The Michael Young trade rumors started making headlines back in December. And that was before the Rangers made some of their moves. Since then, the team has signed Adrian Beltre to serve as the everyday third baseman, and it's also traded for Mike Napoli, a powerful righty who'll get time at catcher, first base, and DH. Based on the roster situation, it would seem that Young is an even better candidate to get traded now than he used to be. But Nolan Ryan doesn't want you thinking like that:
“[Young] is going to be our DH on opening day,” Ryan said at a luncheon for the Round Rock Express on Thursday.
Ryan said he expected about 80 percent of Young’s starts to come at designated hitter. He said Young provides the Rangers flexibility that other teams would love to have.
The 34-year-old Young is due $16 million over each of the next three seasons, making him pretty expensive for a guy without a clear defined role. But he means a lot to the Rangers, and the team wants to keep him around and get him playing as often as he can. At least in the short term, if Napoli gets the bulk of his time at first or behind the plate, then Young should still have an opportunity to play often as the designated hitter. He will also be used around the infield as needed.