Once again, Ned Colletti made a deal during the waiver period in August for the playoff run. In the past there's been names like Greg Maddux and Jim Thome, last season was the trade with the Red Sox, and now it's a trade for Michael Young.
The Dodgers were able to acquire Young from the Phillies with about 15 minutes left before playoff rosters were locked. In other words, the Dodgers got a veteran bat and versatile infielder with World Series experience just in time to strengthen their team for October. And they only gave up a minor league pitcher to do it.
Young made waves during the original trade deadline at the end of July when he was reluctant to wave his no-trade clause. He then agreed to go to either the Red Sox or Yankees, though that obviously never happened. But, being a So Cal native, and realizing that he could join a team that will play in October, he smartly agreed to the move.
Don Mattingly said that Young will be a key bat off the bench, and will spell both Juan Uribe at third and Adrian Gonzalez at first. It was probably tough news for Uribe to hear initially, but it seems like Mattingly assured him that he's still the primary option at the hot corner, especially with the fantastic defense he's played this year.
I've said all season that Gonzalez needs a true backup at first, even though he's continued to play very well. With the Dodgers easily ahead in the NL West (10 1/2 games over the Diamondbacks), then Mattingly can comfortably give Gonzo days off here and there and play Young. I really like that option.
When rosters need to be set for the playoffs, I would think someone like Jerry Hairston may end up on the outside looking in. We'll have to see if Young can adjust to the Dodgers, but playing in the National League all season, it's not like he's unfamiliar with the pitchers. I think he'll do just fine.
As of now the Dodgers will be locking horns with the Pirates in the Division Series, and they've acquired Justin Morneau, John Buck, and Marlon Byrd in recent days. Perhaps the move for Young was inspired by the Bucs' moves. Maybe Young would've been shipped to LA regardless, but it doesn't hurt to show that the Dodgers will also strengthen their team down the stretch, too.