Southern California native waives no-trade clause to play for childhood team
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers added another veteran player with World Series experience on Saturday, acquiring seven-time All-Star infielder Michael Young from the Phillies in exchange for Double-A Chattanooga left-hander Rob Rasmussen.
Young is experienced at each infield position, but has played exclusively at first base and third base this year. In addition to his versatility, Young provides the Dodgers a solid right-handed bat off the bench. He hit .276 with eight home runs, 24 doubles, 42 RBIs and 49 runs scored in 126 games this season with Philadelphia.
"He's somebody who brings World Series experience, one of the classier people in the game, a winner," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "I think he's a professional player that's got a chance to help us. We've got a long way to go, and when you can add people at this time of year that bring what he brings, we've gone for it and we'll continue to go for it."
Young will likely come off the bench, while also filling in at first for Adrian Gonzalez and at third for Juan Uribe.
"He makes us stronger," said manager Don Mattingly. "He gives us more options and gives us a chance to spell Adrian, also if we want to spell Juan. What we're doing is working and we like the guys that we have. Michael just adds to it."
Mattingly said he spoke to Uribe, who has become the Dodgers' primary third baseman, about the trade.
"I feel good about Juan," Mattingly said. "I talked to him already about it, just to let him know my thoughts. Juan is doing a great job. Our defense is a big part of what we do. Michael just adds to the mix."
Uribe, considered a better fielder than Young, said he was not worried about potentially sharing playing time.
"My job is just to play the best I can when I get a chance," Uribe said. "The manager told me don't worry about it, not put pressure on myself. I don't feel bad. I'm good."
Over 14 Major League seasons, Young has put together an impressive resume. He led the American League with a .331 average and 221 hits in 2005 with the Rangers. The following year, he was named the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player. In '08, Young won an AL Gold Glove Award as a shortstop. He led the AL with 213 hits in '11, when he went to the World Series with Texas for the second straight year.
Last August, Colletti acquired Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox. Over the past eight seasons, Colletti has also dealt for Marlon Anderson, Ronnie Belliard, Jon Garland, Grex Maddux and Jim Thome in August.
"As we've done in the past on August 31st, we look to add somebody of character and somebody of quality, and we believe he's both of those," Colletti said. "He's a professional hitter in a lot of ways. He has a lot left."
Young, 36, waived his no-trade clause to join the Dodgers. He went to high school in nearby La Puente, Calif., and was drafted in 1997 out of the University of California-Santa Barbara.
The Dodgers will pay Young approximately $1 million, the portion of his 2013 contract the Phillies agreed to pay when they acquired him from Texas last December, for the remainder of the year. He will be a free agent after the season.
The Dodgers transferred Beckett (season-ending surgery) to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Young, who will be eligible for the postseason roster.