Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Michael Young...A Twin?

On Monday, Michael Young came out and said he had enough of the Rangers. And he asked to be traded as his role with the team quickly diminished. Young has a limited no trade clause in his contract. According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the eight teams Young can be traded to without his consent are the Cardinals, Yankees, Twins, Astros, Rockies, Dodgers, Angels, and Padres. And of those teams, the ones who could greatly improve by adding Young are the Astros, Angels, Rockies, and Twins. The Rockies have been to believed to inquire on Young a few times this offseason and are the favorites to land him. The Rangers are talking exclusively with those eight teams right now, before they talk to anyone else. And following a Darren Wolfson tweet, that mentioned the Twins as one of those eight teams, a lot of questions arised in Twins Territory abour the possibility of bringing Young to Minnesota.

But lets think about this. Would Twins GM Bill Smith pull the trigger on a trade that brings Michael Young to Twins Territory? One could make the case that they can and that they should. Since his arrival in the Major Leagues in 2001, Young has been one of the best contact hitters in baseball. He carries a .300 career average. He won the AL batting title in 2005, hitting .331 while hammering 221 hits. He was named to the All Star game 6 straight years (2004-09), and in 2006 he was named All Star Game MVP after hitting a two strike, two out, two RBI triple off of Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning to give the AL a 3-2 lead. He has been the face of the Rangers since Alex Rodriguez's departure following the 2003 season. And Texas finally got to the World Series in 2010. He has been one of the most significant players in their history. But it all hasn't been raining gold for Young in his time there. The Rangers were simply one of the worst teams in baseball up until 2008, when their young talent finally came around. And during Young's time in Texas he has grudgingly changed positions from second base to short stop to third base up until now when he was slated to share time as a DH. hard to believe that Texas would pay him $16 million to SHARE time as the DH.

The Twins could use Michael Young up the middle for 2011. But it would appear that the Twins are committed to Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Alexi Casilla as their second base/short stop combo. The team was looking to add more speed at those positions as they parted ways with Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy who do not possess great speed. But if Texas came calling with a good deal would the Twins really say no to upgrading their middle infield? Young does not possess good speed. But he would fill in nicely in the second spot in the batting order behind Denard Span and ahead of Joe Mauer, due to his good batting average over the years.

Texas could use a decent backup infielder, so I could see Alexi Casilla as part of such deal. In my head a deal would probably send Young and cash to the Twins and either Casilla and two prospects or Casilla and either Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, or Kevin Slowey (And maybe a prospect) to Texas. The Rangers will almost certainly have to eat a large sum of Young's salary regardless of who he gets dealt to due to the timing of this trade. And in the Twins case it might need to be a larger sum due to the fact the payroll has certainly reached its cap as it will hit $115 million come opening day. And to me that is the make or break part of the deal.

But does Bill Smith even want to make this trade? It is very unlikely that he will. As before mentioned Colorado is the front runners for Young. And it is not even a given that the Rangers want to trade Young. But if there is some common ground between the Twins and Rangers, would Smith give an honest effort to bring Young here? I would sure hope so. Because he is going into Spring Training with two unproven players up the middle on a team that is expected to defend its back to back AL Central titles. And that does not give me a good feeling.

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