everything you post. Please leave this site and return to your fellow morons at WIP you simpleton.

      2. Why do you necessary believe Frandsen wil do as good as you say Young will do on 3 months of hitting. This is one of my big beefs with people and their projections of prospects and people with small amounts of time in the league. All I hear about is upside but the fact that they haven’t done it for long is never involved. More so in the case of Frandsen who is a career minor leaguer.

        1. You do realize the slash line he propsed is terrible right? He also said Young will do better than Fransden, albeit slightly. This debate essentially has nothing to do with stat-heads, sabermetrics, range factor, or whatever else you want to throw out there. It boils down to one question, why would you trade ANYTHING of value for a light-hitting, poor-fielding third baseman when you already have one making $5 million less? The odds of him replicating his 2011 are so low it makes little sense.

          As for “upside”, people here do tend to get a little carried away with their favorite prospects but there has been a disturbing trend in Amaro’s tenure to pay for past performance rather than future potential. This trade is a prime example. We can all debate what Bonilla can/will become but even as a solid bullpen piece he offers the organization more value than what Young is likely to give over what a Fransden/Galvis platoon would have.

          1. Well I disagree. I will take my chances that Young will rebound slightly over the possibilty that Frandsen will do as good or just slightly less than he did when he played everyday. I want Frandsen to PH and get 100-150 AB’s. All for that. If we had a better option than either Young or Frandsen to start I would be all for it. No offense maybe we traded some value, but I don’t think it is anything that is going to break us. I guess we will agree to disagree. Just don’t see how Young could be so awful in the field that if he would somehow come close to hitting how he has in the past, that he is not worth taking a chance on. We did win a division in 2007 with Dobbs and Helms playing a good majority of the games albeit we stll had a good fielder also playing in Nunez (we can put Galvis in too). Helms was like a statue and Dobbs had slightly better range and made plenty of errors. I am sure their “dWAR” accoridng to you guys was better, but I don’t care. I know those guys were awful we will see how bad Young is. The way some people make it sound he might go out to the field with his glove on the wrong hand.

            1. Obviously Wildwood is smart. Probably had a few beers at Westy’s earlier to enjoy his day of watching football.

            2. Comparing this team to the 2007 version is just a terrible idea. We were an offensive JUGGERNAUT back then. To the point where our offense covered up a whole lot of our problems. In addition, even if Helms and/or Dobbs were as bad as Young is, Rollins had some more range back then to at least mask some of it. He’s no longer got the same range, and we no longer have an offense that will carry us. Our pitching is vastly improved, sure, but pitching is very reliant on defense and our defense isn’t looking too great at the moment.

            3. Than Young? Youkilis. Or a platoon of Frandsen any just about anyone. Our rag-tag team of 3B last year put up better offensive numbers than Young did. Add onto that the very obvious difference in defense, and you can count me among the many people who wanted no part of Young.

            4. Again I guess nobody recovered from a bad year. 2 years ago he hit .330 with 100 RBI’s. If you want to sabermetrically tell me that was a bad year, fine, it will just show that it doesn’t make sense. I hope he cuts those years in half. It will be better than Frandsen’s career year last year. Somehow sabermetrics don’t project a decline for a 30 year old career minor leaguer who had the best 3 months of his life. This is so Philadelphia. Jump on the band wagon of a guy who had a great 3 months and he looks likehe tries hard. Somewhere Ricky Otero is smiling.

            5. If we didn’t predict a regression for Frandsen, we would want him to be the de facto starter, not a platoon partner, now wouldn’t we? Are you even really reading our arguments?

            6. A smart projection for Frandsen would be let him be this years Pete Orr or Martinez because he is a better hitter. Let’s not rely on him to be half of a platoon because he had a great 3 months. Never mind the other half of the platoon can’t hit yet either even though he is a great fielder.

  48. Re: WAR … I will start caring about this stat when somebody gives me a GOOD explanation of how Jimmy Rollins can be considered a “replacement level” player defensively for his gold glove 2012 season.

    1. Well first of all Gold Gloves are not the best measures of defensive talent. It’s normally built on highlight plays, reputation and fielding percentage. It’s also awarded to players who hit pretty well at their positions as well. As far as Rollins’ dWAR being 0 for last year according to Baseball Reference well it appears they grade defenders differently than Fangraphs which has Rollins at something like 4.4 UZR for 2012. Of course that figure wasn’t as good as other qualified SS but like I said the Gold Glove is given on reputation. My guess is Baseball Reference values Range a little more than Fangraphs does and so Rollins who doesn’t have as much range anymore but is very sure handed and still average range is valued worse for the dWAR.

            1. Compared to I know what an above average shortstop looks like. I have seen bad ones and good ones. I hate to tell ya the game hasn’t changed that much over 35 years. If anything it’s more watered down because of expansion. If you think Jimmy Rollins is just average or below in the field even at this point of his career you must not watch the games.

        1. Or that you aren’t as in touch with other players as you think you are. Rollins is the greatest shortstop the Phillies have ever had, and in his prime could field with the best of them. But he’s in the decline part of his career, his range is going down, and there’s a new batch of hot-gloved shortstops.

          1. He may be in decline in the field (but it’s slight) but as I said above if you think you can’t win with how he fields at this point of his career you must not be watching the games.

            1. Where did anyone even suggest we couldn’t win with how Rollins fields? Has anyone even said he’s bad? Hell, has anyone said he’s even below average?

              We said he was average, LAST YEAR. That could mean he had a down year, or that SS has just become that much better (which I believe it has with the influx of new SS last year). And even if that is what we should expect going forward, an average fielding MLB SS is still a great fielder. Hell, a bad fielding MLB SS (Castro) is still a better fielder than most, if not all, of the people on his team. Add onto that the fact that Rollins is well above-average to great as a hitter at SS and you have a player who is immensely valuable to his team. Especially considering his contract is a relative bargain for us (assuming no precipitous decline or career ending injury).

            2. Agree to disagree on this. You will never convince he is not an above average SS even at this point of his career.

            3. Which is because you don’t listen to what anyone is saying, you just assert your opinion as if it’s fact.

              Have you even watched all of the other starting SSs in the NL on anything like a regular basis? Of course not, no one can do that. Do you even understand what the word ‘average” means?

              Desmond, Cozart, Crawford, and Barmes grade out better than Rollins via fan graphs, which has Rollins as an above average (but not much) SS. Tejada, Reyes, and Lowrie are just below him, but close. Furcal is much worse. Starlin Castro, who has great range but boots everything, grades out better than Furcal but worse than the central group. Rollins looks decent but not spectacular by the numbers in the NL, but 10 of the 14 SSs in the AL grade out ahead of him. Andrus, Perhalta, Carroll, Ryan, and Pennington grade out far better. Which makes Rollins, considering ALL regular SSs, somewhere pretty near the middle of the pack.

              Does that mean you can’t win with him? Of course not. Does that mean he’s not historically consistent, and that one could not claim that would have a positive impact on the rest of the team? No, but show some evidence.

              There’s nothing worse than reading posts that argue by shouting “is so” and “is not” at high volume at one another with no more evidence than “I knows what I knows.”.

            4. Appreciate the input, but not a believer. I am not saying my statements are facts these are my opinions. I may feel strongly about them but they are my opinions. Just as you guys feel strongly about yours. We go back and forth for a while eventually we agree or we agree to disagree. No harm, no foul.

            5. FWIW, UZR, which is probably the most respected fielding metric, still sees him as an above average defender at SS. He was 12th (AL and NL combined) in the 2012 Fielding Bible awards, which is based on voting by a number of respected, mostly stat oriented, experts. That dovetails fairly closely with the UZR result and my subjective observations. A little above average at this stage of his career, but no longer elite. That’s the lowest he has been since they started the awards. He was first in 2008.

