Apparently, shortstop and face of the franchise Michael Young requested a trade because he was unhappy that the Rangers wanted him to move to third base. The Rangers have a number of intriguing shortstop prospects (i.e Elvis Andrus) who are capable of starting in 2009, which is why the Rangers want to move Young to third.
"Our desire is for Michael to play third base," Daniels said. "Obviously though, he's got to buy into what we're doing." ESPN.comAnyone else find it interesting that the Rangers are asking a gold glove winner to switch positions? Young is a very good shortstop and probably believes that his best chance to help the team is at shortstop. For a noted team player, requesting a trade is certainly an interesting route to take.
So what now? Can the Rangers actually move Young?
Probably not. The Rangers signed Young to a 5 year/$80 million dollar contract extension that is set to kick in this season. Young is a fine player who can hit over .300 in his sleep and a wonderful guy to have in the clubhouse, but it is hard to justify paying a 32 year old shortstop with limited power $14 million bucks next season, especially in this market.
So I expect the trade options for Young will be limited. There are so few teams right now who need a shortstop and even fewer teams who can actually afford to take on Young's contract that a trade seems very unlikely.
With that said, I will throw out one scenario. What do you think about this?
OF Vernon Wells (7 years/$126 mil)
Blue Jays get:
SS Michael Young (5 years/ $80 mil)
SP Kevin Millwood (2 years/$23 mil) *POSSIBLE VOID AFTER 2009*
There are obviously several obstacles (Wells's no trade clause, Millwood's limited no trade clause, Young's trade protection in 2009), but this deal actually makes some sense. The Blue Jays have three very good young outfielders who are very capable of playing everyday, but are missing a solid shortstop. Young would be a perfect fit, while Millwood would give the Jays some depth in the rotation until Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum recover from injuries.
I'm not saying that the Blue Jays would become instant competitors, but it would show their fans that they want to win and improve the roster.
For the Rangers, this deal would rid them of the a possible standoff with Young and rid them of the horrible Millwood contract. They would add a very good player in Wells, who could give Josh Hamilton some needed protection and play a gold glove caliber center field. Wells may no longer hit 30+ home runs, but he still has the ability to be a productive outfielder.
Wells's contract is one of the worst in baseball especially because it is heavily back loaded, but it could give the Rangers some much needed short term financial flexibility to go after Ben Sheets. Wells's contract does not jump to $23 million until 2011, which means that the Rangers would actually shred payroll in the short term by trading away Young and Millwood.
So how about that everybody, does that deal make sense or am I crazy?