After some media attention, trade demands, trade exploration, trade offers, and the works, the Texas Rangers and Michael Young have come to some sort of agreement. To make room for Elvis Andrus, Young will slide over to third base.
I'm not really sure how the Rangers can request this of Young. He's a five-time All Star and the reigning Gold Glove winner at shortstop in the A.L. And they're asking him to switch positions for a rookie?
This is Michael Young we're talking about, not Alex Cora or an aging David Eckstein. This is one of the best shortstops currently in the AL, and obviously no slouch in the field, as evidenced by his recent award.
With Mark Teixeira and Milton Bradley no longer around, Young, Ian Kinsler, and Josh Hamilton are the franchise players in the Texas lineup, and Kinsler and Hamilton have very limited major-league experience.
And they're asking him to move over for a rookie? Where do they come off doing that?
Some will argue that my Yankees are doing the same thing, with Derek Jeter manning shortstop and Alex Rodriguez at third. But remember, this is the Yankees, and this is Derek Jeter. He is the captain, he is the face of the franchise, he is the most popular player in New York. He's not a rookie. You can give respect to the captain and have A-Rod play third.
In addition, Jeter was the incumbent shortstop when A-Rod joined the team. They didn't bring in Jeter to move A-Rod over. In the case of the Rangers, Young is the incumbent, and he's the one they're asking to move.
Even the Mets weren't this brash when they called up Jose Reyes. Despite his hype, he played second base in his rookie year, allowing Kazuo Matsui to play shortstop.
Now, granted, Matsui had a clause in his contract allowing him to veto a move to second base, but I'm certain the franchise could have pressured him into moving, the same way the Texas franchise is pressuring Young. But they didn't. And Matsui wasn't even a veteran in America—he was in his first season, and wasn't even any good.
Young is being a good team player and accepting the move, so props to him. His veteran status grants him an unwritten clause allowing him to veto a position switch, but he's choosing to do what's best for the team at their behest. But I hope for his sake that a trade works out so he can remain where he blongs—at shortstop.
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