No one wants Michael Young on this team, especially at the cost of prospects, but the Yankees were told he won’t be available to acquire in a trade. Young has been league-average this season, batting .288/.345/.417 with six home runs (108 OPS+), so he would actually represent an upgrade for the Yankees at third base (Luis Cruz has a 45 OPS+ and first base (Lyle Overbay has a 99 OPS+). Young can also play anywhere in the infield, though not well, making his versatility a strength. It seemed like he was the inevitable addition, but apparently the Phillies won’t be selling at the deadline.
Despite being only one game under .500, they are seven games out of the the division and six games out of the Wildcard. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. cited the fact that they are in a better position than 2012, which doesn’t seem like an impartial way of doing things for the here and now. The fact that he would not entertain the idea of selling, especially free-agent-to-be Michael Young, is a bit surprising. He sounds like he’s living in a dream world.
The Yankees are eight games over .500 and six games out of the division, but are also just two out of the Wildcard, so buying makes sense. If they can improve their offense, which has ranked 27th in the league over the last month, they could secure a playoff spot over the Rangers, Rays, and Orioles.
Losing out on Young is no big deal for the Yankees’ aspirations of contending because he could simply be feasting off poor National League pitching, but it means Brian Cashman will have to look elsewhere if he wants to upgrade the team. There are still plenty of options for the Yankees to pursue: Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Chase Headley, Justin Ruggiano, Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, Asdrubal Cabrera, and others.