              I do think it’s interesting that Rollins was being absolutely roasted by his critics for his defense early in the season (and while I don’t tend to respect the opinions of those critics, fielding metrics did somewhat support that point of view). The consensus of both subjective observers and the fielding metrics is that his defense improved as the season went on.

              Al of this is to say that, unless you believe that Rollins’ defense is still elite, as opposed to “just” somewhat above average, you’re agreeing with the consensus of the defensive metrics crowd. Total Zone Rating, relied upon by baseball-reference.com, is a bit of an outlier.

            6. That is basically what I am saying. I don’ t think he is the best or even one of the best. Everyone loses a step at 33 or 34. I just still think he clearly an above average fielder and is not far off that top rung of guys.

            7. Rollins is an above average defender at SS for guys that have track records and sticking power. There are a lot of glove only guys who can’t hit for crap that bounce around for a few years and then disappear that play great defense. But overall they just don’t get much coverage and like I said don’t have much sticking power because they’re not good at hitting.

    2. WAR has barely been mentioned in this thread, and personally I don’t tend to use if much, but you picked a rather poor example. WAR overall loves Rollins’ 2012 season, viewing him as 4.9 wins better than replacement, which is fantastic – “star” level play and the 2nd best WAR total among 2012 NL shortstops.

      As for his defense, first of all, if there is an issue at all it isn’t WAR but defensive metrics – but even there, no, those metrics don’t see him as a replacement level player – not even close. They see him as 4.4 runs better than average – and average is a lot better than “replacement level.” In fact, in the NL in 2012 it places him third among qualifiers (a lot of the better defensive shortstops did have enough PA). The way WAR works is that the overall value is compared to replacement level, not individual apects of play (hitting, base running and fielding).

      Now, you COULD argue that his gold glove is proof that defensive metrics are flawed. In this case, I think the opposite is true: Rollins is still a very good shortstop, but the GG was not deserved. He is no longer the best fielding shortstop int e league.

      1. Sincerely, thank you. I guess the different ways to measure WAR turns me off. I used the GG as a reference. Regardless, according to my vision … Jimmy is much preferred over an average SS or a replacement … IMO. Also, IMO, RANGE stats are affected by other factors besides a players ability. ie … catchers arm (putouts at second), OF arm (putouts on relay throws), strikeout pitchers (less opportunities in general), etc

        1. Well, the truth is that I’m much, much less interested in convincing people to accept WAR – which DOES have its problems – than with more fundemental aspects of modern statistical analysis.

          But while we are on the subject of fielding metrics – again, that’s distinct from WAR which uses fielding metrics along with hitting and base running metrics – a few points:

          (1) They don’t (yet) have the reliability of hitting metrics, but
          (2) Gold gloves are noteriously worse, a popularity contest more related to (a) hitting and (b) past reputation than cur\rent reality, and
          (3) Fielding metrics DO consider everything you mention (whether they do so accurately is a different question). The one position fielding metrics is worst on. though, is catcher, given the dificulty of measuring calling a game/framing pitches.

          1. Totally agree the gold glove is no measure and that it is absolutely a popularity contest. See B. Abreau/R. Palmeiro among others.

        1. No one’s disputing that. There just happen to be a lot of really good fielding SS in the MLB at the moment.

    3. Shortstop is an interesting position when it comes to metrics. Based on how teams prioritize the average major league shortstop has to be at least a 60 defensive player (there are some notable exceptions) so to say a player is average is actually quite a complement. I think the metrics are a little off on Rollins defense but he is a middle of the pack defensive shortstop with a well above average bat.

      The other thing as people have said is that Gold Gloves are a terrible indicator of defensive ability. Outside of some grassroot campaigns for some players it is mostly a name recognition thing and the player that is flashy as opposed to making everything routing is going to win it.

    4. Couldn’t agree more. If you watch Jimmy Rollins and you tell me he is a lower than a replacement player in his fielding you don’t know what you are talking about.

        1. It’s not true. He was average among big league SS defensively last year, which is generally a hell of a lot better than replacement.

          1. If he was average last year the play around the league must have really gone up. He still looked really good to me.

            1. Think about how good Galvis was on defense in his short time with us. It’s not a stretch to say he was better than Rollins (although Rollins is clearly superior as an overall player). Galvis wasn’t even the best fielding shortstop last year.

  49. I have to laugh when I read that a 277 season is the worst ever. I must be watching a different game…

    1. Of course, we judge players only by their batting average. Who said Young’s season was the worst ever? A sub-.700 OPS for a poor-fielding 3B is certainly not at all good.

    2. Murray,

      No one is saying the worst ever – just worst full time position player (as opposed to pitchers, ie., counting DHs as position players) in 2012. This is exhibit twenty thousand as to why why you can’t judge players primarily by batting average:

      (1) Few BB;
      (2) No power;
      (3) A DH (Young: .312 OBP, .370 Slg; average DH, .339 OBP,447 SLG);
      (4) Playing in a hitter’s park;
      (5) An incredibly poor fielder on the infrequent occasions when he was called upon to play the field; and
      (6) A lousy base runner.

      Again, what regular position player was worse? Compare him with the immortal Jeff Francouer. Yes, 42 more points of BA for Young. But Francouer played right field, was poor defensively but not as poor as Young, had more power than Young and a slightly better BB% and played in a slightly worse hitting park. Now, even purely subjective analysis will tell you that those advantages roughly make up for 42 points of BA. WAR says Francouer was better; frankly they are close enough that I don’t put much weight on it. But Francouer was really bad, one of the bottom 5 for sure.

      The irony here is that, assuming that Young does make a slight rebound offensively, and makes few errors on the field (but has the range of a lump of rock), a lot of people around here will be claiming vindication – when in fact he will be hurting the team. Or at least not helping, which is really the best (reasonable) case scenario.

      Now, it’s entirely possible that I’m too pessimistic going forward – maybe he will rebound to a greater extent than I expect, maybe his defense at third will be just bad and not horrendous. But I am certain – to at least a 99% confidence level – that he was one of the 5 worst full time non-pitchers in the game last year. I don’t need advanced metrics to confirm that, though they do.

      To put it another way, Phillies third basemen in 2012 hit .289/.335/.370. Young was worse than that last year, but may beat it next year. But Phillies’ third basemen as a group also were better than average fielders. Is it reasonable to expect that Young will better those hitting numbers by enough to make up for the runs he costs the team in the field? No.

      1. ‘But I am certain – to at least a 99% confidence level – that he was one of the 5 worst full time non-pitchers in the game last year’…so basically there were approx 250 players better then Michael Young last year? Dang, we should have waited for the Rangers to buy out his last year and release him or something, then snatched him up.

        1. Name 5 full time non pitchers who were worse. This shouldn’t be remotely controversial, whatever evaluation methods one uses.

          1. Larry, what do you think about this lineup.
            Rollins
            Young
            Utley
            Howard
            Brown
            Ruf
            Kratz
            Revere

            Halladay
            Hamels
            Lee
            Cloyd
            Veteran 5th starter

            1. Why in the name of all that is holy is Cloyd above Kendrick on the starter depth chart? Also, please don’t bat Young second… please.

            2. Well first of all I don’t see why you would put Cloyd ahead of Kendrick. And I hope you aren’t suggesting that Kratz replaces Ruiz for the season, but just for the suspension.

              That said, that has the look to me of an 85 win team if everyone stays healthy. Maybe 88 if everything breaks right. Below .500 if their are signficant injuries. The offense is below average. The pitching is enough above average to more than counteract that if there are few injuries.

