500 words on Michael Young


Nobody puts Michael Young in the corner. At least, that’s what the soon-to-be former Texas Ranger is saying.

In an explosive interview with Ken Rosenthal that hit FoxSports.com around an hour ago, the longest tenured Ranger said he believes a break up is all but inevitable, and he’s ready to burn his bridges in the process. Earlier this winter, the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre to a six-year, $96-million contract, thus unseating Young. The Texas braintrust seemingly agreed to hand Young their starting DH spot, but with Mike Napoli on board, Young saw his playing time disappear.

“To suggest that there was just a couple of weeks off and I had a change of heart in terms of what position I wanted to play is inaccurate,” Young said. “I’ll be the first to admit that I was not particularly keen on the idea of being a DH. But I did agree to do it. I wanted to put the team first. I wanted to be a Ranger. But in light of events that happened in the process, I got pushed into a corner one too many times. I couldn’t take it any more.”

Young, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, has a list of eight acceptable trade destinations. Although Colorado appears to be the leading landing spot, the Yankees are on the list. So should they augment their collection of 2003 All Stars with one who made the team every year from 2004-2009?

In a vacuum, Young would make sense for the Yanks. Despite the team’s fiscal edge, GM Brian Cashman has struggled to build a viable bench over the past few years. As the club gears up for Spring Training, Ronnie Belliard and the always-injured Eric Chavez will have a chance to win a roster spot. Young is a clear upgrade over anyone else in camp. Furthermore, the Yanks have the financial ability to take on some of Young’s contract. That he is owed $48 million over the next three years is an impediment but not an impossibility.

On the field, it’s tough to tell what sort of season Young will deliver. After hitting .284/.330/.444 with 21 home runs last year, Young may be starting a decline. PECOTA pegs him at .283/.336/.419 for 2011. His defense, meanwhile, has gone from bad to worse, and he’s a well below average defender at any infield position. He wouldn’t be a late-inning defensive replacement, and his ceiling is probably as an average bat off the bench who could spell Alex Rodriguez or Robinson Cano in case of emergency. With that contract, who needs it?

Furthermore, Young obviously wants to go somewhere else due to playing time. He seems to want his 600 at-bats as a DH or infielder, and the Yanks are all stocked up there. Furthermore, the Rangers and Yankees, not exactly on the best of terms these days, would likely have a tough time matching up in trade talks if either party is willing to return the other’s calls.

Until Young is dealt, the Yanks will hover around the periphery of this ensuing drama. I don’t expect a match, though, and I don’t think we want that match to be made either.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Dela G says:

    this makes you appreciate a-rod more for willing to move to play 3rd base

    • Sayid J. says:

      Not really. Young was willing to move to 3B. Young was then also willing to move to DH. Young was not willing to split the DH job with Napoli. Young’s and ARod’s situations would be equivalent if the Yankees signed Beltre to push ARod to DH and then a few weeks later traded for Adrian Gonzalez to share the DH job with ARod. I’m sure ARod would complain as well.

      • RSA says:

        don’t forget that, during his career, the rangers had already moved him from short to 2b (bc arod was at short), then from 2b to short (bc of soriano) and then from short to 3rd (bc a 19 year old andrus who had never played above AA was handed the job before spring training).

        totally classless organization, screwing over a great player on the field and a great guy off the field. i guess that’s just what happens when you are the face of the texas rangers (*cough*pudge rodriguez*cough*).

        • bexarama says:

          They’re also a not exactly flush-with-cash organization and they’re paying him $16M a year. I get his frustration, but I’m not going “oh poor Michael Young.”

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          He’s not that great of a player.

        • Big Apple says:

          i never get these comments about “classless” organizations…especially when they pay their employees $90MM over a career.

          likewise, i never get comments about “class acts” and great “off the field guys”….like any of us know what these guys are really like.

          Pudge Rodriguez…give me a break…

      • Mike Axisa says:

        Young was willing to move to 3B. Young was then also willing to move to DH.

        Yeah, and he also threw a hissy fit along the way. A-Rod volunteered to move.

        • Sayid J. says:

          I’m sorry that ARod moving to 3B without throwing a hissy fit doesn’t make me appreciate him more. I appreciate him plenty as it is, but I don’t think his situation is at all analogous to Young’s.

      • M says:

        Just saying, but Napoli =/= A-Gon. Bad comparison, but I get your point.

    • Poopy Pants says:

      Using the same rationale, does it make you not appreciate Jeter at all?

  2. Xstar7 says:

    The Yankees have nowhere to put Michael Young so chances are that’s not happening.

