Phillies Get Young and Older, Greinke Returns to LA

A few moves were made after the Winter Meetings’ conclusion, including one that made the Phillies both Young-er and older, as well as Zack Greinke‘s return to Los Angeles, but not to the Angels.

The Phillies traded the last two pitchers left in their farm system to Texas for 36-year-old Michael Young. If this isn’t a sign that the Phillies are “all in” for 2013, I don’t know what is. Young is coming off the worst season in his MLB career — he hit .277 with only 8 homers and a .682 OPS playing half his games in a hitter’s park.

What does this deal say? Quite a few things. First, Texas is parting with “Mr. Ranger” when he’s at his lowest value. However, they were able to wrestle away from the Phillies one usable middle reliever in Josh Lindblom and a young, hardthrowing prospect named Lisalverto Bonilla — which gives you an idea of how valuable a veteran third baseman is right now. Though as a fly-ball pitcher, Lindblom might not have worked out well at Citizens Bank Park, and though Bonilla may never make it to the bigs, it’s yet another trade depleting the Phillies’ farm system. GM Ruben Amaro is clearly going for broke while the veteran nucleus of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jonathon Papelbon, and Carlos Ruiz are near the top of their respective games (though it could be argued they are on the wrong side of the hill). What will the Phillies look like in 2014 or ’15? It seems Amaro will worry about that when the time comes. If the Phillies don’t make it to the playoffs — heck, if they don’t make it to the World Series — I can see Phillies fans seeing Amaro in a similar way Mets fans viewed Omar Minaya in 2008 / 2009. I can also see the 2014 Phillies resembling the ’09 Mets.

Meantime, Zack Greinke left the Angels to play in Los Angeles. Maybe he was angry to learn the Angels were actually in Anaheim. Or maybe he was fond of the 6-year, $147M contract that the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angels waved in front of him. Holy cripes, that’s $24.5M a year! R.A. Dickey‘s agent has to be happy to see that contract signed. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of teams “all in” for 2013, you can add the Dodgers to that list.

In other news, Brandon McCarthy signed with the Diamondbacks for two years, $15.5M — which is nearly the same price the Angels paid for Joe Blanton. Which pitcher would you prefer? I think I’d lean toward McCarthy, despite his injury history, as he seems to have more upside.

Also, the Reds re-signed Ryan Ludwick, giving him a two-year, $15M contract, so cross him off your wish list of players to fill the Mets outfield. It’s just as well, since the Mets can’t afford him, and Ludwick would not be the same player out of the Big Red Machine lineup and from Great American Ballpark.

Finally, in an under-the-radar, somewhat surprising move, Andruw Jones has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League. One year, $3.5M.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies December 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm
    Some reporters think that the Rangers losing out on Greinke means they’ll trade Mike Olt for Dickey. I’m not sure what to think about that. Olt is young, hits homers, and is a decent athlete, but he had more Ks than games in AA at age 23. Sounds like a Mark Reynolds type to me. Having Reynolds at league minimum would be nice, sure, but I don’t think it’s worth losing our ace. Plus, we have 1B and 3B filled, meaning we’d have yet another infielder attempting a corner OF spot, where his D hurts us more and his bat helps us less (relative to replacement options).

    It’s weird: I feel like we should be stocking the organization with high-upside kids… and Olt is probably one of the better prospects we’ll be offered… but it seems to me that this deal really wouldn’t make the Mets better.

  2. argonbunnies December 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    As for Michael Young, I love it, big mistake by the Phils. Basically an identical player to the one they just got tired of in Polanco. He won’t strike out much, but he’ll hit plenty of first-pitch grounders and weak flies. No discipline at all. If the NL gets the AL scouting reports, he’s toast. Not much range in the field either.
    • Izzy December 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm
      Everyone always writes how the Phillies or the Nats or the Braves will be bad someday. So does that mean the Mets will be good because Alderson is inept at doing anything? Some how I doubt it. This philosophy accurately predicted the eventual demise of the Braves, and we won one whole division title before those pathetic Philles won 5 in a row and the predicted demise of the Phillies did happen as predicted and whoops it was the Nats who took over. For all the glee over all these supposed horrid moves by others, what does Sandy alderson’s do nothing moves do. Well they DO NOTHING TO MAKE THE METS CONTEND.
  3. Mets SUCK December 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm
    Mets SUCK!
    • Joe Janish December 10, 2012 at 12:55 am
      I nominate this as Comment of the Year. Anyone second it?
      • NormE December 10, 2012 at 2:25 am
        If an amendment is in order I would change it to “Wilpons Suck!”
        • DaveSchneck December 10, 2012 at 9:11 am
          I’ll go with Nomre’s if he puts it in all CAPS.
        • DaveSchneck December 10, 2012 at 9:12 am
          Sorry, meant NormE
        • NormE December 10, 2012 at 9:38 am
          Dave Schneck, you are correct, my oversight:

          WILPONS SUCK!

    • argonbunnies December 10, 2012 at 2:28 am
      Primus sucks!
  4. Dan B December 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    Even the friggin’ Rakuten Golden Eagles are upgrading their outfield!!! Get ready for the “lucas Duda is having a great offseason and we expect a lot out of him” stories to start drifting out of Port St. Lucie. But then again, the Mets don’t have the money that a big market like Rakuten has so how could the Mets compete with them?