Michael Young, John Lannan introduced as Phillies

A perfect 10? Michael Young looks to be a nice fit at third, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is still smoothing out wrinkles as he puts the finishing touches on a minor overhaul of the Phils roster. Still unknown: Will there be a new corner outfielder?
A perfect 10? Michael Young looks to be a nice fit at third, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is still smoothing out wrinkles as he puts the finishing touches on a minor overhaul of the Phils roster. Still unknown: Will there be a new corner outfielder? (YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: December 20, 2012

This apparently is introduction week at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies staged an offseason doubleheader Tuesday by first announcing the official signing of lefthander John Lannan, who was introduced during an early afternoon media session inside the team's Christmas-themed clubhouse.

Late in the day, new third baseman Michael Young slipped on red pinstripes for the first time. He'll be wearing No. 10 in 2013.

Later this week, we will likely meet Young's former Texas Rangers teammate Mike Adams, who has agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal to be closer Jonathan Papelbon's setup man next season.

Only one question lingers as the new year approaches: Will there be a new corner outfielder in the mix, too?

"As far as the outfield situation is concerned, we're still trolling through the possibility of adding another piece there," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "And we're also considering the possibility of a double platoon."

Double platoon?

Without an addition to the roster, the double platoon would consist of Darin Ruf and John Mayberry Jr. playing against lefthanded starters and Laynce Nix and Domonic Brown playing against righthanders.

That scenario remains an unlikely one even if Amaro described it as "very possible."

It's far more likely that the Phillies will bring in a righthanded hitting corner outfielder, with Cody Ross still being the leading candidate. At this point, however, Ross is obviously seeking more than the Phillies would be comfortable paying.

Amaro does not talk about free-agent targets, but he admitted there are still viable upgrades on the market.

"Yeah, I think there are some guys that can help us, but there are also guys on the trade market we've looked into," Amaro said. "We'll see what works for us."

Two trade possibilities are Michael Cuddyer of Colorado and Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs. Cuddyer has two years left on a three-year, $31.5 million deal he signed as a free agent before last season. Soriano has two years and $36 million left on his deal with the Cubs.

The switch-hitting Nick Swisher and righthanded-hitting Scott Hairston remain among the free-agent options. Swisher reportedly received an offer after visiting with the Cleveland Indians.

The Phillies are hoping all the moves they've made so far will pay off in 2013, and one of the most important is certainly the addition of Young, a seven-time all-star who has not been an everyday third baseman since the 2010 season.

Young, 36, is confident the transition back to third will be a smooth one.

"My time at third will be easier because I can donate all my reps at third," said Young, who played all four infield positions and was Texas' primary designated hitter last season. "The toughest part of playing different spots is dividing your reps. I'm looking forward to getting to Clearwater and getting a lot of [third-base] reps under my belt."

Despite an impressive career with the Rangers during which he twice led the American League in hits and won a batting title in 2005, Young is coming off his least productive season since 2002. He hit .277 with eight home runs and 67 RBIs.

"I feel like at the end of the year I was there," Young said. "I don't like to scuffle. As a competitor I want to go out there and play at the top level every game. But I've been in the league long enough now that as competitive as I am, if I make a mistake I can't let it consume me. I make adjustments and go from there."

Even as the Rangers faltered down the stretch, Young had his best month to close out the season, batting .313 with four home runs and 15 RBIs.


Contact Bob Brookover at bbrookover@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @brookob.

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