According to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown, Michael Young wants out. This time for real:
The Texas Rangers have told infielder Michael Young that they will attempt to trade him in the coming days, according to a source familiar with those conversations, in part because Young has grown disillusioned with his diminished role on the team.
The Rangers are known to have been in contact with the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels. The Rockies are believed to be Young’s most likely destination. The Rangers probably would rather not trade Young to the Angels, who share the American League West, but also would like to heed the wishes of Young, a loyal and productive player for a decade.
Both the Angels and Rockies would ask for salary relief in order to offset Young’s contract. He is due $48 million over the next three seasons.
Man, what an awful contract. I have defended Young (notably, here), but his five-year, $80 million contract was ridiculous when he signed it four years ago – the contract didn’t actually kick in until 2009 – and of course it looks quite a bit more ridiculous now.
Two years after getting a long-term mega-extension that manifestly was not merited by his performance, Young threw something of a fit when the Rangers made it clear that Elvis Andrus was going to play shortstop in 2009, theoretically pushing Young to third base. I say “theoretically” because he initially said that he simply would not play third base, that the Rangers would have to trade him to a club that would let him keep playing shortstop (poorly, we might add).
Not that we should hold that against him, because he soon agreed to make the switch and by all accounts took to his new position with good grace (if not success; he cost the Rangers about as many runs playing third as he had playing short).
We shouldn’t hold his current frustration against him, either. Just imagine that you’re the highest-paid player on your team, you’re No. 1 or 2 on the list in many of the franchise’s all-time statistical categories, and you’re still (you think) in the prime of your career. Would you be thrilled about losing your just-learned position to a free agent, and then seeing your last option filled, at least to some degree, by Mike Napoli?
This is mostly management’s fault for giving Young that silly contract in the first place. They’re paying him like a great player … Why shouldn’t he think he’s a great player?
Of course he’s not a great player and management knows this, now. Bringing first Adrian Beltre and then Napoli aboard was a fairly blatant declaration that Young’s simply not good enough to play for a contending team if other options are available. But management pointedly did not suggest that there wasn’t any room for Young on the roster … Because that would have made that contract look even sillier, and because it might have alienated Young’s fans in the Metroplex (of whom he supposedly has many, thanks to his long and meritorious service with the company). Also, it might have given management just slightly less leverage in negotiations with other clubs … And you have to think management started thinking about moving Young the moment they got Beltre’s name on the dotted line.
This way, though? They can say to the fans, “Gosh, we love Mike just as much as you do. So if he wants to be traded, we’ll do our very best to accommodate the fine young man.”
All of which would be great for everyone concerned if the Rangers weren’t going to wind up paying Young a massive amount of money, even if they’re able to trade him. Because the Rangers are still going to wind up choking on some or maybe even all of that $48 million.
Remember, you budding baseball executives: Your actions do have consequences (granted, often you’re not still around when they do, which come to think of it explains a lot, doesn’t it?).