        2. You can’t buy out a player for less than his full salary, unless the player is a fool, which Young does not appear to be.

  50. Now, if the “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” debate can be interrupted , I would like to point out my belief that the parameters of the Young trade are being inaccurately reported. If you check the T.R. Sullivan article on http://www.mlb.com the trade is given as:
    Texas kicks in $ 10.5 million of Young’s salary and both sides split the extra $1.2 million .
    MLBTR’s Axisa links to that article, but gives the trade as Texas kicks in $10 million and Philly pays the whole nut of the $1.2 million in extra benefits. Then it appears other media outlets are just passing along Axisa’s inaccurate paraphrasing. What gives?

    One of those is probably right , so using either of those either the total cost to Philly is 6.1 million or 7.2 million. I say, that once Texas agreed to either the 10 million or 10.5 million assumption of salary , then any extra should of been borne by them also, since they are the ones receiving the main financial benefit. Once the haul to Young exceeded the 16 million of his scheduled salary,and one cent of that was passed to Philly, they should have backed out of the deal.
    How about taking a stand for right is right, just like they did with J.D. Drew way back when?

      1. I say it was one guy. They did not have to do it. They wanted to carry MLB’s water and they did it. IT has been said this set them back for years, along with some “prospects” traded for MLB pieces, which did not turn out to be anything. (and I will bet alot of these “great loss” trades of today will be similar. Why not blame the MLBPA for not allowing a more equitable compensatory system for unsigned draft picks to come to pass in those days? The player procurement problems of those days sprung from not picking the right kinds of players, not picking the right players when they did, and not spending the right amount of money for the right kinds of players they did pick.

    1. Yep, and Phillies tried to move Aumont back to the rotation after the Lee trade. That the Rangers are trying to move him back to the rotation isn’t a surprise.

    2. A lot more heat than light going into this thread. I don’t think anybody is persuading anybody on the Young vs. Frandsen/Galvis elements of this trade.

      In the interest of trying to change the dialogue, can anyone offer an opinion of Bonilla’s projection vs. that of Kenny Giles who also has some nasty stuff but a somewhat different arsenal of pitches. It seems to me that some of the projection on Bonilla mirrors that of Giles. Could Amaro have swapped out Bonilla with Giles and would that have been a good move?. Neither is that close to big league ready. By the same token, not every reliever who is projected highly will reach full potential and if each did, the bullpen wouldn’t be big enough to hold them all.

      1. I disagree that Bonilla and Giles’ projection mirrors each others, unless someone can tell me what Giles’ plus-plus secondary pitch is. All I’ve heard about him is “great fastball”.

      2. I don’t know of any of Giles’ pitches that rivals Bonilla’s change. In addition, if you have one pitcher who has a plus change and one who has a plus, say, curve, I’ll take the former all day, assuming all other things are equal. In part because I believe a change is harder to learn, but also because a change is basically the perfect secondary pitch. There was a study done last year that showed change-ups have reverse platoon splits to cutters, so a pitcher with a change learning a usable cutter can be a dominating force. In fact, we’ve seen what can happen with that from Hamels.

        1. You would be wrong, a good breaking ball whether a curve or slider is much harder to learn than a change up.

      3. They each have one pitch. Giles has a legit high 90 mph fastball and Bonilla has a terrific change up. Who has the higher upside? I’d bet on Giles and his legit fastball but that’s me. Bonilla is 140 lbs sopping wet and I think they’re worried about whether he can last an entire season.

        1. Bonilla’s fastball is in the low-mid 90s. You make it sound like he’s Austin Hyatt. Bonilla has a good fastball, just not as good as Giles’.

  51. Inciarte, who has played 310 career minor league games in center field, posted a career high OPS of .797 combined at two levels, the Class A Midwest League and the Class A Advanced California League, in 2012. Additionally, Inciarte uses speed as a key to his offense, as he stole 46 bases in 58 opportunities last season and sports a 73% success rate in SB attempts during his pro career.

  52. it really ticks me off how matt winks will agree with EVERYTHING larry says. Another thing that ticks me off is that Larry and his shadow matt go WAY to deep into saber metrics. Stats only go so far, especially advanced stats. Saying michael young was the worst every day player last year is just false. hitting .277 with 27 doubles and 8 HR WILL help a team. His defense was poor, yes Galvis will be in late game situations and he will at least be able to hold his own over there. You have to be in the win NOW mode a little bit and giving up only Linblom and Bonilla for a proven vet and paying less than half of his deal was no question the right move. As a GM you can’t go into a season with your only options at 3rd being a 23 year old .220 hitter with little to no power, and 30 year old journeymen who is a career .260 hitter with NO power, in fact only 9 home runs in 763 at bats. Remember everyone said Jeter was done an i’m sure people were throwing out all those saber metrics just like you guys pointing to decline, but then how was his 2011, and 2012 season? I’m going to end it on saying i’m very glad that Ruben took advantage of good deal in place to get a proven hitter and to fill a void for a decent bull pen piece and prospect.

    1. The irony John (did you move from the Northeast to wildwood? Could be a different John I guess) is that I intentionally stayed mosty away from advanced statistical analysis in talking about Young. As others have pointed out, you don’t need to use advanced analysis to see how bad Young was last year. If he was a decently fielding third baseman, .270 with 27 doubles and 8 HR would have been marginally acceptable – heck, that more or less describes the Phillies third baemen last year, when they had a huge hole at third. But he wasn’t; he was a DH who, when he played the field, was horrible defensively. Those numbers for a DH are horrible – and again, one does not need advanced analysis to prove that.

      Going forward of course is a different matter. Again, it’s not a matter of advanced statistical analysis; a 36 year old coming off a horrible year, who hasn’t played third base regularly since 2010, seems like a pretty poor risk for rebound season. Whatever methods of evaluation and prediction you use.

      Of courser the irony is that I’d guess that the disenters haven’t seen much of Young either. They are relying upon their own crude and incomplete statistical analysis. If someone whose opinions I respected told me that they watched Young at thrid base for most of his meager 215 inning, and that he was better than the numbers indicated, i would put a lot of weight on that. But that isn’t what is happening.

      1. .277 so you are essentially rounding down 7 points so just say .280 lol, and yeah i did move from the northeast. Regardless of his D he is better than option we have as an overall ball player

        1. Please pick one of these option for third base:
          A: .289 average with 5 homeruns, 3 triples, 27 doubles, 34 walks, 66 strikeouts, and above average defense.
          B: .277 average with 8 homeruns, 3 triples, 27 doubles, 33 walks,
          70 strikeouts, and bad defense.

          A is what we got from the Phillies at 3B last year, B is what Young “produced” last year. Now maybe you look at 3 home runs and say “well, that’s at least 3 more runs.” But then, you’re missing out on .012 points of batting average, you lose a free base (one walk), you generate 14 more GUARANTEED outs (strikeouts), and you lose a decent amount of runs due to the drop in defense. Oh, and you’re paying more to get less.

          1. By the way, I didn’t include Wigginton because he’s also terrible. But he hit 11 homeruns by himself, so if you really want those extra 3 homeruns back, plug him in.

        2. And as usual everyone completely disregards that he had a great year at the plate 2 years ago. Apparently if you have a bad year after a great year you are automatically finished. He obviously has no shot of rebounding to cut those 2 years in half (which would blow away last years production including Frandsen’s career 3 months), I guess the sabermetrics say that can’t happen.

          1. Even if he does match his 2011 at the plate, his defense is bad enough to significantly cut into his value. Of course, it’s unlikely that he does match 2011.

