Michael Young free agency: Dodgers considering 3B for everyday role

Harry How

The Dodgers have above average players at nearly every position. However, they currently are without a third baseman.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have looked into free agent infielder Michael Young and are considering re-signing him to be their full-time third baseman in 2014, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.

Los Angeles acquired Young from the Phillies on Aug. 31 in exchange for minor league pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Young played in 21 games for the Dodgers in 2013, collecting 16 hits in 51 at-bats. On the season, he saw time in 147 games and posted a line of .279/.335/.395 with eight home runs.

Young is just two years removed from leading the American League in hits and posting an .854 OPS. However, he is 36 years old and his skills have clearly been deteriorating. The fact that the Dodgers are looking at him as an option to play full-time next year demonstrates they are not confident incumbent third baseman Juan Uribe will return as a free agent.

The Dodgers posted the fifth-worst OPS at the position in baseball last year. Uribe, Young and others combined to hit just .244/.300/.343 with 17 homers.

However, Los Angeles will likely find little better salvation at the position on the free agent market than Young. The remaining options are older veterans who either can't play full-time or whose best days are behind them; guys like Placido Polanco, Eric Chavez and WIlson Betemit.

The trade market is also slim on third basemen. The Brewers have said they will not trade Aramis Ramirez due to having no backup option, while someone like Chase Headley (who is sort-of kind-of maybe working on an extension with the Padres) would cost a boatload of prospects.

For now, Young is arguably the best option for the Dodgers when it comes to cost and production.

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