Baseball Insider

Outfield is the main focus, but Rangers mull Michael Young return

Seen as the most likely Phillies player dealt, Michael Young is a Texas clubhouse favorite. (USATSI)
Seen as the most likely Phillies player dealt, Michael Young is a Texas clubhouse favorite (USATSI)

The Rangers are focused on outfielders at the moment, but they've talked at least internally about the possibility of trying to bring back former Rangers star Michael Young, according to sources.

The need right now is for a right-handed-hitting outfielder, and they've considered Alex Rios, Hunter Pence, Chris Denorfia, Marlon Byrd and several others as they look to fill that hole. But a return of Young -- though while it can't be characterized as probable -- could be intriguing.

Young and Rangers manager Ron Washington have a very close relationship, and Young, who's playing third base for the fading Phillies, is very popular in the clubhouse and with fans. He seemed to agonize before accepting the offseason trade to Philadelphia from Texas this winter. He received a full no-trade as part of that deal, but with the Phillies seemingly in freefall and all his ties to the Rangers, there's no reason to think that should be an issue.

The Rangers need right-handed hitting and surely have some concern about the status of Nelson Cruz, one of 15 or so players linked to Biogeneses. Switch-hitter Lance Berkman has been out, and he told the Dallas Morning News he might retire.

Kendrys Morales could be a natural fit to replace Berkman, though the Mariners haven't signaled yet whether they might sell.

Young, who has seven homers, 31 RBI and a .283 batting average, would be a good fit for the Yankees and Red Sox, who've shown interest, and the Reds are said to be another team to be considering him. The Phillies haven't committed to selling yet but Young is seen as about the most likely Phillies player to go considering the team's depth at third base and his status as a free agent at year's end.

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