            I’m looking at his 2010 numbers, thinking that’s a fairly reasonable line to expect from him next year, though probably with less power. Coupled with his defense and baserunning, it’s not something I’m excited about for next year.

          2. His trend over the past few years has been downward. He’s 36, which is not an insignificant detail. In addition, unless there was an injury that he is just now recovering from, the most recent data samples are always more relevant than older ones. Now last year was probably a fluke to some degree, but so was his 2011 because there is no way in hell can he sustain a .367 BABIP, especially at his age.

            But you’re missing most our point. We are not saying he can’t rebound. In fact, he probably will. What we ARE saying, is that his rebound is most likely not going to be to his 2011 stats, and that even with a rebound he is not likely to be worth more than our alternative options (mostly due to defense).

            1. Not to quibble, but Young hit .338 in nearly 700 plate appearances in 2011. When your average is that high, your BABIP is going to be up there as well.

              On the other hand, consider that his BABIP last season was .299 — 35 points below his career average. If 2011 can be written off as a fluke, can’t 2012 be held to the same standard?

            2. “Now last year was probably a fluke to some degree, but so was his 2011…”

              Which is exactly what I said. Averages tend to be the best gauge, although more recent numbers plus scouting reports need to be given a little more weight because, well, they’re recent and a player is likely to change over a decade.

            3. Averaging out 2011 and 2012 — which appear to be polar extremes for Young at the plate — we get a .308/.347/.423 line. The .770 OPS would have ranked 11th in baseball this past season among 3B. Now, I’m not saying he’s going to put up this line, but given his career numbers, I think its more realistic then expecting the same production from, say, Freddy Galvis or Kevin Frandsen. I think Young’s worth the gamble for one year at $6m.

            4. His 2011 looks more like an outlier than 2012 does. Average in his 2010 as well and it comes down even more. His career numbers are interesting: 3 well above-average years (2011, 2009, 2005), and the rest range from slightly above-average to well below-average. In addition to this, is the general downward trend of his career (even his best years follow this trend, strangely, 2005 is the best, followed by 2009, then 2011). Plus there’s the general decline we can expect from age, and his bad defense. Put it all together and we have a giant risk that has the downside of being the worst player on our team (he could be worse than Martinez was, potentially…), and the upside is… what? That line you suggested plus defense that turns him into, what? Pedro Feliz, but on offense instead of defense? Is that really so much better than trying out a platoon or signing Youk for some extra money that we aren’t really spending on anything anyways? I say no, personally.

    2. Actually, those numbers from a third baseman will NOT help a team. At least the other people who are supporting the trade are basing that upon him doing better than last year. You’re the first person to actually be happy with what Young did last season. If we can’t even agree that Young was awful last year, and basically didn’t even play 3B, then that is too big a gap to be bridged. You’re happy because YOung’s a vet and Frandsen isn’t, even though Frandsen was the better player last year, but if he has the ‘journeyman’ tag then obviously an 36-year old coming off an awful year must be better. Got it!

      1. You must have been a big Ricky Otero fan back in the day. He tried hard and a good 3 months like Frandsen too.

    3. I am not going to get into an argument about my influences. If I happen to say the same thing as Larry that is a coincidence. If you want to blame me for siding with anyone I would blame the way I refer to stats on Keith Law and others, and the way I talk about prospects on Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks.

      Now if you want to make arguments please do it in a constructive way that without attacking the character of the other posters on this site.

      1. Blaming you for siding with Larry on stuff is like a chain smoker with a hacking cough saying, “I don’t trust you doctors, always ganging up on me with your evidence.”

    4. There are other reasons why they brought the guy in. Phillies desperately needed a professional hitter in the lineup, he can handle the bat, great clubhouse presence. If he stays healthy and hits .280, which I think he will at a minimum, it’s a good move. It is also about the supporting cast and if some guys bounce back the lineup will be good. Not great but good assuming pitching and defense are constants.

  53. I watched the Phillies 3B last year. Wiggington, Fransden…How many games did they actually cost this team with their Defense… I can not think Young could be worse. If he rebounds in hitting it if a win. Fransden will not hit like he did last year.

    1. Young may not be worse than Wigginton (although he might be…), but I can almost guarantee he’s at least a little worse than Frandsen.

      1. I don’t know how you guarantee that. I can remember 2 he cost us off the top of my head without even thinking about it.

            1. I’m not sure about that, but let’s assume that’s true. You watched him a hell of a lot less than the numerous scouts who have also said his defense is beyond bad. If you don’t want to listen to us, you should at least listen to them.

            2. I guess Ruben is an idiot then. He didn’t listen to them either. The Phillies must not have a Scout watching the Rangers.

            3. I imagine there are plenty of trades that happen in spite of what the team’s scouts say. Hell, Vernon Wells got traded (granted that was more about money than talent, but someone dropped the ball on that one). I’d also be willing to bet none of them are saying that they got Young because he’s any good at defense.

            4. I don’t think anyone is saying he is good at defense. Just that the all around package will be better than a 30 yr old career minor leaguer off the best 3 months of his life and a kid who while he is an unbelievable fielder is probably not ready to produce good offensive numbers if he has to get 500 AB’s.

            5. To be clear, I never suggested Galvis be the platoon partner. He, ideally, is the utility man because of his immense flexibility in the infield, as well as his ability to be a defensive replacement or injury insurance. I had hoped if we were going to platoon that we would pick up Chavez, but he’s off the board. Still, there’s probably someone we could pick up cheaply that has splits that would compliment Frandsen. Youk was always my first option, though.

  54. One of the more encouraging things I have read over the past week was that Pat Gillick met with Terry Ryan at the Winter meetings before the Revere deal was done. And when I see a deal for Young, it brings to mind Gillick’s quote that he he used to think it was 70% talent and 30% character (i.e. what makes a player successful). Now he thinks it’s the reverse. Anyway, we’ll see how everything works out, but I think Pat Gillick is still a key player with the Phillies (maybe more than he was at the time of that Pence deal). When it’s all said and done, I’ll take the Phillies over 88 wins this year.

      1. No he is not! Thank you for pointing that out! I don’t want to disrespect anyone’s opinion but a feel for what you see and instincts for the profession go a long ways. Imo

  55. Outside of him being 36 yrs old, what stats indicate that Young is HORRIBLE defensively. I know he has limited range, but 700+ innings at 1st, 2nd and 3rd is about half a season in the infield … with only 6 errors. Is that HORRIBLE ?

    1. But to give you a real answer:
      1) It is extremely foolish to just shrug off range like it is only a minor factor in defense. Range is HUGE. Range is often what causes SS prospects off of SS and to 2B or 3B to begin with.
      2) Do not, do not, DO NOT equally weigh defense at 3 different positions. He may have had 700+ defensive innings total, but only 215 of them were at third, and in that time he made 2 errors. Now that may not seem bad, but it is also a small sample size. The last time he played as much 3B as we expect him to do for us was in 2010 when he logged 155 games ( 1370.1 innings). In that time he made 19 (NINETEEN!!!) errors (10 fielding, 9 throwing) good for a .950 fielding percentage. And that was when his range was probably slightly better because he was a couple of year younger, and his range was still terrible, so we can only imagine how many plays he didn’t make that we’ve become accustomed to.

      1. Whatever. I’m old school. If someone says better or worse than average i get it. But when people throw around extreme words like worst and horrible about a guy who hit 277 with 6 errors in a down year … well I guess the game has passed me by. And by the way, Frandsens range factor was a hair below Youngs. And his errors per opp was a hair higher. SSS I know. Either way I fail to see any evidence of HORRIBLE. And two years ago 956 was the average F% for 3rd basemen. So 950 means what ?

        1. Well firstly, I just put the F% for your benefit, because I put no value in it. That being said, it’s still below average. Also, defensive metrics generally take 3 years to stabilize, so the jury is still out on Frandsen, but Young’s metrics have basically stabilized (he’s about 300 innings short of 3 seasons at 3B) on well below-average. Hell, he wasn’t even average in his SSS at 1B. Finally, I don’t think anyone suggested playing Frandsen full time. We want to platoon him because his defense isn’t as bad as Wigginton, and he’s got some potential offensive upside. Hopefully his platoon partner would be a slick fielder for late-inning replacements (Galvis?). Young won’t be platooned because he’s a “vet” but because Frandsen is just some guy, Cholly would probably platoon him.

        1. Then, again, take the word of every scout who has given their opinion of his defense if you don’t want to believe the numbers. The scouts and the numbers say the same thing: he’s bad at defense.

          1. Ok, see ? Even the word bad is already sounding better than horrible. :) He was a decent shortstop 4 years ago. I will continue to hope that he is not Howard-Horrible. Thanks.

          2. As I said the Phils scouts must have thought he was close to as good as Frandsen and he what ever amount he wasn’t as good would make up with the bat.

          3. Care to name the scouts cause I’ve heard you refer to them 3 times without quoting anyone by name? (Pundits and internet posters don’t count as scouts.)

            1. I wouldn’t have phrased it that way, mainly because it’s tough to find direct quotes from scouts one way or the other. Not surprising given the fact that he really hasn’t even been a third baseman since 2010.

              But there’s evidence from all sides that he is lousy defensively. I made a list and was going o post it, but decided that another long winded post from me wasn’t needed. But if you followed his history with the Rangers at all you know that he was moved from SS to third because his defense was no longer adequate and then from third base to primarily DH two years ago becuase his defense at thrir was no longer considered adequate.

              Now maybe the Ranger’s judgment was wrong. I wouldn’t bet on it though; they have one of the smartest front offices in the game. Presumably their scouts were telling them the same thing that the defensive metrics were telling them and us – that his defense at third is no longer adequate for him to be a full time regular at the position. That was two years ago and he has hardly gotten better in the interim.

              What cracks me up – not saying it’s you, but others – is people who likely have never seen him play at third base somehow convinced though the magic of gritty hustle that he is going to be adequate defensively.

            2. I agree that Young is not a good defensive player but would disagree that the main reason the Rangers moved him to DH was because of his defense. He was moved off SS because they had Andrus ready to play in the majors and he was moved from 3b when they acquired Beltre (mainly to add his bat to their line-up).

              One can certainly make the case that adding those players was done in part to get better defensively(and they did get better defensively) but in both cases, Young’s relocation was more related to adding another valuable bat to the line-up vs. upgrading their defense.

              And just to be clear, I’ve already stated on other threads that I’m not a fan of the deal, not because they gave up value with Bonilla and Lindblom, but because I don’t see Young as being a noticible improvement over the other options.

            3. I’ve been reading the Texas blogs and that’s certainly not the perception they have – at least now, after the fact. And as a rule, smart organizations (and Texas is that) don’t move players to less demanding positions when they can still handle the more demanding position.

            4. They do when they have a better option available. See the Marlins move of Ramirez to 3b after the acquisition of Reyes or the Yankees moving A-Rod to 3b because of Jeter.

              I would also guess that the fans commenting on the Texas blogs are engaging in a bit of selective memory after the fact.

              http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/MLB-Morosi-Texas-Rangers-sign-Adrian-Beltre-010411

              http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110103&content_id=16385138&vkey=news_tex%20%20&c_id=tex

              http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/01/rangers-to-sign-adrian-beltre.html

            5. Those articles don’t really speak to the issue one way or the other. And of your two examples, the Ramirez move supports MY point (they signed Reyes because it was correctly perceived that Ramirez could no longer play an adequate short stop), and the Rodriquez move was sui generis – position aside, at the time Rodriquez was arguably the best hitter in the game or close to it.

              Again assume competence on the part of the Rangers. If Young could still handle third, why not spend less to sign a better hitting DH (compared to Beltre). Recall at the time Beltre was considered at least somewhat a risk to regress after his comeback season – why target him unless you need a third baseman?

            6. The Ranger targeted Beltre because he was one of the best FA bats on the market that season. Their other options were more expensive in Jason Werth and Carl Crawford. A-Rod does prove the point even if you skip that one claiming him to be a unique case. As for Ramirez, after being traded, he moved back to SS with the Dodgers so they must have thought he could handle the position. Besides, thats not the point since your original claim was that a team doesn’t move a player to a lesser defensive position unless they can’t handle it. Truth is that they will move that player if a better defensive option becomes available.

              Another example is Ben Revere playing LF in Minn becuase they had Span in center. Does that mean that Revere can’t play CF or just that he was blocked by another option? Again, I’m not arguing that Young is a good defensive player. Just see a lot of revisionist history happening by those who don’t like the deal.

            7. So you agree then that the Dodgers are playing him at SS because they think he is their best option at the position both offensively and adequate enough defensively?? Seems to be the point I’m making.

            8. I think the argument that most of us have is he is better than any of the alternatives. I have no grand delusions he will be great or anything close in the field. I will take him not killing us like I thought we had last year from anybody but Polanc0. I don’t buy that gritty crap either. That is my argument against Frandsen. People in Philly fall in love with guys with short resumes who try real hard. All they have to do is get there uniform dirty and people automatically love them whether they can play or not. Basically all I am saying is I think he is better than any alternative we could have had for the price. Now if they don’t go out fill some of their other needs with the money they saved, than this move is lousy, but I would like to think they are going to do that.

            9. And by the way I don’t dislike Frandsen, I just think he should have more of a role like Pete Orr/Michael Martinez than a bigger one like being part of a platoon.

            10. If you, Dan or anyone who makes an assertion about what scouts say, you should be prepared to back it up. It has nothing to do with my hopes for Young, magic beans or the magic of hustle. That’s just nonsense.

            11. I’m not the one who made the assertion – I do try to be careful about that sort of thing.

              But let me ask you this – really is ANYONE who has actually seen him play claiming that Young is a good or even average third baseman defensively? Isn’t the debate whether he is just bad or awful – and isn’t virtually the only available evidence for most of us at this point the defensive metrics, combined with whatever inferences we draw from the Ranger’s decision to move him first off short stop and then off of third base?

              The one – single – way I can see the trade justified is if you think Young and Frandsen are roughly equal defensively. Then you prefer Young because, despite significant downside risk, he likely is still a better hitter than Frandsen. But what information does exist – imperfect information yes, but we work with what we have – suggests that Frandsen, though not an exceptional fielder by any means, is likely a better fielder than a 36 year old Young.

            12. I put weight on what scouts say because they have a skill I lack. If someone claims to have scouting reports or other inside information, they should expect people to want to see that documented. I’m not disputing what Dan has, just asking him to lay it out if it’s there. Pretty simple.

              i haven’t seen Young play 3B in more than a season but it would be a small sample size in any case, as probably true for you or anyone else posting here who is not primarily a Rangers’ fan. I actually like Frandsen and think Galvis will hit better next year then people anticipate.

              Watching the Cardinals succeed on a modest budget, I notice that they have replaceable parts and they don’t flounder if a big gun or two go down as the Phils did in
              2012. So much of the discussion here and elsewhere fails to take into account injuries and the need for team depth.

