If you’ve bothered to look at any baseball news in the last few days, then it’s clearly no secret: Michael Young wants out of Texas. After having his position taken away from him roughly two times this off-season, Young put out a statement saying “I want to be traded because I’ve been misled and manipulated and I’m sick of it.”
Young gave the Rangers a list of eight teams to which he would accept a trade. Those teams are the: Cardinals, Astros, Rockies, Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Twins and Angels. With a request that specific it’s going to be tough for GM Jon Daniels to get anything done. Maybe Young will loosen his demands down the road, but for now let’s take a quick peak at the chances of the infielder going to one of the teams he listed.
Cardinals: Young would be an upgrade at Second over Skip Schumaker, at Short over Ryan Theriot, and at Third over David Freese. But, considering St. Louis seemed to only have enough money to add Lance Berkman this winter, I can’t imagine it’s in their budget to take on the $48 million owed to Young. Also, keep in mind the Cards are trying to work on a big deal for Albert Pujols–the best player in the game. The money is just not there.
Astros: While the Astros seem set on going with youngsters Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace at Third and First, and new addition Bill Hall at Second, Young would certainly be an upgrade over Clint Barmes at Shortstop. Besides the obvious desire to stay in Texas, the real question here is why Young would want to join a club that has no hope in its division for the foreseeable future. He must really want out of Texas.
Rockies: The Rox have been the main source of trade rumors for Young, so far. For me, this is the deal that makes the most sense. He makes them a better team, slotting in as their starting Second Baseman while hitting in front of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. It’s just going to be a question of how much money the Rockies have to take on, and who the Rangers will get in return. If you ask me, Jose Lopez is not enough.
Dodgers: He’s probably an upgrade over James Loney, Juan Uribe and Casey Blake. Also, keep in mind Shorstop Rafael Furcal seems to only play 100 games every year. As a Dodger, Young would likely have the same super utility role the Rangers are offering (minus the DH…and hitter’s paradise). He’d play virtually every day, spelling the entire infield. But with the McCourts still going through their awful divorce battle, I don’t think now is the time for them to take on a large contract.
Padres: This is an interesting fit for me. Young makes the Padres better, no doubt. He could be the Right-Hander in a platoon at first with Brad Hawpe. Then, when facing a RHP he could shift to Third and move Chase Headley to LF. I like this deal as long as Headly, who is just 26, continues to get at-bats. The Padres are hoping this is the year he really comes into his own. The problem with this potential trade is that the Rangers would probably have to eat a significant chunk of Young’s salary, something I’m sure they don’t want to do.
Yankees: Further proof that Young must be truly upset in Texas. I get wanting out, but the Rangers would still have plenty of at-bats for the veteran. In New York, that’s simply not the case. I can’t see Jeter or Cano wanting days off, so besides spelling A-Rod at Third and Posada at DH from time to time, there simply would be no playing time for Young. The Yankees are also less than interested, considering their main concerns should be regarding their Starting Pitching. No deal here.
Twins: They’ve already spent more than they want to spend this off-season. They have a log jam at 3B/LF/DH, with four guys attempting to get at-bats among those positions. In theory, Young could take Alexei Casilla’s spot at 2B, but the Twins seem set on letting the younger (and far cheaper) player continue to develop. No deal here, either.
Angels: This makes sense. The Angels lost out on the Beltre sweepstakes and are still looking for a Third Baseman, as it appears more and more apparent that Brandon Wood is not ready for the Majors. Yes, Young is a fit here. The problem? There are a couple. For one, the Rangers are not going to want to trade him within the division, so it’d take one mighty offer on the Angel’s part. Also, remember LA just took on the albatross of a contract belonging to Vernon Wells–and faced a great deal of criticism for doing so. Do you really think their fan base would be happy to see them take on another monster deal?
I would not be surprised to see Young edit that list of teams within the next couple days. Perhaps we’ll see the A’s added? Maybe the Blue Jays, where he’d play third and shift Jose Bautista to RF? We’ll have to wait. For now, let’s keep an eye on the Rockies, Padres and Angels. It should be a fun few days, and a great way to lead into Spring Training.
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