Trade prospects dwindling for Rangers, Young

Trade prospects dwindling for Rangers, Young

Trade prospects dwindling for Rangers, Young
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' chances of accommodating infielder Michael Young's request for a trade are not looking good and industry sources say there is a growing chance that he will still be with the team in Spring Training.

Young said Monday that he has asked the Rangers to trade him, but his partial no-trade clause stipulates there are only eight teams he will approve a trade to: Rockies, Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Twins, Cardinals and Astros.

The Rangers have been dealing mainly with those eight teams, and Young has not expanded his list. None of those teams has stepped up.

"There is nothing new to report," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday. "We're pretty much in the same situation as Monday. The bottom line is none of us wanted to be in this situation, especially publicly. Nobody likes being here.

"There are two potential outcomes. One is a trade that satisfies Michael's request and the other is we don't trade him and Michael will play a vital role on the club. It's premature to speculate right now."

Rangers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Wednesday. The first full-squad workout is the following Sunday, Feb. 20. Young would be expected to be in camp on that date and Daniels said if a trade does happen, it would most likely happen before then.

"Ideally, yeah, if there is a trade, it will most likely be before that point," Daniels said. "I'm not setting any deadlines though. We'll walk down the path and see if there is something that satisfies all parties.

"But we put the club together with the idea of Michael playing a key role and we're still prepared for that."

Young is still owed $48 million over the next three years, and that remains a significant obstacle. Industry sources said that most clubs have maximized their payroll at this point in the offseason and the Rangers are reluctant to pick up a substantial portion of that unless they get a substantial return in players.

That doesn't appear to be the case. The Rockies remain interested but aren't offering much and want the Rangers to pick up significant salary. The Angels are not interested and the Dodgers and Padres don't have room in their payroll for Young. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he doesn't see a fit with his team.

Young made his Major League debut with the Rangers at the end of the 2000 season and has been a regular with them since being called up to the Major Leagues in May 2001. He was the Rangers' starting second baseman in 2001-03, switched to shortstop in '04 and then to third base in '09.

He has been at that spot for the past two years, but that changed on Jan. 5 when the Rangers signed free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract. Initially, Young publicly said he would be willing to become the Rangers' designated hitter and "super utility" infielder. Now he is asking to be traded.

The Rangers said that Young has had second thoughts about moving to designated hitter. Young said he has requested a trade because he is tired of being "misled and manipulated" throughout the process. His main contention is the Rangers were continuing to try to trade him after they said they would not do so.

Daniels has not responded to Young's statements and declined to do so on Thursday. Young has not spoken publicly since Monday.

"I think it's best to leave it where it is," Daniels said. "The bottom line is it's a situation where nobody comes out looking good. A valued member of the team is unhappy -- at this point, the less said the better."

Two years ago, Young requested a trade after the Rangers asked him to move to third base. The Rangers tried but were unable to find a deal that worked for them. Young eventually rescinded the request before Spring Training began and made the move to third base to make room at shortstop for Elvis Andrus. The harsh feelings between the club and the player were eventually worked out.

The differences between the two appear to be more acute this time around and Young made it clear earlier this week that he expects to be traded. But it hasn't happened yet. If it doesn't, there will likely be an attempt by the Rangers at reconciliation and a possible closed-door meeting with Young and/or his agent Dan Lozano. Daniels said he has not spoken to either this week.

"Obviously, that would be necessary if it gets to the point where a trade is not necessarily best for the team," Daniels said. "We're not there yet."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.