              Even with Young at third, a healthy Frandsen will probably get more ab’s with the Phils then he did last year. The same is probably true for Galvis unless he’s sent down to play every day. The Phils don’t have any other quality backups in the infield. So I’m fine with the trade and the knowledge that if Young doesn’t pan out, he’ll be gone in a year and if Frandsen performs as well as we hope he will be in the picture in 2014 and there will be no talk of him being a one year fluke.

              Finally, you should be the last one advocating for either Frandsen or Galvis because they don’t project the power numbers you have steadfastly maintained you need in a third baseman. My consistent view is that it doesn’t matter where you get your middle of the order power as long as you have it.

            13. I’m not sure I’ll be able to find the quotes again, but I have seen them and heard them (my quick google search came up with people who have said he is bad defensively, but it’s from people I doubt the nay-sayers will value the opinion of, such as Dave Cameron). I’ll gladly eat crow if someone can find any more documentation in favor of him being a passable 3B, though. However, I’m not going to quote just from memory because that would be intellectually dishonest.

              Here’s the article where Cameron says (in passing) he’s bad defensively, for what it’s worth, though:

              http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/michael-young-a-good-bet-for-philadelphia/

              It should also make some people happy because he thinks it’s a good gamble for the Phils, although most of the replies appear to disagree.

            14. Well let me ask you why Dave Cameron’s view should outweigh the view of Ron Washington who trotted the guy out there 150 games a season including 25 or however many games at third base a season? To me Cameron is a fan, albeit a knowledgeable one. His bread isn’t buttered on the strength of his ability to assess talent which puts him more in our camp than in the camp of talent scouts. And for those replying to a Dave Cameron piece in Fangraphs, it’s pretty clear that they’re fans and not anything more. I’ll reserve judgment on Young till I see him day in and out for more than a month, same as I did for Frandsen last year.

            15. Because Ron Washington is a terrible tactical manager (i can give you people on that one) and had to play Young for PR and clubhouse reasons. (Ron Washington is terrific off the field manager of people).

            16. Your argument about Ron Washington knowing more about it than Cameron doesn’t inherently make any sense. Cholly trotted out Wigginton to play 3B multiple times, so are we going to contend that he is a good defensive 3B? There a a variety of factors that can lead to a manager using X player at X position. Most of them, unless they are the starter, are not because they are good there.

              Also, while fans individually aren’t particularly good at scouting generally, the more fans who weigh in on the topic, the closer the aggregate observations tend to come to scout’s opinions (fangraphs does their fan scouting of players, which has shown this trend). This is because you’ll have a roughly equal number of people undervaluing and overvaluing X skill, so it tends to balance out fairly close to their actual value. I mention this because I have now seen a fairly significant number of comments from Texas fans (between a number of websites), and none of them have said that he is even average defensively as far as I have seen. Note this is only significant because the person who I originally was responding to claimed that he, as a fan, was able to discern Frandsen’s defensive abilities, so the same must be true of Texas fans for Young.

            17. There are no rose colored glasses here, if he makes the routine play only I will be happy. But there is no way this club could go into the year with frandsen as their starting 3b! Just no way, for several reasons. I think young will hit if he stays healthy, which IMO is the biggest concern. He is a marginal defender at best, phillies are betting on the bat but for me staying healthy by playing everyday and not just dh or playing 1b is what scares me the most.

  56. Here’s why WAR and all this statistical analysis is flawed….it has no bearing on what’s going to happen the next year. Let’s look at Lance Berkman. From 2001 through 2009, Berkman had a WAR of 1.9 or greater every season, With 5 of those 9 seasons over 5 WAR, and 3 others over 3 WAR. then at age 34 in 2010 he had his worst season ever with a WAR of 1.2.

    Now if the Phillies had acquired him the following season I’m sure many here would have said he’s done, his game has taken a huge step back, and he is in a steady and unavoidable decline. But no, at age 35 he came back to a 3.3 WAR and hit 301 with a 959 ops.

    So everyone get off Young’s you know what and let’s see how this plays out. Also, for all the negative posters about Young, how about offering up a better alternative.

    1. I don’t recall a SABR oriented person ever suggesting Berkman was done after that. In fact, a look at his peripherals suggested bad luck that year. His dip in LD% was a little concerning, but it didn’t drop so much that it made sense for how far his BABIP fell. In addition, his IFFB% sky-rocketed, and his HR/FB plummeted, which aren’t necessarily things he can control. Granted I don’t think anyone would have predicted the line he put up, but if you suggested he would put up his 2009 or 2007 line again, that would seem reasonable. In addition, Berkman was consistently someone who put up gaudy offensive numbers. Young has only done that 3 times. And Berkman did it when he was 2 years younger than Young. Why are we comparing these two, exactly?

      As for a better alternative? I’m not sure how many times I have to say “Youkilis” to get that point across.

      1. It’s pretty obvious the point he’s making. Past performance does not always forecast the future with certitude. I do worry the stats point to decline, but can talk myself into why he could benefit from being at 3b full time, changing leagues, and hitting in this lineup and park.

        Youkilis would’ve made a lot of sense but for his salary demands and our other needs.

        1. It’s not meant to, but past performance gives us a better idea of reasonable expectations going forward, when combined with other aspects such as scouting and general knowledge. This knowledge suggests that, while Young’s 2012 was probably a fluke, we shouldn’t be expecting anything much higher than replacement level if any higher at all. Career trend, plus scouting reports indicating even further reduced range and bat speed, plus the knowledge that 36 is physically passed the point where our bodies start to decline in areas such as speed, health, and reflexes, indicate that he is not likely to be a particularly good 3B option this year. Especially not considering we could have just gone cheap, or if we were desperate we could have spent extra on Youk, who is much better defensively and still has that offensive upside people like about Young, for one year and then his salary could have come off the books.

          Also, I don’t see that Youk’s “demands” would preclude us from making whatever other moves we want to make. Worse comes to worst, we could go slightly over the luxury this year, because it will be easy to go under next year with all that money coming off.

          1. I also meant to mention that if Youk was, indeed, asking for a ridiculous amount, we could have just as easily made this trade after he signed elsewhere. The Rangers were trying to unload Young, and people weren’t exactly jumping to trade for him.

        2. Of course past performance does not forecast the future with certitude. But all of us, those favoring the trade and those opposing it, have to – and do – implicitly or explicitly make a forecast of the most likely outcome. Some people favoring the trade want to average his last two or four years and make a prediction based on that. That’s ridiculously optimistic for a 36 year old coming off a bad season.

          ZIPs, a projection system with a good track record, projects a rebound to .279/.317/.401 for 2013. That’s better than Frandsen is likely to do, is pretty close to my rough projection upthread, and would be decent though far from spectacular if he could play a passable third base. I don’t think he can.

          I’m not denying that there are arguments for a higher projection. i don’t buy them, but they exist. But as a starting point, the above projection is far better than a crude average of the past 2 or 4 years.

        1. I’m not sure how many ways I can say it. 2012 was probably a fluke, but that doesn’t mean 2011 is what we should expect. Nor does it mean we shouldn’t be expecting decline in his past performance.

          I have literally, EXPLICITLY, said at least 3 times in this thread that “2012 was probably a fluke” VERBATIM.

        2. I think all of us are expecting something of a rebound, just not much of one given a whole host of factors. Talking about BABIP specifically, though, it’s notable that the deccline in BABIP coincided with (a) a lower line drive percentage, and (b) reports of lower bat speed. Given that and his age (36), expecting him to get back to his career BABIP, let alone his absurd 2011 BABIP, is … not reasonable. Of course you can’t blame the dramatic decrease in power, and signficant decrease on BB%, or the poosr fielding and base running, on the drop in BABIP.

          He’s 36 years old. He’s awful.

