While Jose Iglesias has been a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox this season, recently taking over the starting third base job from the demoted Will Middlebrooks, the club is on the lookout for other options. And they have one name at the top of their list.
George A. King III of the New York Post was told by an industry source that the Red Sox want Phillies third baseman Michael Young “badly.” With Kevin Youkilis potentially out for the season following back surgery and Alex Rodriguez a question mark following hip surgery and the uncertainty of the Biogenesis investigation, King speculates that the Yankees could also be a fit.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has said on multiple occasions that he has no intention to be a seller, though things could obviously change if the team falls further out of the race in the next month. They’ll enter play today at 39-42 on the season, 7 1/2 games behind the Braves in the National League East and 6 1/2 games back for a Wild Card spot.
Young is batting .289/.348/.412 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 74 games with the Phillies this season. Acquired from the Rangers during the winter, the 36-year-old is still owed around $8 million for the rest of the season. He has a full no-trade clause, so he would have to sign off on a potential deal.
While Iglesias has received most of the playing time at third base for the Red Sox of late, he’s starting at shortstop today in place of Stephen Drew, who left last night’s game with hamstring tightness. The Red Sox called up Jonathan Diaz today as a stopgap option for the hot corner.
In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.
In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.
Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.
If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.
Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.
Upton had another tweet for the occasion: