Phillies looked into Michael Young, talks didn’t get far

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From ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Phillies reached out to the Rangers recently about a possible trade for disgruntled infielder Michael Young, but that talks did not get far.

A source told Crasnick that the Phils were only “tire kicking” and that the conversation was “brief.”

As it should have been.  The Phillies are already committed to Placido Polanco at third base, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and Chase Utley at second.  And they should be happy with that crew.

But it makes sense that the Phils would at least ask.  The Rockies have done the same, as have the Dodgers, Astros and Cardinals.  It’s safe to assume, really, that almost every major league club has at least made contact with the Rangers’ front office to see what kind of swap they might be open to.

The Rangers are really going to struggle to find a landing spot for Young.  He is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, his defense at the hot corner is not great, and he has not produced quality offensive numbers away from the power-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington.  On top of all that, he is 34 years old.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels is not going to be forced into making a bad deal and he’s not simply going to eat the money remaining on Young’s contract.  The veteran may simply have to suck it up and begin traveling to Rangers camp.  There are plenty of at-bats available to him in Texas at DH and first base.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.