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.