Have we not learned from the last couple of years that Ruben Amaro Jr. is like the old line about the Canadian Mounties… He always gets his man!!!
So the news this week that the Phillies inquired about Rangers third baseman Michael Young and his availability shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it also should signal something else.
Amaro, Charlie Manuel and anyone else involved in the baseball operations with the Phillies (along with the entire Delaware Valley) know that they still need a right-handed bat.
But what makes this an interesting prospect is that acquiring Young would fall right into the mode of what Amaro has done over the last few years – get a guy who wants out of the town he is playing in and BE ON A WINNER.
Amaro did it with Cliff Lee and didn’t give up much to get him. He did the same with Roy Halladay, but we don’t know the fates of those players traded for him. And now Young could be the next one in Amaro’s sights.
It is a little different with Young as he helped them reach the World Series last year. And who was one of his teammates? Cliff Lee.
And don’t forget that Michael Young came up through the farm system of the Toronto Blue Jays. Hmmmmm???
Ok, so the Phils GM kicked the tires on the next potential big-ticket purchase and was rebuffed for the time being. But don’t think for one second that Amaro didn’t tell Rangers GM John Daniels the same thing he told Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, a couple of months back.
“Before you do anything, give us another call.”
His “close to the vest” philosophy sounds a lot like the one of Jolly Ol’ Saint Andy across the street at the NovaCare Complex. But the big difference is that Amaro has cashed in for one World Series. And is going All In for his second.
Young might be the best option for the Phillies to fill in that vacant right-handed bat slot in their daunted lineup. Sure we heard the lines about Ben Francisco and John Mayberry, Jr. But if you had the option between those two guys and Young, who would you take???
And from a financial perspective, the Phillies will be around $163 million when Opening Day hits. If they make a deal with Texas, Placido Polanco would have to be in it, along with some other pieces. But for 2012, Young’s contract at $16 million works because the Phillies will most likely not re-sign either Raul Ibanez or Brad Lidge, which is $24 million coming off the books. That would leave $8 million to go get an outfielder to play left field. It is also very important for the Phillies to find out what they have in Scott Mathieson and can he be your next closer.
So Phillies fans shouldn’t sweep the Michael Young story under the rug right now. Chances are we will be hearing his name again in the future.