  3. crawdaddy says:

    I don’t understand this article because Young is not a good match for the Yankees. He wants to play one position and get 600 at bats.

    • I take it you didn’t make it all the way to the second-to-last paragraph, eh? ;)

    • Poopy Pants says:

      RAB writes articles, then admits there’s absolutely no reason the article should have been written near the end. It’s all about web traffic and $$$. We’re all suckers.

      • L-O-fucking-L at the notion that this is about money. Jesus, we’d fucking homeless if it were about money.

      • Big Apple says:

        you are 100% correct. most of what is written in off the off season isn’t news…a lot based on assumptions, rumors, etc…but, it gives us baseball fans something to read and ponder in this long winter off season!

      • theyankeewarrior says:

        Web traffic and $$$? That’s what the MSM is about, you fool. RAB is the exact opposite. ESPN would write an article with a suggestive headline, trying to stir up a trade rumor for the buzz and conflict that it would bring to their message boards. Then they debate about it on tv. And the radio. RAB covers a topic that is relevant at the time, and quickly and concisely shuts down the notion at the end, or stants behind it.

        And it costs you nothing to read it.

        • To be fair, ESPN and those other MSM sites also cost you nothing to read.

          • JAG says:

            I think the rest of his point stands. The part where Ben says that Young isn’t a fit at all? You’d never see that paragraph in an ESPN article. Heck, most MSM articles would probably be going over ways in which he WOULD be a fit.

            I love that RAB writes articles about the rumors of the day, even, or rather especially, if those articles basically take apart the rumor as being nonsensical.

            • Glad you enjoy it, because we enjoy writing them.

              I really only made that comment because I’m sick of people haranguing other commenters with the “free content” argument. It’s not that compelling.

      • jsbrendog (returns) says:

        just go read a different blog then if you hate them so much. your incessant complaining is so old. you are the epitome of oaktag

  4. mbonzo says:

    I think one good sign to see if the Yankees FO is still pissed at the Rangers will be if someone comes out and says the Yankees won’t go near Young. If the Yankees aren’t in on the Young trade market, the Rangers will be begging to get something back for him for a team who could eat that contract.

    • Josh S. says:

      Or they offer up Jesus Montero and Phil Hughes for Young. Right when Jon Daniels thinks he has a steal and is about to pull the trigger, Cashman hangs up the phone and tells Daniels to go f himself and his entire organization.

  5. Danimal says:

    One word: Why?

  6. Kiersten says:

    I’m generally not to keen on hanging on locking up utility players for three years.

    • Sayid J. says:

      Especially overpaid utility players in their decline. I’m content going with Hinske/Hairston route rather than paying 4x as much for an upgrade.

  7. Kiersten says:

    And Benjamin, that was 539 words.

  8. mustang says:

    This not even worth discussing.

  9. mustang says:

    “Young is willing to accept a trade to: Cardinals, Yankees, Twins, Astros, Rockies, Dodgers, Angels, and Padres. The team has said they are dealing with just those eight teams right now”

    I would LOVE to hear that phone call to Cashman.


  10. CMP says:

    Obviously it’s a no brainer that the Yanks shouldn’t trade for Young and one of the main reasons is screw the Rangers and that loudmouth Chuck Greenberg. I hope he either gets stuck paying $50 million for a disgruntled utility infielder or is forced to give him away for nothing.

    • Big Apple says:

      yeah…sign an aging vet with a bloated contract who can’t field and has no real fit with the team…

      that’ll show Chuck Greenberg!

      • fire levine says:

        Think you missed the word “shouldn’t” which kinda translates to “should not”

        • Big Apple says:

          well, golly, you are right..my bad..the way i read it makes it more interesting, huh!

          i say forget about greenberg….pay no mind to the man behind the curtain!

  11. Midland TX says:

    I wonder if he’d be willing to move to RHP. He could get to face 600 batters, but he might have to split time with Ivan Nova or Bartolo Colon.

    And he’d need to pick a new jersey number because #10 is unavailable.

  12. A.D. says:

    Interesting group of teams on Young’s list spans East to West coast and playoff teams to not even close

  13. vinnie says:

    Why cant we DH him? Hes absolutely an improvement over Posada. And could play third once a week to give arod rest. I could see the Yanks giving him 450 PA and Posada 200 with arod getting 525-550 instead of 600. And I am saying Arod gets this because he will need days off, and maybe 1 stint on the DL.

    • A.D. says:

      I’d be surprised if the yanks cut Posada’s playing time out from under him just to bring in Michael Young.

      That said if he could fake it at SS, 3B, 2B a bit & then DH some it would be a nice luxury, but just doesn’t seem like a fit.

