Days after the Phillies acquired Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May to fill their void in center field, they’ve also done the same with the third base position, as Ruben Amaro, Jr. has completed a deal with the Texas Rangers that brings veteran Michael Young to Citizens Bank Park. The Phils paid a lower price in this trade, as Josh Lindbloom and Lisalverto Bonilla are both headed to Arlington.
It was acknowledged that Young isn’t exactly a perfect fit at the hot corner for Philadelphia, but with a free agent market that doesn’t have much talent at the position, they did the best they could for a short-term solution. Young, who has been with the Rangers for his entire Major League career (12 seasons), decided to waive his no-trade rights to make this deal possible, giving him more playing time as an everyday player. He’s a legend in Texas, as he leaves being the team’s all-time franchise leader in games played, plate appearances, hits, doubles, and triples, to name a few.
Texas is in the process of re-making their roster; although they lost out on Zack Greinke (which I’ll get to in a minute), they’re still talking to Josh Hamilton, while continuing to involve themselves in trade talks for outfielder Justin Upton. Young had one year remaining on his current contract, in which he’s owed $16 million. To facilitate the trade with Philadelphia, the Rangers have agreed to pay $10 million of his 2013 salary.
It remains to be seen who this deal will benefit more, but for right now, both teams win in this deal. For the Rangers, they unload a productive player, but one that didn’t have a solid spot in their starting lineup, and it gives them more flexibility on their roster. For the Phillies, although they’ve given up four pitchers within the last week to fill two position player holes, they’ve done so inexpensively, allowing them more payroll flexibility to fill their other needs, such as the outfield and bullpen. Instead of paying a premium for someone like B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn, Revere is only 24-years-old and is making less than $1 million, but has a world of talent. For Young, they’re only paying $6 million for a starting third baseman that is a career .301/.347/.444 hitter. Plus, this allows them to wait another year to see how the third base situation shapes out for 2014, both in free agency and in their farm system.
Even though Zack Greinke was reportedly “blown away” with what the Rangers had to say when they presented their future plan to the free agent pitcher, the right-hander agreed to a record six-year/$147 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The agreement makes him the highest-paid righty hurler in MLB history. Jim Bowden tweeted the monetary details of his contract last night, reporting Greinke is receiving a $12 million signing bonus, $17 million in 2013, and will be making $23 or $24 million each season through the remainder of his deal (2018), but the deal doesn’t include a no-trade clause. His $24.5 million average per season is a new record for pitchers, while giving the Dodgers their fourth player making $20 million per season, another record. Los Angeles will become the first NL team to have a payroll over $200 million, and it will be interesting to see how they approach a contract for Clayton Kershaw, who is scheduled to hit free agency once the 2014 season finishes.
Greinke is being grossly overpaid here, but it’s not a surprise the Dodgers are the team to do this. However, this has a direct effect on the rest of the pitching market and the teams interested in adding a top-of-the-line starting pitcher. So, the the market for R.A. Dickey might be heating up for teams like the Rangers, Red Sox, Royals, and Blue Jays. Before news of the Greinke signing, Marc Craig of Newsday reported the Mets and Dickey have established a common ground when it comes to negotiations, and looked more likely he could be staying with New York. However, this may not be as true anymore, and Ken Rosenthal looks at two potential trades the Mets could try to make with the Rangers and Blue Jays, with it looking like Texas could be the more aggressive suitor for Dickey, as they’re willing to give up Mike Olt.
This will no doubt re-start the trade rumors for the knuckler, but I have a feeling he’s still not going to be traded because the asking price will be too high for opposing teams who can’t put a value on his services. Do you think Dickey will get traded now that the biggest free agent pitching target is off the market?