Young Chronicles

It would be nice if the participants assisted me by doing whatever they’re going to do before I finish my book.

Selfish desires aside, the Rangers are trying trade Michael Young and there are several teams for whom Young is a fit as a person and player.

Contractually? That’s another story.

Despite the protestations of stats obsessed, Young is a very good player; I’ve never quite understood why they don’t like him. He hits for power and average and plays every day. Defensively, he’s limited in range, but versatile in where he can play. His on base percentage is relatively low in comparison to his batting average, but it actually is amazingly similar to…Ichiro Suzuki‘s!

But Young does things that Ichiro doesn’t do such as accumulate hits other than singles.

His contract and that Young nor the Rangers appear comfortable with him DHing are the main reasons for his availability. Young is owed $48 million through 2013; he also has a limited no-trade clause until May in which he can submit eight teams to whom he’ll accept a trade; and coincidentally (or not) Young also becomes as 10-and-5 player in May where he could refuse any trade.

As is said in this ESPN posting, the Rangers don’t want to dump him for nothing; nor do they want to pay a vast chunk of his salary just to get rid of him and acquire a decent return.

With that in mind, let’s see where Young would be a fit.

Colorado Rockies

They could use his bat, but as is being continually reported on MLB Trade Rumors, they can’t afford to take his whole salary. If I were the Rangers, getting Jose Lopez wouldn’t excite me in the least.

An interesting fit salary-wise would be Todd Helton, but would the Rockies trade him?

The Rockies could really use Young at second base, but it would require creativity/concessions on both ends to get it done.

Los Angeles Angels

Young would slide neatly in at third base and give the Angels another bat they desperately need. Young is extremely close friends with Vernon Wells and, as a person, fits perfectly into the Angels clubhouse.

They could absorb the majority of the contract, but would that be enough to spur the Rangers to trade Young within the division to a team they’re going to be fighting with for a playoff spot?

I doubt it.

Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s a perfect fit everywhere but financially.

I can’t imagine that the McCourts can take more salary onto the ledger and they don’t have a contract to exchange for him. Apart from that, they could—depending on defensive preferences—play Young at second or third; Juan Uribe at second or third; and shift Casey Blake to the outfield.

New York Mets

Would the Rangers take Carlos Beltran and one of the contracts of either Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo?

Could the Mets add the $18-24 million they’d need to to acquire Young?

With the way the Bernie Madoff/Wilpons/lawsuit mess has begun, probably not; and I can’t see Sandy Alderson doing this knowing how the season is looking to be a total bridge year in every conceivable sense.

Atlanta Braves

They don’t need him now, but what are they going to do if Chipper Jones can’t come back? They don’t have a viable backup plan; and they’re pinning their playoff hopes on a rookie at one corner—Freddie Freeman; and Jones returning at full strength.

Any deal involving Young would have to include salary relief and would need to wait until the Braves know what Jones is capable of.

I would expect the Young situation to have been settled by then.

Chicago Cubs

Would the Rangers be willing to take Carlos Zambrano?

The Cubs are short on pitching after Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza if they did this, but the slashing of the Zambrano salary (possibly worth $55 million) matches relatively neatly with Young’s deal.

I’m not a big Blake DeWitt fan and Young would bolster the Cubs lineup.

The Cubs shouldn’t have traded Tom Gorzelanny.

Detroit Tigers

Their current second baseman is listed as Carlos Guillen. If you think he’s going to stay healthy, then I admire your faith.

If the Tigers were willing to take Young’s salary and the Rangers took Guillen’s $13 million for 2011, it could work.

Pittsburgh Pirates

No, Young wouldn’t help the Pirates; nor do the Pirates need Young—they can lose 95 games with or without him; but if I’m Jon Daniels or Nolan Ryan, I call the Pirates and put the “used car salesman” hit on Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington of the Pirates.

“I want you and only you to have the widely respected and versatile Michael Young; all I’m asking for—ALL I’m asking for is Andrew McCutchen. This offer is on the table and will be removed within 5 minutes and I have two other offers that are far better than this; but since we’re friends, I’m willing to do you this favor!”

Who knows? They’re the Pirates. They might bite.

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  1. #1 by Jeff on February 7, 2011 - 5:30 pm

    So, in other words… he won’t be going anywhere?

  2. #2 by Joe on February 7, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    Ichiro is clearly better than Young. Ichiro is a very good defensive RF, and a decent enough CF if needed. Young is sub-par defensively at any position he plays in the infield. Young also has a park that boosts all his numbers. He is not bad. Been slightly above-average to above-average the last 4 years. But Ichiro has been legitimately good. The problem with pointing out their similar OBP’s, is that Ichiro’s is better, meaning they aren’t all that similar. And that Young plays in a park that boosts his a tad.

  3. #3 by The Other Mike on February 7, 2011 - 7:19 pm

    What confuses me is that several people ‘in the know’ seem to think that Young will be traded to the Rockies, the Rangers will pay $15MM-20MM of his salary, and will get Jose Lopez and only Jose Lopez. Then, sometime during Spring Training they will release Jose Lopez and have nothing to show for the whole deal.

    It makes little sense to me and accomplishes nothing beyond making Young happy — and make no mistake, he is the one who wants to be moved.

    Right now the Rangers need need two things and possibly a third thing:
    More starting pitching – Zambrano wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he can behave himself.
    1B/DH type to replace Young – You mentioned Helton, not a bad idea.
    Maybe a CF who can hit – If Borbon struggles again Hamilton might be in CF, which is a terrifying proposition.

    Helton would actually be a great fit in Texas, but I don’t know if the Rockies would be willing to swap one face for another.

  4. #4 by A Different Joe on February 7, 2011 - 8:07 pm

    “His on base percentage is relatively low in comparison to his batting average, but it actually is amazingly similar to…Ichiro Suzuki‘s!”

    That’s just wrong.

    Young – .347
    Ichiro – .376

    The difference in OBP between Young and Ichiro is the same as the difference between Young and Miguel Cairo.

  5. #5 by John Seal on February 8, 2011 - 2:16 am

    I’m baffled as to why the Rangers would want to let Young go, but that’s probably because (and I’m relying here on memories, and not stats, which I can’t find anywhere online to prove my point) he hits well at the Coliseum. As opposed to Adrian Beltre…who (again relying on memories, NOT stats) never seemed to do much, and (defensive reputation aside) seemed to boot the ball with some regularity.

    So, net win for the A’s here, if the Rangers do dump Young. And come to think of it, we could use a third baseman with a good stick…

  6. #6 by Gabriel on February 8, 2011 - 4:42 am

    I have always liked Michael Young as a player and person. The Angels and the Dodgers look like the best fits for him, but I doubt he will get traded to either team. Maybe the Astros are a good fit for a trade, they need a bat and someone to play good infield, and the Rangers could use Carlos Lee.

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