Last year during the World Series, I was in New Orleans for a bachelor party and got into a drunken argument with my buddy Mitch, a life-long Rangers fan. The topic was Michael Young. For obvious reasons, I can’t remember exactly what Mitch said, but it was something like Young was overpaid, wasn’t a good defensive third baseman and was no longer the hitter he once was. Honestly, the comments were mild, but I wasn’t having it. How could a Rangers’ fan, during the organization’s first World Series appearance, have anything negative to say about the franchise’s rock over the last decade? I think Mitch regretted making those statements, but only because the comments weren’t worth listening to my annoying rant that followed.
A month later, when the Rockies first became interested in Young, I basically wrote the same thing that Mitch said. Turns out that, for the first time in Mitch’s life, he had formed an objective opinion about sports. Apparently, it is a popular belief because the Rangers are ready to dump Young, even if it means paying a significant portion of his salary while he plays for another team.
If he weren’t guaranteed $50M over the next three seasons, I might feel sorry for Young. As a career Ranger, Mike has endured years of losing and has been forced to move from second to short to third and now to the bench. Despite constantly changing positions, Young has made six All-Star teams and is a career .300 hitter. For several seasons in the last decade, he was basically Texas’s only bright spot. Now that the franchise has emerged from the depths of baseball hell, they want nothing more to do with Mike Young. It reminds me of when Roger Sterling dumped Mona for Jane. It is a really crappy way to treat someone that carried the franchise for so many years.
Texas’s desire to replace Young with Adrian Beltre is understandable. At least during contract years, Beltre is an elite third baseman. However, it’s interesting that the Rangers don’t want Mike as their DH. For whatever reason, they think Mike Napoli will be a better option. That is quite a stretch.
Young, always one to take the high road, has had little to say about the Rangers’ off-season activity, but he has to be pissed. According to reports, he didn’t attend the Rangers’ yearly banquet because of the flu. It would be unfair of me to allege that his illness wasn’t legitimate, but Young’s absence from the AL Champ’s banquet does raise an eye-brow. His unhappiness is probably why the Rangers are suddenly dead set on getting rid of him.
At $16M a season for the next three years, I don’t like Young for the Rockies, which I’ve written numerous times in this blog. But, according to Troy Renck of the Post, the Rangers might be willing to take on as much as $20M of Young’s remaining contract. At three years, $28M, Young is a much more attractive option. Basically since the inception of the franchise, second base has been a problem for the Rockies. Right now, it is probably the team’s biggest question mark. Young’s bat and veteran presence would make for a significant upgrade at second, but the Rockies can’t and won’t overpay.
Currently, the Rangers are in a bad spot. One of their most influential players is discontented. They don’t want the bad blood that has developed to have a detrimental effect on their clubhouse chemistry. They can’t trade Young to just anybody. He has strong trade-veto rights in his contract and will undoubtedly reject any trade that doesn’t send him to a contender. That’s why the Rockies are a perfect fit. They are a legit contender to win the NL West next season, and right now, Young can’t veto the Rox.
When something is a rumor for as long as Mike Young-to-Colorado has been, it almost always comes to fruition. According to numerous reports, there is a very good chance that this deal will be done within the next week. I don’t know what prospects the Rockies will have to give up for Young, but, with the Rangers taking on a portion of Young’s salary, it’s safe to bet they will be some of Colorado’s best. Charlie Blackmon’s name has been mentioned by numerous sources. According to Tracy Ringolsby, the teams were previously so close to an agreement that the Rangers gave EY Jr. a physical.
This has already been a strong off-season. If the Rox are able to acquire Mike Young with the Rangers paying half of his salary, it will be the best Rockies’ off-season in recent memory. Much more to come on this ever developing story…
Troy Renck gives us yet another reason to love Tulo.
Call to the Pen discusses the greatness of Pujols. Duh.
Speaking of Pujols, the situation in St. Louis is becoming more questionable by the day. Though it once seemed impossible, there is a good chance that Albert will be a free agent next season.