Many factors at play as M. Young waits to learn fate
No-trade clause, family, depth chart all considerations as Phillies talk before Deadline
PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Young isn't sure what the future holds, but the hours leading to Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline should give him plenty to think about.
It will keep the Phillies busy, too. They are talking to teams about Young, Cliff Lee and others, but there are obstacles along the way with nearly every player they would like to trade. But as Young left the field following's Tuesday's 7-3 victory over the Giants at Citizens Bank Park, he still seemed to be the most likely Phillies player to be dealt, although Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB Network he did not expect anybody to be traded.
"It's difficult to say," Young said a couple hours before the game, when asked if he expected to be with the Phillies on Wednesday night. "I really don't know."
Asked after the game if anything had changed in the past five hours, he said, "Nothing. I imagine nothing will change. ... [Shoot], I don't know. I wish I could tell you guys something else. I don't know, man."
The Red Sox, Orioles and Rangers have been interested in Young, although sources told MLB.com last weekend a reunion with the Rangers is unlikely.
A big stumbling block for the Phillies is Young's full no-trade clause. There are reports Young has informed the Phillies he would only accept a trade to the Rangers, although a source indicated Tuesday that could change.
"Those things deserve to stay between me and the Phillies," said Young, who homered in Tuesday's victory. "The last thing I want to do is make this thing bigger than it needs to be. The Phillies have been very straightforward with me, and I'm trying to do the same thing with them. We have a good working relationship, and I think the best way to continue that is to keep the talks between us."
Young said his family is "a massive consideration in the decision-making process. I'll just leave it at that." His family remains in Dallas, so returning to Texas would be attractive for that reason alone.
But things can change fast. If Young is presented with the opportunity to play with the Red Sox, Orioles or Yankees, he might change his mind at the last minute rather than play out the string with the Phillies, who are expected to miss the postseason for the second consecutive year. Young is 36 and still pursuing his first World Series championship.
"Whatever happens down the road happens down the road," Young said. "It seems like a day away, but that's a long time in baseball talk, so the last thing I want to do is hamstring the team I'm playing for. I want to make sure this is a good relationship from start to finish. Like I said, I don't think there is anything right now that is imminent, so my thoughts are on the game right now."
The Phillies called up Triple-A Lehigh Valley third baseman Cody Asche -- ranked by MLB.com as the Phillies' No. 7 prospect -- before Tuesday's game. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he expects to play Asche regularly, but it is not considered a power move to force Young's hand. There are some unhappy players in the Phillies' clubhouse, and Young is a counterbalance to that. They want to keep him happy.
Young can play first base and Darin Ruf can play left field while Domonic Brown is on the disabled list with a concussion. Once Brown returns, the Phillies could still find room for Young to play fairly regularly, especially if they part ways with or move right fielder Delmon Young.
There are lots of moving parts here.
"I love Cody," Michael Young said. "I think he's a great kid, and I'm going to help him any way I can. I hope Cody has a fantastic career. We worked together a lot in Spring Training. He bounced a lot of ideas off me, and I want to help him any way I can. He's a great kid, and I hope the best for him. He's going to have a great career. I want him to stay healthy and be the best he can be and, like I said, I'll help him any way I can."
The Phillies had been talking with the Red Sox and others about Lee, but the White Sox and Red Sox agreed on a deal that sent Jake Peavy to Boston, so Lee isn't going there.
The Phillies do not feel pressure to trade Lee anyway. If they get what they consider a fair offer -- meaning a package of top prospects -- they will move him. If they don't, they will hold onto him and make him a centerpiece of the 2014 rotation.
Chase Utley isn't going anywhere as the Phillies work out an extension. Jonathan Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz do not have much value at the moment.
Young does, but will he go?
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.