MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons the SF Giants Should Deal for Michael Young
The Texas Rangers made headlines recently with the signing of Adrian Beltre. The next question they have to answer is concerning their former third baseman, Michael Young.
Young is not new to big league position changes, however. He's had time at all infield positions besides first base, although it's been some time since he's had to consider a switch. In 2008 he spent time at SS, and back in 2003 Michael Young was primarily a second baseman.
One major hurdle remains. Michael Young won't be a free agent until 2014; trading him might actually be harder then keeping him and using him sparingly, or moving him to a different position. There has been talk about using him at DH, but for a guy like Young with plenty of years left as a solid defensive player, that might be somewhat of a downgrade as far as his rhythm goes.
In a recent ESPN article, I came across the notion of Young becoming a Lance Berkman, who was traded mid-season and became a DH for the Yankees. It was obvious that Berkman wouldn't play first base, a position anchored by Teixeira. The idea of Berkman becoming bored came up, in which he referenced the sheer awkwardness of simply not trotting out to your normal position.
For Michael Young, it may be a good thing. A better thing would be if he could use utilize his defensive talent in a city that would love to make him an everyday player. As for now, and according to the Rangers website, Michael Young is officially a DH. I guess the playoffs proved fatal in his campaign to man the hot corner, as he made a handful of crucial mistakes.
Let's take a look at some reasons why he'd be perfect for San Francisco should his time with Texas in the DH role become unbearable.
Commitment to the Organization
Michael Young has been adamant that he wants to stay in Texas, honoring his generous contract which pays him $16 million a year. Even with Beltre coming to town, Young has agreed with the management that a change was needed.
In many ways, players such as Young are grossly lacking in a market that is dictated by exposure and big pay-outs. Don't get me wrong, Young is paid quite well, but I can think of several everyday players who'd be chomping at the bit if they were replaced by a big-name free agent.
In a discussion about this new situation, Young was quoted as saying the following to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning Star:
"It's clear that I want to play with the Rangers," Young said Wednesday after speaking with his replacement. "That's the only part of how this is viewed that's important to me. I'm willing to make some pretty big sacrifices. This move is pretty significant in terms of my career path. How it's viewed is not going to be important to me in terms of my job. And now my focus is on how I can best do that job."
I don't know if there is a more desirable player to attain then Young, and his willingness to accept the path given to him his pretty honorable.
As stated before, Young can play every position in the infield, and reports state that he could see some time at first base as a so-called "super" utility player.
Ian Kinsler is injury-prone, having never played more than 144 games in a season during his young career. Michael Young could be the primary slot player inserted when the starters need a rest, which makes the Rangers that much better than they were before Beltre.
Typically teams who win the bidding of the top free agents are in desperate need. The Rangers, as it looks now, fill two roles with players many teams would trade great talent to obtain.
The Giants could use him as a primary second basemen, but it sure is nice to have a guy who can play SS if Tejada were to need a breather. Even Pablo Sandoval could receive some additional days off. The plethora of ways Young could help the Giants is obvious—it's just the contract situation that makes it tough.
That, and the Rangers would really need to turn the cold shoulder on Young. His commitment is unmatched, and he's grateful to be playing for any team.
Should something happen where he is considered a wasted talent with Texas, it would behoove the Giants to consider him as a high-priced option.
His career fielding percentage is .978. He's made 81 errors in over 6,200 innings played in the infield, and most importantly seems to have averaged 18 errors or so over the past couple of seasons since his switch to third base.
In 2002, Michael Young only had nine errors in 155 games played. Those were his second base numbers.
Long story shot, the guy can play. His defense is a little above league average, and because last season was one of his worst defensively, his career numbers have decreased slightly.
San Francisco could certainly use his defensive prowess. Sandoval is pretty solid at third, but if Young could replicate his youthful 2002 season, his play at second base could help the Giants out.
Additional Power From Any Batting Spot in the Lineup
As he prepares for DH, it's obvious that Young is willing to bat from the dugout. It also can be hypothesized that Young would be extremely valuable hitting in the 7 or 8 spot.
For the Giants, who don't offer the DH slot, Young could also be a valuable pinch hitter. He has the calmness to step in and produce runs because he's the type of guy who's not worried about ego, or so it seems.
An instant improvement for the Giants. He could be someone the Giants have never truly had for that role.
His Value of Team Over Self
As compared to Pete Rose, who had the famous quotes where he asked the public to name one other player who would have switched positions to help the team, Michael Young could certainly benefit should things pan out the same way they did for the 1975 Reds, who won two straight titles.
Young has proclaimed himself as at the mercy of the Rangers: He's even worked out at first base, and is more then willing to work out at any other position. He's clearly realized the sacrifice needed in a team's success. Barry Zito could probably speak on that.
The Giants are of the same pedigree as any major-money team in the league. They embody much of what Michael Young could possibly ask for. Unfortunately, it's going to take some prying to get Young in SF, but should it happen despite his willingness to be shifted around, boy would he be a firecracker.
Please, Texas, get greedy. Deal Mike Young for minor league pitching. I'm sure the Giants wouldn't have much discussion if it could be for Zack Wheeler, or possibly Jonathan Sanchez.
A World Series Title
The Giants beating his Rangers couldn't have put a sweet taste in his mouth last postseason. He's been in the league since 2000, and his hourglass is starting to run out on years remaining at superior physical condition. He's been injured, but overall he's quite durable.
Could the Giants be more of a direct path to his title hopes? The Rangers have good pitching, but with Cliff Lee in Philadelphia it would seem as if both of the game's hottest pitching staffs reside in the NL.
Young would be a perfect guy to have in the lineup should a Giants-Phils rematch take place in 2011.
I've made mention of his classiness several times throughout this article, and it certainly is one of the more popular aspects of his character. SF is a pretty classy place. It seems like a perfect fit for a seasoned veteran.
Just ask Edgar Renteria or Juan Uribe. Hopefully Young doesn't see the contract notes for both of those players.
Young has said all the right things, and for the kind of coin he brings in, I would too. Still, there's something to be said for a player who agrees with decisions made by management.
Career numbers of 158 homers and 851 RBI? Yeah, I'd say thats a reason to bring him in.
He is also a double machine, racking up nearly 350 in 11-year career.
He's not the quickest guy on the field, but definitely has the knowledge necessary to get himself and others into scoring positions.
He averages roughly 10 stolen bases per 162 games played, and has only been caught stealing 25 times in his career. He's also sacrificed runners over nearly 100 times in his career, whether by bunt or fly ball.
For a team lacking in run production throughout the season, the Giants could use his knack for smart hitting. The Giants sat at 17th in the league, producing 697 runs. Young could add to this number significantly.
Oh yeah, and if you've forgotten, let's mention it again. Young is intent on staying in Texas. This is merely hypothetical—as if to say the Rangers could really piss him off and want to ship him out. His contract is dicey, and that's putting it nicely.
Ability to Play Every Day
Michael Young has played in over 1,500 games, most notably his 2006 season when he played in all 162 games. His lowest output of games played was in 2001, his second season as a pro, when he only played in 102 games.
He's hit the mark of 160 three times in his career, and has showed that he is versatile enough to be the pillar of a franchise, as he's available to give other players days off. This could be huge in a system such as San Francisco, with the aging Miguel Tejada anchoring SS.
All in all, the reasons are endless as to why the Giants should bring in Michael Young. His contract is the major hurdle, and it's going to have to involve the Rangers showing Michael Young no respect, even despite his willingness to work with the organization.
He would be an excellent addition, and if things don't work out between him and the Rangers, look for the Giants to be a major player for his services.