Michael Young: 10 Teams That Would Love To Add the Texas Ranger To the Lineup
Despite helping to lead the Texas Rangers to their first ever World Series last season, All-Star Michael Young has demanded a trade.
The Rangers signed third baseman Adrian Beltre this offseason and are committed to using youngster Mitch Moreland at first base.The team also acquired Mike Napoli to DH since they also signed Yorvit Torrealba to do the catching.
That relegates Young to a limited DH role, one he is unwilling to accept.
It's interesting that the Rangers have gone this route. Young hit .284 with 21 HR and 91 RBI last season and is the team's leader in the clubhouse.
He is also the all-time leader in franchise history in hits with 1,848 and spent his entire 11-year career in Arlington.
The 34-year-old is still very versatile, with an ability to play all the infield positions and DH on occasion.
He feels his skills are still good enough to be an everyday player. Though there are not many starting jobs available heading into spring training, Young's track record could allow a team to accommodate his needs.
The problem is Young's salary. He is set to make $16 million this season, so many teams have balked at that price. A possible trade would have to include Texas eating some of that contract.
Here are 10 teams that that would benefit from adding Young to the lineup.
10. Philadelphia Phillies
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Though the infield in Philadelphia is rather crowded, Young would provide good insurance behind a few players coming off injuries.
Placido Polanco and Chase Utley missed time last year. Young could fill in nicely if someone was to go down with an injury.
It's unlikely Young would accept a bench role, however. At least Texas if offering him the chance to DH some of the time.
Rumors have surfaced that trade talks between the Phillies and Rangers are no longer active, but a possible deal was discussed.
I highly doubt Phillies' prospect Domonic Brown would be included in a deal for a utility player.
9. San Francisco Giants
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"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Such would be the case if Young was traded to the San Francisco Giants.
Besides the stellar pitching staff, the compilation of veteran talent lifted the Giants over the edge last season. Guys like Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria, Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Freddy Sanchez all clicked at the right time.
The Giants brought in Miguel Tejada to replace Renteria and should have a healthy Mark DeRosa this season.
There appears to be a log jam already on the Giants' roster, so adding Young may not be the best decision.
He could possibly platoon with Huff at first base, but after Huff's year last year, the Giants should want him to get as many at-bats as possible.
The Giants are also counting on a bounce back year from Pablo Sandoval.
However, the Giants showed last year how important depth is down the stretch.
8. New York Mets
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The Mets could use a good clubhouse leader. They could also use a second baseman.
As of now, the second base job will be decided in spring training with Daniel Murphy and Rule-5 pick Brad Emaus as the likely candidates.
Trading for Young would instantly insert him as the second baseman, forcing Murphy and Emaus to compete for a utility role.
Young would give the Mets some consistency both in the field and at the plate.
Seems like a good fit, right?
However, given the Mets financial situation and Young's age, don't expect the Mets to pull the trigger on any deal.
A possible Michael Young-for-Jason Bay deal had been discussed since both players have similar salaries, but it appears unlikely.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
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The Dodgers are another team that has a crowded infield.
They just signed Juan Uribe to take over at second base.
Young could spell Casey Blake and James Loney on occasion, but regular at-bats may be hard to find.
I wonder if Young would consider a move to the outfield.
Though it is very unlikely, the Dodgers would be a team who could plug him into left field.
Right now, the Dodgers would rely on some sort of combination of Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn, Jr. and Marcus Thames in left field.
The move to the outfield appears extremely unlikely and hasn't even been discussed thus far, so don't expect such a radical change.
But if it meant everyday playing time, would Young be willing to make the switch?
6. Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
The Angels have been rumored as a possible landing place for Young.
Kendry Morales is coming off a season ending injury, and the Angels currently have Alberto Callaspo at third.
Between those two, Young could probably find 300 at-bats, plus it would give Mike Scioscia some flexibility with righty/lefty splits. Though both are switch hitters, Morales hit .208 against lefties in an injury-shortened season last year while Callaspo hit .233 against lefties.
Young hit .322 against lefties in 2010 and owns a .307 career mark against southpaws.
Also, Bobby Abreu seems to have fallen out of favor in L.A., so Young could get regular at-bats as the DH. Vernon Wells will be taking over in left field which has shifted Abreu to DH.
Young has played his whole career in the A.L. West, so he would benefit from remaining in that division where he knows the pitchers well. Though teams usually don't like to trade a player within their division, if the right deal comes along Texas would be inclined to make it happen.
5. Atlanta Braves
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The Braves appear set to hand their first base job over to Freddie Freeman.
The 21-year-old put up huge numbers in AAA last season, hitting .319 with 18 HR and 87 RBI.
Young could serve as a platoon partner for the left-handed hitting Freeman. Freeman would benefit from working closely with a veteran presence.
On the other side on the diamond, Young could spell the aging Chipper Jones. If the Braves plan on making a playoff push late in the season, they will need a healthy, well-rested Chipper to do so.
Young's presence would ensure Chipper gets his share of off days.
4. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies emerged as the first possible destination for Young. However, talks went nowhere and fell to the back-burner.
However, the Rockies are said to be making another push to acquire Young.
Colorado traded for Jose Lopez and signed Ty Wigginton this offseason.
They already have Todd Helton and Ian Stewart occupying the corners. They both hit left-handed so platoons may be an option.
The Rockies are trying to deal Lopez to acquire Young. Young could get regular at-bats at second base, leaving Wigginton with more of a super utility role since he can also play the outfield.
The teams cannot agree on how much of Young's salary Texas would incur which has caused a snag in this deal.
3. Seattle Mariners
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The Mariners head into this season with a middle infield consisting of Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan.
These two players are top-notch defenders, but they have struggled at the plate throughout their careers.
Young would provide some instant offense to Seattle's lineup. If a trade was to happen, Young could even be penciled in at third with Chone Figgins shifting back to second.
The Mariners views Figgins as a third baseman, but I'm sure something could be done to accommodate Young.
If Justin Smoak struggles early on, Young could pick up some at-bats at first base also.
This would be another move that allows Young to stay in the A.L. West.
There have been reports however that a trade is unlikely.
2. Tampa Bay Rays
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The Rays have penciled in Dan Johnson to play first base this year.
Though he has the ability to hit mammoth home runs, he's coming off a year where he hit .198 in 40 games. He did hit 30 HR at Triple-A.
Young could platoon with the left-handed hitting Johnson, and if Johnson struggles, Young could take over permanently at first base.
The Rays need to make up some offense after losing Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena via free agency.
The team signed Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, but who knows how productive these aging stars will be?
Young could provide some offensive consistency to a lineup with a few question marks.
1. Houston Astros
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A potential Michael Young-for-Carlos Lee deal has been discussed. Lee has lost most of his mobility in the outfield and would benefit from being the Rangers' DH.
Young meanwhile would find a ton of at-bats in Houston.
Brett Wallace struggled in his first Major League action last season for the Astros, so Young could platoon at first base.
The Astros signed Bill Hall to play second base and should have a combination of Tommy Manzella and Clint Barmes playing shortstop.
Between those three, the Astros would get so much more production out of Young. He would be a strong veteran presence on a relatively young team.
Though Ken Rosenthal has reported that a Young-for-Lee deal appears unlikely, it would make sense for both teams.
Lee has a no-trade clause that includes the Rangers so he would have to waive it for a deal to get done. If the Astros keep him, he will likely see as much time at first base as in the outfield.