There have been a few areas where baseball pundits suggest the Reds could improve. One area that hasn’t been talked about as much is the offensive production from the third base position. While Todd Frazier posted in incredible rookie season in 2012, he has fallen off this year.
Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Reds have inquired about the availability of Michael Young, third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. There are multiple angles in play here.
Young is in the final year of a five-year, $80M deal, paying him $16M for this season. He would be a rental. When Philly acquired Young from the Texas Rangers, the Phillies received $10M from Texas, making Young’s net payable of $6M. If the Reds choose, they could ask for a pro-rated portion of that $10M as part of the deal. This could alleviate part of the payroll crunch aspect to which Rosenthal notes.
As far as to who the Reds could potentially send back to Philly, it would depend on the salary relief they request from the Phillies. Rosenthal does not mention any names, but does say the Reds are not deep as far as prospects are concerned.
Young is represented by Dan Lozano. If that name sounds familiar to Reds fans, it should. Lozano is also the agent for Joey Votto.
Another point, Ryan Ludwick should be going out on a rehab assignment soon, and as Rosenthal points out in his video report, Luddy relies on his timing more than most hitters. It could take Ludwick a little longer to find his timing. While the Reds wait, Young can man third and Frazier could move to left.
Some have stated that the Reds best defensive left fielder is, in fact, Frazier. Granted, it would be a step back as far as third base defense is concerned. According to Fangraphs, Frazier is the NL’s 4th ranked third baseman in both UZR (7.1) and UZR/150 (15.2), a concern entering this season. By contrast, Young’s numbers are -8.9 and -16.6, respectively. Those rank him 11th in UZR and UZR /150. Young’s DRS of -11 is the worst among NL third baseman.
Young could solve the riddle surrounding the Reds lineup’s second spot. For the Phillies, Young has hit anywhere from leadoff to sixth in their order. Young doesn’t possess the power of Ludwick as he has only 7 home runs this season, but he has compiled a more than respectable batting average of .288 and an on-base percentage of .345. If Ludwick is unable to find some of his 2012 form, acquiring Young would be a boost offensively. The defense would be another matter.
Yes, Chris Heisey is performing well as of late. This could have an impact on any negotiations the Reds and Phils may have planned. The longer Heisey performs, the less likely a deal could be made.
Here’s the entirety of Rosenthal’s video…
(H/T to MLB Trade Rumors)