Just as the Dodgers were wrapping up their most successful month since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the NL West leaders acquired infielder Michael Young from Philadelphia to bolster a potential playoff run.
The Dodgers also received cash from the Phillies in exchange for minor league left-hander Rob Rasmussen. Young waived his no-trade clause in a deal that was completed 10-15 minutes before the 9 p.m. PDT deadline to make him eligible for the playoffs with the Dodgers, according to general manager Ned Colletti.
"Someone that brings obviously World Series experience, one of the classier people in the game, a winner," Colletti said. "He can play first or third, can come off the bench. Someone we feel has a lot left."
Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said Young could spell Juan Uribe at third base or Adrian Gonzalez at first.
"We like the guys that we have, but Michael just adds to it," he said.
Mattingly spoke to Uribe about the deal.
"I don't feel bad," he said. "I don't feel mad. I'm good. He's a good player. He can help the team, too."
Young batted .276 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 126 games with the Phillies this season, including seven hits in his last 10 at-bats before the trade. He has made 101 starts at third base and 17 at first.
The 36-year-old veteran is a .300 career hitter with 185 homers and 1,026 RBIs.
"He makes us stronger," Mattingly said.
Young was acquired by the Phillies last December from Texas. He is from nearby Covina.
The Rangers paid a portion of Young's salary to Philadelphia, which is passing it on to the Dodgers, Colletti said.
The rest of Young's new teammates were enthusiastic about his impending arrival.
"One of the better human beings around, not just baseball players," said Skip Schumaker, who attended UC Santa Barbara after Young did and knows him from alumni games. "He's going to fit right in. Anybody in the big leagues would love to have him."
Gonzalez and Young were teammates in Texas.
"Another guy who knows how to play the game, a great guy in the clubhouse," Gonzalez said. "He knows how to prepare and be ready for at-bats."