UPDATE: The deal is done, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Young, the Rangers’ all-time leader in hits and games played, has been traded to the Phillies.
Nightengale hears that Young agreed to the deal after receiving $1.2 million in benefits from the Rangers and a full no-trade clause from the Phillies. The Rangers agreed to pay about $10 million of Young’s $16 million salary for 2013, so it’s a relatively low-risk gamble for Philadelphia. Still, that’s a pretty old infield.
1:20 PM: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Young has “indicated a willingness” to accept a trade to the Phillies. However, the deal is not finalized because some of the financial aspects still need to be worked out.
Young is expected to get some form of compensation for waiving his full no-trade clause while MLB must approve the salary (more than $10 million, says Grant), being covered by the Rangers. But it sounds pretty close to being done. Grant hears that the Phillies will send reliever Josh Lindblom and prospect right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla to Texas.
10:28 AM: Michael Young has been taking his time to decide whether to waive his no-trade clause and accept a trade to the Phillies. But it appears that he has come to a decision.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was told by industry sources that Young is expected to OK the deal and that the trade could go down as soon as today. The 36-year-old was expected to have a diminished role with the Rangers in 2013, so it makes for a pretty easy baseball decision, but Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports hears that the biggest consideration was his family.
Young batted .277/.312/.370 with eight home runs, 67 RBI and a career-low .682 OPS this past season and is expected to take over as the Phillies’ starting third baseman in 2013. The Rangers will reportedly cover at least half of Young’s remaining $16 million salary, as well as receive a reliever and prospect in return.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.
Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.
The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.
Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.
Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.
After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.
It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.
Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.
LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.
Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.