          1. What? Wow ! Now that is a definitive statement. I hope you won’t back down if he has a good year and write it off to as a fluke. :) But still … big ups to you for taking a stand and not being wishy washy.

          2. Young, a career .301 hitter, batted .277 with a paltry .312 on-base percentage in 2012. His 26 double plays hit into were second only to Miguel Cabrera’s 28. WAR rated Young’s 2012 among the worst seasons in modern baseball history. There are only three worse seasons (minimum 600 plate appearances) than Young’s minus-2.4 WAR since 1947, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

    2. Responding to the posts of Matt Winks and Dan above, it’s apocryphal but true that when it comes to player evaluation, managers who rely on the fans soon get to sit with them.

      Ranger fans were down on Young in 2010, very bullish on him in 2011 and down on him again in 2012. Notice a trend there?

    1. The only way to get a comp pick for the Phillies to extend a qualifying offer (likely to be in the $13-14 million) have him decline it and then have someone willing to surrender their first round pick to sign him. The chances of that are 0%

      1. Improbable, but not 0%. A .300+ BA and 45+ XBHs might just get him a 2yr deal somewhere and might even convince the Phils, particularly if Asche proves unworthy, that’s he’s worth the risk that he would accept a qualifying offer.

        Defense notwithstanding, I expect a rebound year from Young at the plate. Bat him 5th and he may very well put up a production full-season stat line.

        1. Young is a double-play hitter. Where do you bat someone like that and who hits in front of him to minimize that liability?

  57. Final note on dWAR. Anyone want to explain how Justin Upton (according to baseball reference) in 2011 had only 5 assists, a whopping 13 Errors in the outfield , an average range factor and still ended up with a positive dWAR ?

    1. The short answer is that he did not have “an average range factor.” His range was extraordinarily good in 2011, whether using advanced metrics (2nd best range among outfielders in the majors) the outmoded “range factor” metric (2nd best NL right fielder, virtually tied for first) or raw PO data (best NL right fielder). That more than made up for the poor arm and error rate.

      1. Not wanting to be annoying, but just trying to understand. I don’t see much of a difference in 2011 between Jay Bruce and Justin Upton. Or Jayson Werth and Upton Actually, based on the numbers, I’d put Upton behind both guys. .Yet Uptons dWAR is better. Is there a factor which is significantly more important than others with regard to dWR ??

  58. The Phillies led the majors in regular season wins 2 of the past 3 years, improving the back-to-back Pennant winners so I think the front office has been making some wise decisions. Offensively they may not walk a lot but the team had the fewest strike-outs in the NL last year. Additions like Revere and Young won’t hurt in that respect. RAJ said today that one reason he like Young is that he makes productive outs. I personally think walks are much more important the strike outs, and that large amounts of both go hand-in-hand for teams that work counts and are quicker to dispose of the opponent’s starting pitcher. But there is something to be said for putting the ball in play, as besides making productive outs, there are also errors that rarely happen with strike-outs.

    We also know that Young is a gamer and a great club house presence. One reason for the Phillies success may be that intangible. I know it has been a factor on the players obtained and jettisoned by the Phillies in the current era.

    From BaseballReference.com, here are the most similar batters to Michael Young through their age 35 seasons. * denotes Hall-of-Famers. The non-hall-of famers like Biggio and Trammell have come close to getting in and may yet get in someday.
    Similar Batters through 35
    Ray Durham (882)
    Ryne Sandberg (878) *
    Alan Trammell (876)
    Craig Biggio (869)
    Joe Torre (865)
    Paul Molitor (858) *
    B.J. Surhoff (858)
    Kirby Puckett (854) *
    Lou Whitaker (852)
    Julio Franco (850)

    I know that many of the players on this list were productive players well past 35 and some played into their 40s. Although average players often retire by 35, players with Hall-of-Fame level talent tend to start their careers younger and retire later.

    1. There’s a ton to disagree with here, but you know what? I’ve already spent too much time and too many words on this. But I did want to comment on one thing: “RAJ said today that one reason he like Young is that he makes productive outs.” To a certain extent that statement encapsulated the divide on this site. Some people will nod their heads in agreement; for the rest of us it’s like chalk on a blackboard.

      I’ve gone from defending Amaro, to a wait and see attitude, to criticisizing him on some points but defending him on others, to where i am now: the team will not make the post season again until 5 years after he is fired. The only thing saving him from being the worst GM in baseball is the presence of Dayton Moore in Kansas City.

      1. I would like to know where you get your crystal balls from ? To make a statement regarding RAJ like that is more than absurd – it might even border on hyperbole ? 5 years ??? I find that very dubious given the size of the radio/television markets the team enjoys and concommitant revenue stream. Moreover, we have seen time and again teams that “seem to be barely adequate” get hot at the right time and all of a sudden walk off with the WS trophy. See multiple teams the last several years. You might want to climb down from your exalted postion Great Seer and revise your 5 year plan.

      2. That’s a bit strong. How exactly is trading Bonilla and Lindblom for one year of Michael Young going to doom the franchise to years of mediocrity?

      3. LarryM —- ‘…..The only thing saving him from being the worst GM in baseball is the presence of Dayton Moore in Kansas City’ —–have you forgotten the Marlin’s GM? And lest we forget cross-state rival Pirates’ GM Neil Huntington (sp) is on the hot seat also. Nevertheless, Ruben still has something to prove and 2013 could be a very deciding year.

        1. The Marlins GM is just doing what his owner wants him to do. You can’t grade a GM on straight team W-Ls. How much $ they are allowed to spend makes a humongous difference. Would the Marlins GM do well with the sort of budget that RA has? It’s difficult to say he wouldn’t. It’s really a case of needing more data. I tend to like RA and think he has been creative in his moves. He should fire Manuel, but probably lacks the authority to do so. So, he is creatively getting what his manager wants, within the constraints set by Monty. It is not up to RA whether or not to bust the salary cap and it’s hard for him to force Manuel to give our young players a fair shot. The owners like Manuel, because he feeds the myth that they’re going for a championship this season. They’re not.

        2. Any discussion of worst GM that doesn’t include the name of Sandy Alderson just doesn’t get off the ground. I’m not just talking baseball, I’m talking about organized sports in general.

          1. This would be the Sandy Alderson who in the last three years managed to give RA Dickey a chance, sign David Wright to an Extension, Draft Matt Harvey, turn Carlos Beltran rental (who could not be offered arbitration for a draft pick) into Zach Wheeler, cut ties with Jason Bay, and actually convince someone to take Francisco Rodriguez. Not to defend a Mets GM, but that is the Sandy Alderson you are talking about, right?

      4. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, although you seem to feel differently. Maybe it’s time for you to find another favorite team, geez.

      5. It’s a good thing that RA likes the kind of outs that YOung makes, because he is going to make a ton of them.

  59. My last comments on this: The 3rd base market was awful and the Phils were smartly not going to go into the season with only Frandsen and Galvis. The odds of Frandsen hitting 330 again are nill. Young is a 36 yr old former star. He absolutely struggled for several months last year to find his stroke. Old guys have to learn how to cheat on the fastball, its just the way it goes. Jeter obviously learned and many other terrific hitters learn as they get older also. Young hit over 300 last year in September. Did he figure some things out?? Many scouts think that certain guys hit better when they’re in the lineup every day rather than DHing and they think Young could be one of them. Young will not have great range at 3rd but I’m guessing he’ll still have good hands and a solid arm. That sounds like Pedro Feliz to me. Is it possible that Young plays a barely adequate 3B with Galvis taking over late in games to make it adeqaute? I think so. Is it possible that Young hits 300 with 15 homers energized in a new league surrounded by a veteran team? Absolutely. Could he hit a weak 275 again? Of course but if he does we have Frandsen and Galvis to play and who knows, Asche could hit 330 at AAA and be brought up after the all star break. Bottom line – RAJ wanted to get a veteran 3B with only one year of contract obligation (he had to get someone) and did just that. Will Youk have a better year? I don’t think so. I bet Youk plays less than 120 games (with a very bad back) while Young has been healthy every year.
    On to the next move….. we need a starter, an 8th inning guy and another corner OF with some power…

  60. My problem with the deal now that I see Bonillia was included is that it makes no impact on next year IMO and does nothing to help beyond this year.

