PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Michael Young's leadership skills were as attractive to the Philadelphia Phillies as his hitting ability.
The Phillies acquired the seven-time All-Star infielder from the Texas Rangers for two relief pitchers, filling a void at third base. The deal was announced Sunday, a day after Young agreed to waive his no-trade clause.
"Michael brings a lot to our team, not just on the field, but off it as well," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He has been one of the premiere hitters in the American League for a decade and is someone who has a tremendous presence in the clubhouse. We couldn't be happier that he has accepted the assignment to come to the Phillies."
Young is known for being an unselfish player and a true professional — two qualities Philadelphia's front office values in a player.
"He has all the elements we're looking for," Amaro said. "First of all, the makeup is extraordinary. He's the ultimate team player. He knows how to play baseball. He's a winning baseball player. He's had the opportunity to be in big games in the playoffs and he just fits real well."
The Rangers get right-hander Josh Lindblom and minor league righty Lisalverto Bonilla. The Rangers also will pay a significant portion of Young's salary for 2013. Young is due to earn $16 million. Reports said the Phillies will pay him about $6 million.
"If there was crying in baseball, I guess I would cry," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of losing Young. "This is a very, very tough situation. He's always been my go-to guy in the six years I've been here, and he's not only done a lot in that respect for me, but leadership that he brought to the clubhouse and the leadership that he brought on the field, and the leadership that he had in the community is something that we sorely will miss."
Young batted .277 with eight homers and 67 RBIs in 2012, a down year for him. He hit .288 with runners in scoring position and .333 against left-handed pitchers. He made 40 starts at first base, 25 at third base, 14 at second base and four at shortstop.
"I think that's just part of the process of being a Major League player," Amaro said. "You don't have a great year every year. He's had some years where he hit .280 and others where he hit .330. But at the same time, even when his numbers aren't extraordinary, and they were still pretty darn good last year, maybe better than anybody we had on our club, but the fact of the matter is he's a professional hitter. He's a guy who we know will strive to be the best player he can be. And even when he's not having productive hits, I know he's the kind of guy who makes productive outs. So there's a lot of pluses to this guy."