Although the Philadelphia Phillies give every indication they are not going to “sell," the intense trade interest in third baseman Michael Young might prompt them to make an exception.
About a dozen clubs have checked in on Young, according to major league sources. Included among them: The Boston Red Sox, who had their vice president of player personnel, Allard Baird, watch the Phillies in back-to-back series before the All-Star break, sources say.
Young, 36, is batting .288 with a .759 OPS after joining the Phillies in an offseason trade from his longtime team, the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox would play Young at third base. The Yankees, another interested team, could play him at third and first. Other clubs, sources say, would use Young at least part-time at second, which he last played in 2012 and last played regularly in ‘03.
The demand for Young is rising in part because of the shortage of quality right-handed hitters on the trade market. The Phillies, however, have no obvious internal replacement for Young, particularly if they plan to overtake the Braves in the National League East.
That goal remains within reach, despite recent injuries to first baseman Ryan Howard, who is out six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee, and center fielder Ben Revere, who also is out six to eight weeks after breaking his right foot.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said he will seek a replacement for Revere, and the team also is in the market for bullpen help. The Phils are only 48-48, but they’re a mere 6-1/2 games back in the East and 5-1/2 games out in the race for the second wild card.
Trading Young, however, would further compromise the offense while also subtracting a strong clubhouse presence. And starting July 30, the Phillies will play 34 of 50 games at home before ending their season with a seven-game trip to Miami and Atlanta.
Young received a full no-trade clause as part of the agreement that persuaded him to waive his no-trade rights to the Phillies last offseason. The Rangers are paying $10 million of his $16 million salary, and he is eligible for free agency when the season is over.