You have to feel for Michael Young. He has always been bounced around throughout the Rangers organization and can’t seem to find a home at one of the infield positions.
He was brought up as a second basemen but was moved to shortstop as a result of the Alex Rodriguez trade.
He was eventually pushed from shortstop to third base because of the emergence of young prospect, Elvis Andrus.
Despite playing adequate third base and averaging .300 over the past two seasons, the Rangers decided to sign 3B Adrian Beltre to a long-term contract—moving Young to the DH position.
As a result of the constant movement, Michael Young has requested a trade from the Rangers; no surprise there.
However, trading Young would be easier said than done. He signed an $80 million, five-year extension two years ago and still has $48 million left on his contract over the next three years. With that said, he can only be traded to a team that can pick up his massive contract, or swap contracts with another overpaid player.
The following slide show will discuss 10 teams that should target Michael Young this upcoming season to improve their own stock or to dump some bad salaries of their own.
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The Giants may seem like an appropriate destination for the six-time All-Star, Michael Young. The Giants have lacked a middle of the lineup presence since the great Barry Bonds and third base was a weak point for the Giants last season.
However, there are a couple reasons why the Giants will not trade for the star—the main reason being the resurgence of Pablo Sandoval, a cheaper and homegrown product.
Pablo Sandoval quickly became a fan favorite and offensive presence for the Giants during his first two years in the league. Unfortunately, the Kung Fu Panda regressed last season, gaining too much weight while lacking the ability to lay off bad pitches, and was ultimately benched during the Giants' postseason run.
This offseason, Sandoval has reportedly lost 25-plus pounds and seems ready to retake his position as the starting third basemen.
Also, the Giants simply don’t have room for him and his large contract. With many of their players gaining more money through arbitration, the Giants would be looking to unload their heavy contracts (Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito), not add them.
In addition, with Freddy Sanchez at second base, Miguel Tejada as shortstop and Pablo Sandoval at third base, there simply isn’t a spot where Michael Young can get consistent playing time.
At first glance, Michael Young may seem like a good addition for the Giants. However, there are other teams that need him more and who would be willing to give more up for him.
There are only eight teams in the entire MLB that are exempt on Michael Young’s no-trade clause. Surprisingly enough, one of those teams are the Houston Astros—weird I know.
With that said, it is worth looking to see if a trade between these two teams could actually work. The one player who would be the most likely target is outfielder Carlos Lee. Although he had a poor 2010 season, he would be an upgrade over Julio Borbon, the current starting center fielder for the Rangers. People tend to forget that Carlos Lee was a perennial .300-30-100 hitter only one short season ago.
Carlos Lee still has two years left on his massive $100 million contract so if a trade were to take place, it would be a salary swap. Unfortunately, I don’t see the Astros making this trade.
The Astros are nowhere near contention and won’t be for the next few seasons, long after Michael Young’s contract would run out. As a result, there is essentially no incentive for the Astros to go out of their way to get a player, Michael Young, who may not even out-produce his counterpart, Carlos Lee.
For Michael Young to be traded, the other team must be able to afford it. The Cubs have one of the largest payrolls in the MLB, so they certainly have the money to pay for him. One trade that would be particularly intriguing would be a Michael Young-Alfonso Soriano trade swap.
I am not saying that this trade will actually happen, but it certainly would be interesting. Soriano has not been too popular playing in front of those Chicago fans. He has been continuously booed at his own field and simply cannot live up to the high expectations of the fans. A trade may do him some good.
From the Rangers' perspective, an outfield with Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Alfonso Soriano would certainly be a powerful outfield and improve upon their already stellar offense. The Rangers wouldn’t be giving up any production because of the newly-signed 3B Adrian Beltre earlier this offseason.
From the Cubs' perspective, they get the hard-working Michael Young, who can be moved to second base. This would give them a solid infield with for the next few years with plenty of pop if the likes of Ramirez and Pena can stay healthy.
A common theme in this article so far has been the Texas Rangers trading Michael Young for an overpaid outfielder on another team. The Mets are no different and the first player that comes to mind is the former Pirate, Jason Bay.
Although Bay is new to the Big Apple, a Michael Young trade would make more sense than you would think.
Jason Bay playing in left field in the Rangers organization would make a lot of sense. It would give them an outfielder that they could have for the next five years and would also be an upgrade over Julio Borbon.
This trade also makes sense for the Mets on several different levels.
If Michael Young gets traded to the Mets, he would take over the everyday position at second base, which would already be an upgrade. The trade would also allow the young outfield prospect, Lucas Duda, to replace the traded Jason Bay. If, in the likely circumstance, Jose Reyes decides to leave after the 2011 season, Michael Young could move to shortstop to fill out the new vacancy role.
In the end, Young’s versatile defense can give the Mets flexibly moving forward for their current position players and prospects.
Another one of the eight teams that Michael Young can be traded to without his disapproval are the Angels.
The Angels last season got essentially no production from the third base position. But, what can you expect when you have minor league All-Star Brandon Wood and Kevin Frandsen as your featured third basemen?
Because the Angels have failed to sign third baseman Adrian Beltre this offseason, the Angels are still in dire need of a proven hitter at the position—Michael Young can fill the void.
A trade between these two teams would most likely contain a salary swap. Two players who could be traded are Scott Kazmir and Fernando Rodney, who are owed $12 million and $5.5 million, respectively, next season.