    Maybe there is some bigger plan but for the moment I’m scratching my head.

    1. I wouldn’t hate this the way I hate the Young deal, but really it isn’t much of an upgrade. Assuming that this, plus a cheap starter and reliever, is all that’s left for the Phillies this year … it’s underwelming. Assuming everyone is healthy, that’s maybe an 88 to 90 win team. Maybe. I’m being optimistic here. Which could be enough to make the playoffs, but is one serious injury – or even slightly bad luck – away from another year outside looking in.

      You can defend it I suppose in a “holding pattern” kind of way – looking towards the future without actually blowing up the team. But with no signs that future FA market will be any better (I think it will get worse), and minor league talent thin, I see the team on a downward path for at least the next 3 years. And that’s without the Amaro factor dragging the team down. Trying to project a 2014 lineup at this point is kind of scary – it could get quite ugly. And while I’m not the biggest Ruf fan in the universe, if the team isn’t going to seriously engage in the FA market, the only short term hope is the (IMO unlikely) chance that Ruf is everything his fondest fans hope. And with Ross signed, he likely will not get his chance.

      Signing an Upton or a Swisher or a Bourn or a Youk would have carried risks, but would probably have made the team better in the short to medium run. Yes, at some cost in payroll flexibility. But with the team currently 20 million under last year’s payroll, with more money coming off the books in 2013, and an escalating FA market, payroll flexibility is less of an issue than it has been for the Phillies in quite some time.

      1. I don’t like the Ross at all, but the phils are in a tough spot. Assuming that they aren’t secretly going after Swisher, they would have to somewhat gut a thin system to trade for a corner OF even marginally better than Ross. And with Charlie beginning to politic for a corner OF, it seems like this is the path they are looking to pursue.

  61. You know what this board needs? A good, spirited debate about SABRmetrics vs. good ol’ fashioned scouting …

    1. Can I start? “Numbers mean nothin, I seen him play!!!…..btw his slash line is…” “Slash line means nothing!!! His LD% / his BB rate = he sucks!” Sound about right?

    2. The real contours of the debate – around here, anyway – go more like this: SABR commenter – “this prospect isn’t so hot when you look carefully at his numbers in context, AND the scouts hate him.” “Traditonal” fan responds – “the scouts get it wrong all of the time, and he led his team in RBIs, this guy is going to be a star!!!!!”

      It’s pretty rare – oh, it happens about once a month – where someone from the anti-stat crowd backs up his opinion by citing an opinion from an actual scout.

    3. When it comes to SABR, what is the defensive metrics in order of importance that one should look at to gage a players value and what would be the value of the rating to determine good vs average vs bad?

  62. Some visual evidence of Young’s crappy defense. He really just can’t play 3B. He’s going to have to have an amazing season at the plate to make up for how bad he is defensively.

    1. I trust the metrics on Young, but pulling out game tape of errors is entirely unfair. Any player will look horrible on the plays in which he commits an error. That goes for the best fielders as well. Here’s what we have to hope for with Young – that he corrected technical issues withhis hitting at the end of 2012 and will hit like that this year and that historically less bad play at third (as compared with his horrible play at second and short) will continue so that he is just below average and not a nightmare. If he hits like hell, he could be as much as a 2-3 WAR player (this is a best case scenario, of course) – so let’s hope we get something closer to that Michael Young and let’s further hope that if he does hit like that Ruben doesn’t do something foolish like sign him to a three year extension.

      1. They’re not all errors. It shows his lack of range. There was some discussion above as to how he can be a bad fielder if he doesn’t commit that many errors. Both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference have him as a slightly worse 3B than 2B so I’m not sure that’s going to be helpful.

        1. last year was a very small sample size at third – generally over the prior 3 or 4 years, he ranged from average to well below average at third, but good enough so that his hitting could outweigh the bad fielding. My reference to second is really irrelevant – he essentially hasn’t played that position – with minor exceptions – in 10 years. But, yeah, at third, we’re just hoping he can hold on and not look too much like Greg Dobbs or Ty Wigginton. He does seem to be a guy who can get “up” for a challenge so, hopefully, he pulls through and produces some net positive WAR next year and if he can’t here’s to hoping Charlie doesn’t run him out there every day like he did with Ibanez. Personally, as overly loyal as Charlie is with veterans, I do think he understands the importance of good fielding and think he has much less tolerance for poor fielding with his infielders (most likely because it is easier to identify). We’ll see. I’m not all that hopeful but at least they still have Frandsen and Galvis to ease the load with Asche waiting in the wings.

          1. His defense may be a concern, but what also concerns me is his grounding into double-plays…2nd in the league. One way he can avoid that is to sac bunt everytime he comes up with a runner at first and less then two outs!

            1. Yes, that would be a good plan and should probably be implemented for the guy who led the league as well. No doubt the Tigers would have been happy with Cabrera following that strategy.

      1. No kidding it’s small sample size. Thanks for figuring that out.

        But you know that he’s a bad fielder from the numbers, which are taken from a huge sample size. I was just posting what his crappy defense is going to look like next year.

        1. Perhaps you can video-post Wiggy’s defense in comparison….I believe you can get that from any one game at third…talk about sss.

  63. LOL this argument gets funnier every time it happens. The problem with so called SABR guys is they like to ignore the stats when they go against their bias or vice/versa. You can routinely catch them doing so here.

    I myself love the concept of SABR when I cannot physically go see a player. I don’t know which came first the chicken or the egg but I will tell you this-one did not happen without the other. Same goes for scouting and statistical metrics.

    Another anecdotal problem I see with so called SABR guys is they often prove they don’t know what they are looking at while watching a prospect play. Sure they know how to look at the sheet and they know .856 OPS is pretty darn good. But then they’ll dismiss it and say well he put those numbers up in the Pacifc coast league. Then the player will change leagues and the OPS number will stay the same and they will stubbornly still discount the metric.

    All the time if they knew what they were looking at when the player was in the PCL they could have predicted it wasn’t likely to change no matter where you put him.

    Now I don’t like the Young deal but not because SABR says his range factor is abysmal or his production per AB is in decline. It won’t surprise me either way if Young does well or does horribly or some where in between. I am philosphically opposed to getting older in the field at the cost of Bonilla.

    tomorrow class we’ll talk about the other side and those who are fooled by their eyes and what they see in small samples. Yay…

    1. As for statistics, they are both explanatory and predictive, but they are not the whole story, especially with younger players. I don’t think there’s anyone worth his (or her) salt on this blog who advocates solely looking at statistics as a way to evaluate what a player will or will not do. Scouting reports are critical. That being said, with minor exceptions, statistics, particularly with players with a long track record are, by far, the best way to predict future performance. My issue is that people quibble not with statistics but with newer statistical measure which are often more difficult to understand. But just because they are more difficult to understand does not mean they have no validity. In any event, personally, I’d like to think I value both statistics and observations. In fact, I trust my own observations quite a bit and never fully develop a view of player, particularly a young player, until I see him myself.

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