    • bexarama says:

      Hes absolutely an improvement over Posada.

      Posada, career: .275/.377/.479/.856
      Posada, 2010: .248/.357/.454/.811

      Young, career: .300/.347/.448/.795
      Young, 2010: .284/.330/.444/.774

      Also keep in mind that in his career, Young hits like… well… he hits like Jorge Posada at home (.859 OPS) and like Maicer Izturis on the road.

      • bexarama says:

        .733 career road OPS, forgot to put that in there. Two points less than Francoeur’s career OPS.

      • vinnie says:

        posadas is 38, young is 33.

        Posada career as a DH .223/.336/.358/.694
        and for all its worth in 103 ABs Young’s splits are .388/.434/.573/1.006

        do you honestly think Posada will have a better year than Young?

        and for all its worth Young could be a utility player, Cash already said Posada will only get 10 games catching.

    • Big Apple says:

      why no love for jorge? for the love of God, jorge has been great…hopefully he can look beyond his desire to catch and focus on hitting…and staying healthy for a year.

      i’m looking forward to jorge at DH. many think its a disaster, but he’s a decent hitter, bats from both sides, has power and he’s clutch. he’s just slower than a mountain!

    • Ted Nelson says:

      In what way is he an upgrade over Posada?

  14. MattG says:

    Read the article, but it left out the only compelling argument for bringing in Young: take the salary to get a starting pitcher. Texas has a surplus of cheap back-end types. Perhaps Derek Holland would be the most reasonable.

    This consideration tips the scale from ‘really stupid’ to ‘desperate.’

    • Holland walks too many guys, but he’s a solid pitcher and he’s only 24 years old. I’d take him in a second, so I’m pretty sure there’s no way he’d be a throw-in to a Michael Young trade.

      • Fair Weather Freddy says:

        Yanks could get Young to play 2nd, then turn around and trade Cano for King Felix straight up. With David Adams on the way up, Young could be a 2 year stopgap. Not as crazy as it sounds

      • Ted Nelson says:

        “I’m pretty sure there’s no way he’d be a throw-in to a Michael Young trade.”

        I’m pretty sure there won’t be a Michael Young to the Yankees trade without a throw in like Holland, though. Even if the Rangers eat half his salary do you really want a utility guy who can’t field and hit just above league average last season for $8 mill till he’s 36?

        So, a trade probably doesn’t happen to the Yankees. I think the point is more “in order for the Yankees to even be interested they’d have to also get the Rangers to… throw in a starter or eat $30+ mill.” Probably just gets traded to Colorado or whoever.

        • jsbrendog (returns) says:

          the yankees could get a three team trade where they get holland and young and texas eats half the salary and then the yankees trade young and eat the other half to colorado for CarGo!!!11!!!!


          • Ted Nelson says:

            My point is that the Yankees are not trading for Young.

            \these stupid things are annoying’d

            • jsbrendog (returns) says:

              then dont read them or reply to them

              • Ted Nelson says:

                I replied because you called me ignorant when I did not think that was the case, but I will make a point of not replying to you anymore.

                It would be great if you had some real points to add to the conversation instead of just making fun of all the comments you think demonstrate less knowledge about statistics than you have.

                • Doug says:

                  He wasn’t calling you IGNANT, Ted. He was in complete agreement with you. Using the voice of an “ignorant fan,” he made an absurd trade proposal to show how absurd it’d be to trade for Michael Young in order to flip him.

                  You misread his comment, and took a shot at his use of “slashies.”

                  He responded in kind, irked by your critical response.

                  Then you decide to blow the whole thing up by publicly declaring you are going to treat him like a non-person from now on, in addition to accusing him of mocking people on grounds of supposed intellectual superiority.

                  Seriously, Ted. RAB is not Knickerblogger. There is no need to lash out. The tone may get aggressive, but it’s more or less a pro-Yankee, pro-stat oriented hivemind.

  15. the Other Steve S. says:

    Honestly, Texas is so stupid maybe we could get him for nothing, make them pay 3/4s of his salary and then flip him for something useful.

  16. Rick says:

    The opening line should say “Nobody takes Michael Young off the corner”

  17. Yank the Frank says:

    Can Young pitch?

  18. Vigo the Despised says:

    Why doesn’t Cashman trade Igawa straight up for Roy Halladay, with the Phillies paying all of Halladay’s salary? He should be fired

    • Josh S. says:

      Great idea, although the Yanks might have to give up more than Igawa to give the Phillies close to equal value, perhaps they throw in Sergio Mitre.

  19. twac00 says:

    I wonder if Young could play all 3 OF positions, 1B, C, and switch pitch.

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