If the Angels were somehow able to make this trade, their offense would dramatically improve and they would immediately be a contender for the division.
However, there are two major problems in this trade.
The first problem is that the Rangers don’t need either of these two players. Scott Kazmir did not impress anyone over the past two seasons and Fernando Rodney has never been a hot commodity in the relief role with a 4.27 ERA. If the Angels were to make this trade, they would have to throw in a prospect to entice the Rangers—possibly Kevin Jepsen or Jordan Walden.
The second problem is that the Rangers are highly unlikely to make a trade with a team within the division, especially because it would improve the Angels by a wide margin. The only way this deal would be struck is if the Rangers are presented with enough prospects for the future.
Like the Angels, the White Sox are also in dire need of a third baseman. After all, does having Mark Teahen or Brent Morel as your opening day starter inspire any confidence? I think not.
A trade scenario that comes to mind is a Jake Peavy-Michael Young swap. Needless to say, this would be a huge upgrade for the White Sox. The real question is, will the Texas Rangers accept this trade?
After the loss of Cliff Lee to free agency, the Rangers starting rotation doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of any opposing batters. With C.J. Wilson penciled in as the opening day starter, the Rangers seem desperate for some consistent productivity at the top of the rotation. Peavy could fill that role and be the starter who could replace the great Cliff Lee.
However, there are several issues to this trade.
First, both Peavy and Young have a no-trade clause, so if this trade were to actually take place, it would take the approval of both players.
Second, Peavy is coming off a season-ending injury and has regressed over the past few seasons. The Rangers would have to be absolutely certain that Peavy can stay healthy and be a consistent performer over the next two to three years.
But, with that said, this trade seems like it could be mutually beneficial for both teams.
The Blue Jays already have one of the best offenses in the league. With Jose Bautista, Aaron Hill and Adam Lind in the center of the lineup and Rajai Davis batting leadoff, there are few teams that can out-hit them.
The one weakness of the Toronto Blue Jays is the outfield. Outside of the newly acquired Rajai Davis, an outfield consisting of Travis Snider and Juan Rivera isn’t exactly intimidating. However, a trade with Michael Young would certainly solve that problem. If they acquire Michael Young, they could move Jose Bautista to the outfield and have Michael Young man third base.
It is apparent that the Blue Jays can use Michael Young. Now, we just have to see if they can offer anything of significance to the Rangers. One thing is for certain, if the Blue Jays are seriously considering a trade, they would have to absorb a large portion of Young’s contract and also offer some of their minor league prospects.
What are they willing to give up for Michael Young remains to be seen. The Blue Jays do have one of the top farm systems in the MLB, so if any team has the ability to give up some prospects, it’s them.
Plus, it would be fun to see Michael Young return to the team that drafted him many years ago.
With such a young nucleus intact for the Rockies, a veteran presence alongside Todd Helton would be very beneficial. Ian Stewart has always shown potential, but his .245 career average says it may be time to look elsewhere for production.
For the Rockies, a Michael Young trade would make a lot of sense. They would get a great professional hitter at third base and also get a seasoned veteran that could be a huge increase in production from last year.
Like the Blue Jays, for the Rockies to obtain Michael Young, they would have to absorb the entire contract and give up one or two of their prospects. Luckily, the Rockies have a core of young players who are signed for the next few years so they can afford to trade away their position prospects.
Depending on what they have to give up, the Rockies should seriously consider trading for the third baseman.
Although the Tigers do have an aging infield, they should still seriously consider acquiring Michael Young in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Carlos Guillen a few short seasons ago was considered to be the shortstop of the future. However, with limited range, Carlos has been moved to second base to preserve his aging body.
As a result, they currently have a void at shortstop with veteran Jhonny Peralta penciled in at the starting role. They could use an upgrade considering Peralta is a below average hitter with his career average sitting at .263.
If the Tigers were to acquire Michael Young, they could plug him in at the position that he has played for a majority of his career, shortstop, and be a great two hitter in the lineup.
Like many other teams, the Tigers must absorb all of his salary if they want to acquire Michael Young. Detroit, having one of the largest payrolls, can certainly afford to take on his contract and should seriously consider it.
With many aging players on the Tigers like Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez and Victor Martinez, the window for them is closing. Adding Michael Young could put them over the top and give them a chance to compete with the White Sox and Twins.
Here is an interesting trade rumor that I came across: Michael Young for Francisco Liriano. This may seem like an outrageous proposal but after taking a closer look, it could actually be a possibility.
I’m sure that the Rangers would take this deal in a heartbeat, even if they have to absorb half of Young’s contract. The Rangers are looking for someone to replace Cliff Lee after losing him to free agency and Liriano could fill the void. I’m going to focus on the Twins to see if they would even consider trading the once heralded prospect.
For some reason, reports have come out that Liriano may not be in the long-term plans of the Twins. If this is the case, Liriano’s trade value cannot be higher, even if he is indeed an injury risk moving forward.
The Twins also have a formidable rotation as it is, with or without Liriano. If Liriano does leave, they have Slowey, who has a career 39-21 record, to replace him and be the fourth or fifth starter.
The Twins also need help at the shortstop position. Alexi Casilla isn’t exactly one of the best shortstops in the league and Michael Young would be an excellent acquisition for the Twins, who could use some firepower at the position. If the Twins don’t believe that Liriano can stay healthy for an extended period of time, they should pull the trigger—especially if the Rangers will absorb some of Michael Young’s large contract.