Team player

The Rangers asked Michael Young to move to third to make room for prospect Elvis Andrus. Since Young is a team leader, a team player, and a gamer, he gladly obliged, and vowed to move his locker next to Andrus’ so that he could mentor the lad as he makes his way through his first season in the bigs.

Just kidding, he flipped out and demanded a trade:

The Texas Rangers are exploring trade options for five-time All-Star shortstop Michael Young at the player’s request after he became upset about the team’s plan to move him to third base . . .

. . . The Rangers would like to move Young to third to make room for highly touted prospect Elvis Andrus at shortstop. The 20-year-old Andrus came to Texas in July 2007 in the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta.

Daniels said he and manager Ron Washington met with the 32-year-old Young last month about the direction of the team and moving to third base.

“Reluctant, reluctant,” Daniels said, describing Young’s reaction. “He explained to us that he’s worked extremely hard to make himself a shortstop. Obviously in 2004, he volunteered to move from second base to shortstop. That kind of shows the team-first character that has been a stable of his personality and really has made himself an outstanding player.”

Guess that’s not the case anymore. Hmmm . . . I thought the reason the Rangers hired Nolan Ryan was so he could beat the snot out of players who misbehave like this.

Anyway, my guess is that Young’s change of heart is based on the Gold Glove he was inexplicably awarded last season and that he now believes his own press clippings. That’s meaningless of course — the GG voters once gave one to a DH — but if Young believes that such hardware makes him too valuable to move, maybe some GM out there believes it makes him valuable too and will thus be willing to take Young and his obscene contract off Jon Daniels’ hands.

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  1. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    Not for nothing, but don’t forget Young agreed to move from 2B to SS once ARod was traded for Soriano. 

    Not to mention, no matter how we regard his Gold Glove award, he’s being asked to move for an unproven AA player.

  2. MooseinOhio said...

    I smell a Red Sox-Rangers deal in the air with Jed Lowrie, Clay Bucholz, Ryan Kalish and a few others heading Texas for Young and Saltamacchia to the Sox.

  3. The Common Man said...

    @ Ryan

    I don’t think the Sox want to move Lowrie for someone who isn’t demonstrably better, given his low salary and promising performance last year.  And Lowrie won’t have as much value to the Rangers if they’re committed to trying Andrus at SS this year.

    It’s getting kind of late in the offseason to demand a trade, isn’t it?  Thanks for the warning, Michael.  Then again, they could install Davis at 3B and play Salty at 1B, and then use both Teagarden and Ramirez.  Logjam solved.

  4. MooseinOhio said...

    Good point on Lowrie and I suspect he only gets thrown into a deal that would bring Boston an All-Star caliber player on the left side of their career curve.  Given that Young’s contract is not favorable the Sox could offer to take on the whole contract (most teams will probably demand 30-50% paid for by Rangers) and reduce the level of talent being sent – so Bucholz and Kalish plus a couple of A guys may be enough.  This allows the Sox to give Lowrie time to develop more as the top infield utility player and filling in for Young at short and Lowell at third. 

    Of course this is all a moot point if the rumors of a trade for Montero turn out to be true and a deal is struck.  Then the Sox are basically done for the off-season, may make a ST trade to unload Lugo and wait to see what holes need to be filled with a June or July trade.

  5. RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

    I saw this float over the transom last night and my first reaction was that Daniels has completely lost it. 
    Let me throw a few items out:
      – The Rangers lead the league in errors for the 2008 season
      – The other anchor in the Ranger’s infield, Ian Kinsler, made 22 errors in 120 games – he lead the league at the season’s end, while only playing in 3/4 of the games (I was a little stunned to see his name in MVP discussions…).
      – Ron Washington’s mantra for baseball is to have pitcher’s throw strikes and initiate contact. Get the ball into play, and let your defense take care of things.
      – Having seen Young play just about game he started in, I’d say his offense and defense were among the most reliable aspects of the team results. He was a pretty clutch guy at the plate, and I never saw any issues with his range from SS.  From that, Young starts at SS for the All Star game, and takes home a Golden Glove. I didn’t see every shortstop in the league play 150 games last year, but from what I saw of his effort, I’d say he deserved it both honors. Young is a bit of a cootie, but he showed up for every game and he seemed to contribute. And hey, let’s not forget he helped beat the crap out of Sidney Ponson in the showers. 

      So, take in all of the above, swirl it around and then spit.

    1)  Daniels’ idea of improving the team is to take a proven, reliable and productive Gold-Glove winning All Star from SS, where he’s thrilled to be, and move him, at the age of 32, to a new position.  A position that does, by the by, have a strong inference of, ‘Range’ involved.
    2)  Instead of making, I dunno…Defense the pillar of the infield, they bring in some kid who hit .294, stole 50 bases in 118 games of AA ball, and made a whopping 32 errors. In 118 games he made 32 errors. In AA, fielding AA caliber hitters he made 32 errors. (…sorry, I keep mulling that over and over in my head…).  Carrying that trend to a 162 game schedule yields 42 errors.
    This kid will be paired with Kinsler, who was a one-man error factory from April to June, and between the two of them last year they made 54 errors. Two players. 54 errors. 

      Ok…so everyone keeps yelling that The Rangers problem is pitching?

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