I’ve written about a potential Michael Young-to-Colorado trade so many times that I have tired head. There are so many reasons why this trade won’t happen and I thought it was officially dead. Then, Ken Rosenthal ran out of things to write about the other day and decided to speculate on something that I mentioned in early December. Since he’s Ken Rosenthal, everyone pays attention to what he says, whereas very few people care what I have to say. Accordingly, a trade for Michael Young is once again a rumor.
Over the past couple of days, the Denver Post’s Troy Renck has spent a fair amount of time dispelling the rumor via twitter — and then again in a blog this morning. According to Renck, the Rangers and Rockies haven’t had any serious discussions since December.
Texas is looking for a sucker to take Young. The Rangers’ new ownership are aware that they owe Young far more than he is actually worth and are hoping to coax the Rox into a foolish trade. Colorado wasn’t willing to give up the requested prospects or take on the Ranger’s $48M obligation.
It’s wrong to assume that Texas must trade Young. In the last year, they’ve gone from bankrupt to one of the wealthiest organizations in baseball. If you’ll recall, they offered an ungodly sum to Cliff Lee and bought Adrian Beltre away from the Angels. Their estimated payroll for next season is only $86M; the Rockies’ is $90M. My point is that Texas will have no problem eating Young’s salary for the next three seasons — even if he is nothing more than a utility player. They would like to trade Young, but, if they can’t, their foundation won’t crumble.
The Rockies are in a somewhat different financial situation. Earlier this month, the Monforts said they were tapped out with the current payroll. I seriously doubt that they will be willing to commit $48M to a thirty-four-year-old that hasn’t played a single game at second since 2003. Not to mention, having Young entrenched at second base would block the paths of several minor leaguers.
Interestingly, the Rox are the only team said to be considering Young, a pretty good indication that the Rangers are asking for too much in return. Last year, Young’s WAR was 2.7. That’s a respectable total for most players, but not for one making $16M a year. Ninety position players had a WAR higher than 2.7 last season and very few made more than Young. I’m going out on a limb here and saying that nobody will trade for Michael Young unless the Rangers decide to pay a portion of his contract.
Another Minor League Contract
The Rockies are hoping to find depth by throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and waiting to see what sticks. It seems like they have signed at least 50 washed-up players to minor league deals over the past month. Yesterday, they signed Alfredo Amezaga. Some fans will remember Amezaga from his VERY brief stint with the Rockies in 2005. Amezaga is a super utility player, having spent time at every position except for pitcher and catcher. Like most of the players that have recently signed minor league contracts, Alfredo isn’t likely to make the team out of spring training.