Tag:Michael Young
Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:13 pm
 

Rangers may still be working to trade Young

YoungThe Rangers, despite all denials to the contrary, continue to explore a way to trade Michael Young, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.

And yep -- the Rockies are yet again one potential destination.

Despite Young's .280/.330/.444 mark with 21 homers, the lifelong Ranger (except for that whole coming up in the minors with the Blue Jays thing), could be on the move thanks to his contract, which has three years and $48 million remaining.

With the inking of Adrian Beltre, Young is expected to become the primary DH as well as play all over the infield. However, Young's bat doesn't quite translate to being a DH. Texas would likely prefer to shed its commitment to Young and bring Vladimir Guerrero back to DH.

Any deal of Young, though, would have to include Texas covering an ample amount of dollars. At this point, Young simply can't field (although he would be asked to do that in Colorado or likely any other place) and after five straight seasons of a batting average over .300, the 34-year-old has dropped below that mark in two of the last three years. Three years and $48 million is an awful lot to commit to someone who shows signs of declining and can't field.

But the Rockies have been linked to Young all offseason, and it's hard to fault them for that. For all of Young's deficiencies, he still remains an above-average contributor to a playoff club and the Rockies are one such team eager to play again in October. While Young could displace Ian Stewart at third, it is far more likely Young would take over the second base job, which is currently an open competition between Eric Young, Jr., Javier Herrera and Jose Lopez.

Colorado and Texas accomplished enough at the winter meetings in trade discussions that both sides have a good idea of what it would take to finish a deal -- but unless there are concessions made, there won't be any trades.

Other teams that might have interest could include the Toronto Blue Jays, who could slot Young in at third and keep Jose Bautista in right. How about the Angels, who still have money to burn and no one worthy of standing in Young's way at the hot corner? 

Could Detroit jump into the fracas and make Young the starting second baseman to boost the offense? Florida would make a lot of sense here, but the Marlins seem committed to prospect Matt Dominguez and the money is prohibitive. The Cubs could also come to play and boot Blake DeWitt from second base back to the bench, or the Giants could import Young to battle with Pablo Sandoval at third and Freddy Sanchez at short. And you can't rule out the Dodgers replacing Casey Blake at third and making Blake a super-utility player which is a position he is best for at this point anyways.

Lots of options. But in the end, it all depends how much money each respective team can afford to take on.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 5:17 pm
 

Napoli, Francisco sign with new teams

Mike Napoli
Mike Napoli exchanged arbitration numbers with the Angels just 11 days ago. Two teams later, he's avoided going to arbitration with the Rangers by agreeing on a $5.8 million deal, as first reported by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

The catcher/first baseman was traded to the Blue Jays in the Vernon Wells deal on January 21, then four days later moved to Texas for Frank Francisco. When an arbitration-eligible player is traded at this stage in the year, the team arbitration figure goes with him, meaning the Rangers were tied to the $5.3 million the Angels submitted. Today's agreement leans more toward the $6.1 million Napoli was seeking.

Napoli, 29, batted .238 with 26 homers for the Angels last season. In Texas, he'll be a super-utility player, catching on occasion, acting as designated hitter when Michael Young is in the field and playing first base against some left-handers in place of Mitch Moreland.

UPDATE: Hey, look at that. Minutes after news of Napoli's deal broke, the Blue Jays tweeted that they reached agreement with Francisco on a $4 million deal to avoid arbitration. Francisco had asked for $4.875 million while the Rangers set the team number at $3.5 million.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 27, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: January 27, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Young, Moreland still to start with Napoli added

YoungNow that the Rangers are suddenly deep in position players, you could excuse Michael Young for wondering just how he's going to get his 600 at-bats.

Never fear, as manager Ron Washington put those problems to rest, saying Young (pictured) is the starting DH while Mitch Moreland remains the starter at first.

"It's not going to be a problem," Washington told the Fort Worth Star Telegram"Michael's going to get his at-bats. He's still going to be my primary DH. He's going to get some chances to play first. He's going to get some chances to play second. He's going to get some chances to play third."

Washington plans to rest his veterans more this season, especially in the late summer, and the acquisition of both starting third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli will help there.

"We're a better team now," Washington said. "I don't plan on playing Adrian Beltre in 162 games. I don't plan on playing Ian Kinsler in 162 either. We've got pieces that we can move around now."

Young will DH around 80 percent of the time according to president Nolan Ryan via the Telegram, but is expected to be the primary backup infielder and will sub for players in the field who receive days off. That will open up the DH spot for Mike Napoli, who is also expected to play first base against tough left-handers and serve as the club's No. 3 catcher. But don't expect him to play full time.

"He's not going to get 600 at-bats unless something happens to one of our veterans," Washington said of Napoli. "He's going to play an integral part in our season. All I have now is more choices."

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 26, 2011 11:16 am
 

Rockies not done shopping

BiemelThe Rockies aren't finished shopping and hope to bring in three players, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Colorado is looking to add a starting pitcher, left-handed reliever and backup infielder.

Currently, the rotation is made up of Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Aaron Cook, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel. The club will also have Felipe Paulino in the rotation, but Colorado apparently is seeking a veteran to make 10-15 starts over the course of the season. Given the rotation is full, any veteran depth would likely have to come on a minor-league deal. Rosenthal names Dave Bush and Rodrigo Lopez as targets.

