Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is a smart guy.
However, Daniels knows that bringing Young back to the organization where he spent 13 seasons isn’t the best idea in the world, and according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Texas won’t be pursuing the veteran infielder before Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline.
Young has hit .277/.342/.402 with seven home runs and 32 RBI for a Phillies team that’s lost eight consecutive games and enters Monday 11 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Unless something miraculous happens in the next two months, Philadelphia will not be playing in the postseason.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has told teams that Young is up for grabs, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. There are a lot of teams that could use the 36-year-old down the stretch, but the Rangers aren’t one of them. Yes, the team should look to add a bat before Wednesday afternoon, but Young isn’t the guy.
The Rangers have lost four straight games and two of their last 10. They currently sit six games behind the Oakland Athletics for the top spot in the AL West. The offense has scored the 14th-most runs in MLB this season, per ESPN. First base is a particular area of weakness, as the team ranks 25th in WAR, per FanGraphs.
But even if the Rangers were to complete a deal to acquire Young, he arguably still wouldn’t be an upgrade over Mitch Moreland. Here’s how they match up:
Is Young going to play over the likes of Ian Kinsler at second base, Elvis Andrus at shortstop, Adrian Beltre at third base or Jurickson Profar in the designated hitter’s spot in the lineup? No, he absolutely won’t.
Young is owed $16 million this season, and the Rangers would likely have to give up a young prospect in the deal, too. Is acquiring an average bat that isn’t better than the incumbent worth a prospect and the remaining money on his expiring contract?
No, and Daniels is smart to recognize this.
Instead of trading for someone to play the infield, Texas should be looking into acquiring an outfielder. David Murphy has been a disaster this season, as he’s hitting .225/.282/.377 through 99 games. The Rangers need to replace him in left field and may also need to fill a void in right field soon as well.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that Nelson Cruz could face a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. That wouldn’t bode well for Texas’ playoff hopes since he’s been the team’s second-best outfielder this season. In 101 games, he’s batting .268/.327/.501 with 24 homers and 71 RBI.
If Murphy continues to fail at the plate and Cruz gets suspended—and doesn’t appeal it—the Rangers would really be in poor shape down the stretch. Young would do nothing to increase the team’s playoff chances. The Rangers should spend some prospects on an outfielder, not an aged veteran who isn’t very good anymore.
Trading for Young simply wouldn’t make sense.
All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 28. All injury information was obtained via Baseball Prospectus and all contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.