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Michael Young: Why The Unhappy Texas Ranger Won't Be A Yankee Or Met

Michael Young of the Texas Rangers has demanded a trade, telling the Dallas Morning News that he is doing so "because I've been misled and manipulated and I'm sick of it."

Can't blame Young for being unhappy, to be honest. Over the years with Texas he has been moved from second base to shortstop to third base and now, this winter, to designated hitter due to the signing of free-agent Adrian Beltre. Only to see the Rangers acquire Mike Napoli, who will take some of Young's at-bats away in that role.

Question for us is this. Does Young fit with the New York Yankees or New York Mets? The answer, for both teams, is almost certainly not. Let's look at the reasons why.


Young would certainly help the Yankees. They had Ramiro Pena as their primary backup infielder last season and, while he has a nice glove an upgrade would be nice. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are not getting younger, and they will need more time off. It would be nice to be able to plug in a player who can hit some as well as field. The Yankees recently brought in veteran infielders Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard, so they are undoubtedly kicking the tires on upgrades.

There are two problems with any Young-to-the-Yankees scenarios. Money and playing time. Young, 34, has three years and $48 million remaining on his contract. Nobody, not even the Yankees, is going to pay a reserve infielder that kind of money. Besides which, you have to seriously doubt that Young would be willing to accept anything less than an every day job.

SB Nation's Rob Neyer sums up the situation this way:

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?

So, there really is no way Young -- a six-time All-Star who wants out of Texas largely because of his diminished role -- is going to accept caddying for Jeter, Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. And no way the Yankees pay him to do it. Even if, at least offensively, he would be a quality fill-in for all three.


Two words -- Bernie Madoff. The Mets simply cannot afford Young's $48 million contract, or even part of it. The Mets would have to get the Rangers to swallow most of Young's contract, and even then I doubt they would bring in even modestly expensive contract. They have spent the offseason nickel and diming -- by baseball standards -- their way toward putting together a roster. With what we know now about the situation with Madoff and the Mets ownership we also know that is not about to change.

Young would certainly look good playing second base for the Mets. Incidentally, that might still be his best defensive position. Because of the finances there is just no way it happens.