Another position that would require a minor-league contract is left-handed relief. The club has Franklin Morales and Matt Reynolds as options out of the bullpen but would like to conduct a competition for the bullpen spot. Eyes are on Joe Beimel (pictured), who is unlikely to sign a minor-league contract given interest from other teams, and Mark Hendrickson.

Lastly, the Rockies are searching for additional names to throw into the fire for the backup infield job. Alfredo Amezaga, Cristian Guzman and Aaron Miles are possible candidates.

Minor moves to be sure, but depth is everything over the course of a baseball season.

And Colorado may not be done with major moves. Despite the Rockies signing reliever Matt Lindstrom and extending the deals of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies may still be interested in acquiring Michael Young from Texas. If the Rangers are willing to kick in serious cash to move Young and clear up playing time for Mitch Moreland and the newly-acquired Mike Napoli, Young could end up in a Rockies uniform.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Rangers interested in Thome

Jim Thome The Rangers are interested in free-agent designated hitter Jim Thome, Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune confirms via Twitter .

Thome, 11 homers shy of 600, has balked at re-signing with the Twins so far this offseason following his productive 2010. While no longer a full-time DH, Thome can still be very effective when used correctly, as the Twins did last season when he appeared in 108 games for Minnesota.

Thome was used mostly against right-handed pitchers last season, hitting .302/.455/.698 against right-handers in 246 plate appearance and .241/.298/.471 in 94 plate appearances against lefties. All but two of his 16 homers came against right-handers.

The Rangers are still trying to figure out how to move forward with their lineup after signing free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Michael Young is certain to be moved, but will he be a first baseman or a designated hitter.

Young hit better against left-handers in 2010, .322/.374/.497 last season, while hitting .270/.314/.425 against righties. But if he's a full-time first baseman, he doesn't figure into the designated hitter spot.

However, the team has said it may use him more as a utility player, giving him starts across the infield to spell second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and Beltre. Thome's presence could aid that usage of Young.

While Thome's not exactly a perfect, easy fit for the Rangers, he does add to the Texas offense. The Rangers certainly have the money Thome's looking for -- the Twins paid him $1.5 million last season and he's been said to be looking for a raise after 2010, one Minnesota's not sure it can afford.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 11:28 pm
 

Young OK with move to DH

Michael Young Michael Young is fine with moving to designated hitter if the Rangers do sign free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.

There had been reports that he didn't want to move, but he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram 's Jeff Wilson that he's fine with a move .

"My motivation is to play for a winning team and to be extremely productive. And I want to do that with the Rangers," Young said. "If I've got to get the majority of my 700 plate appearances as a DH, that's what I've got to do."

Young told the paper that he's talked with general manager Jon Daniels, but the conversation "was left somewhat open-ended." Young said he did not discuss playing first base. According to the Dallas Morning News , Young could be used in a hybrid designated hitter/super-utility role, filling in at other infield spots when he's not the DH. He's the only player in history to start at least 130 games in a season at shortstop, second base and third base.

Wilson also writes the negotiation with Scott Boras are on-going and "there is a level of confidence that a deal could be struck."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Young doesn't want to change positions

Michael Young While the Rangers' official business on Monday was announcing the deals for Brandon Webb and Arthur Rhodes, the unofficial business was much more interesting.

MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan checks in following the team's news conference and says the team's not "particularly optimistic" that they'll sign Adrian Beltre. The Rangers were reportedly close on Sunday, but several reports have refuted that since.

One of the reasons may be that incumbent third baseman Michael Young doesn't want to move from third. One idea to accompany Beltre -- a superior defensive third baseman -- was to move Young to designated hitter or first base.

The Rangers also checked in on Andy Pettitte, but were told that he'd either retire or return to the Yankees and made it clear he wants to return to the Yankees. There has been some speculation in multiple reports today that Pettitte could tell the Yankees of his decision this week. Sullivan said the Rangers expect Pettitte to wait until next month to make his decision.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:22 am
Edited on: December 30, 2010 11:23 am
 

Rangers' interest in Beltre genuine?

Adrian Beltre
After the A's dropped out of the bidding for Adrian Beltre (and rightfully so, the way he's given them the cold shoulder for two years), we are down to two teams that are known to have interest: the Angels and Rangers.

Or is it actually just one team? As T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes, there are multiple reasons the Rangers might be more of a negotiating piece than an actual suitor for Beltre. For one thing, making the division rival Angels -- who are thought to be desperate to make an impact move after coming up pretty much empty this winter -- bid against themselves benefits the Rangers. That's not even to say the Rangers are doing it on purpose, as this could be agent Scott Boras leveraging some unknown level of Texas interest in Beltre to drive up the price.

The other way a phantom pursuit of Beltre would benefit the Rangers is in their ongoing negotiations to bring back designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, who has not found a match in his push for a multi-year deal. The Rangers want him to accept a one-year deal to return, and having the unspoken "hey, we have other offensive options" factor out there could motivate Guerrero to sign on before the Rangers run out of money and needs.

Of course, there's also the question of what the Rangers do with Michael Young should they land Beltre. As Sullivan points out, keeping both of them in some combination of third base/first base/designated hitter would cost at least $30 million, or about a third of the Texas payroll (and definitely rule out Guerrero's return). The Rangers were quick to squash rumors they were trying to trade Young at the Winter Meetings.

Of course, this is all specualtion, but absent any actual news from the Beltre camp that's all we've got at this point.

-- David Andriesen

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