Michael Young to Tigers? Not happening

Michael Young has asked the Rangers for a trade after shifting positions three times in recent years. The Tigers don’t have a clear-cut starter at second base, one of Young’s old positions, nor do they have a clear No. 2 hitter in the lineup. Sounds like a match, right?

Not happening, for a few very big reasons. Word from the Tigers is that they’re not in on that. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com Tuesday morning that their infield is set, the same as it was a couple weeks ago. They’re not pursuing any deals.

Though Dombrowski didn’t go into detail — can’t talk about players from other teams for fear of tampering — several reasons show why it wouldn’t happen. First, Young has veto rights on trades to all but eight teams, and the Tigers aren’t one of those teams, according to MLB.com TR Sullivan. The Rangers are dealing with just teams on that list, Texas GM Jon Daniels told reporters Monday. Young reportedly would consider teams outside that list on a case by case basis, but at the end of the day, there’s a reason for the list.

Second, and just as important, is Young’s contract — $16 million a year for the next three seasons. For any player, that’s a huge obligation, even if the Rangers end up willing to pay part of that. It’s not just about the money, but the years.

For a 34-year-old infielder, it’s especially about the years. The Tigers let Polanco walk as a free agent at the same age two years ago, even declining the chance at arbitration. Granted, the Tigers were looking to trim payroll at that point, but there also wasn’t much of a market for Polanco as a second baseman. He’s now the Phillies third baseman. Young, meanwhile, hasn’t played the middle infield since 2008, when he was still Texas’ starting shortstop.

If the Tigers had the flexibility and the desire to add a veteran second baseman, they likely would’ve done it already. For those contract terms, it would’ve arguably made more sense for them to pursue Dan Uggla — a younger second baseman and a right-handed power hitter — when he was available in the fall.

Some readers have suggested the Tigers could send Carlos Guillen to Texas in the deal to free up salary space, at least for this year (a $13 million year for Guillen in the last season of his contract). But with Guillen coming off microfracture surgery in his knee, not expected to be game ready until mid-March and with a long injury history, his value to other teams just isn’t there. Plus, he has full no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the Majors, the last five with the same team), and the idea of a part-time DH probably appeals even less to him than it does to Young, especially in a contract year for Guillen.

When it comes down to it, The Tigers are serious about trying to leave room for developing young talent, and second base is one area where they have it between Scott Sizemore, Will Rhymes and Danny Worth, plus Brandon Douglas on the horizon. Doesn’t mean all these guys are going to pan out, or that any of them will approach Young’s production, but they have enough depth to expect somebody to separate themselves from the group. And with Carlos Guillen added in, they have enough candidates to believe they can get some production out of that spot this year. And any deal for Young anywhere would be a deal made for this year; he’ll be 36 for the last year of his contract in 2013.

10 Comments

I think you are right Jason. If young were available for a year then he could be a critical ingredient in this team making the post season. Another long term contract to an aging ball player would not imperil the club in the longer term.
This team has struggled because of poor long term contracts in the past-Inge, Robertson, Bonderman, Sheffield, Renteria, Willis and more. It cuts like a knife.
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2B is likely going to be problematic for us this year. Unless Sizemore can surprise. He is a bit Micheal Young-like (minus the glove!). I don’t see Guillen being a realistic answer there and Rhymes would not supply us with enough offense to justify his shortcomings there either. Actually the guy who could play there is Raburn. He is certainly not an accomplished outfielder and he will give fans fits in left this year. He plays a decent 2B. I thinhk he could become a very good 3B. He has quick hands and the offense he could bring to eiter of those positions on a ball team would be a bonus.
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It’s hight time the DD actually pursues a legitimate left fielder for this team and not try to keep forcing square pegs into round holes year in and year out.
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Generally, I think DD filled some needs this year but we are still one “really good” ball player away from having a “really good” lineup.
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My gut tells me Coke is going to have a very challenging and difficult time of trying to make our rotation work. The key will be Porcello. If he can (and the kid is a smart cookie) learn how to finesse ML hitters a bit better he will take a lot of pressure off the back end of the rotation.
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Our outfield defense (up the middle) is excellent. Our corners are very weak. Raburn’s glove and Magglio’s range are going to give up too many extra base hits this year. AJ can make up for a some of this but I am afraid his coverage out there will not extend from foul line to foul line.
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Back to 2B–how critical will it be this year that we have someone that can stand in there and make a solid relay to 1st on the DPs?

Relays at second will be big. I’m not sure accuracy is as big of a deal as it was a couple years ago, because I think Miguel Cabrera has improved at digging out throws. Quickness and chemistry, I think, will be huge. That’s going to be a quietly interesting part of camp as Peralta tries to work alongside three or four different candidates at second. Remember, a year ago at this point, Adam Everett was talking about how important it would be to build a rapport with Scott Sizemore and work out where either player likes the ball flipped when they’re covering second.

I saw the thing on Michael Young, had my “wouldn’t that be cool” moment, then immediately dropped it. Our infield is pretty crowded. And as always, Dan, we’re in agreement about Raburn playing the infield. You get improved defense from Ryan along with his hitting. But again, it’s pretty crowded in there this spring. I think that, when the leaves turn brown, we will have gotten plenty of production from the 2ndbase position regardless of how it plays out.
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I have a growing concern about Martinez and the DH spot. DH-ing is not an easy thing to do and I’m beginning to suspect that Victor will need to play in the field much more than is planned at this time. I think he’ll need more time behind the plate and at firstbase to be an effective hitter. This entire DH thing may require a lot of flexibility from Leyland, and I’m not sure he possesses that quality at his (our) advancing age. It’s possible I’m being too hard on Jim.
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Speaking of Leyland, he sure surprised me on MLB Network’s “50 Most Infamous Arguments” when he physically attacked Gross of the Dodgers back in the day. And Legendary Lloyd taking the base into the clubhouse with him wasn’t bad either.
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–Rich

i’m guessing tigers would be happy to get 300 abs from guillen this season…particularly if he can contribute in the latter half of the season. the adage of playing for the season, not for the day certainly applies to guillen. so they might have a difficult decision to make this spring…do you keep him on the 25 man if he can pinch hit, DH, and play in the field 1-2 days per week, or hold him back in warmer climates this spring until he’s at a point where he can start at 2b at least 3 days per week?

On Michael Young, he’s making 16 million a year and whining because of how he was treated. Maybe he was lied to or whatever. Hey Michael, I will trade jobs with you.
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On our situation at 2nd base, I can’t wait to see what happens. And Mr. Manager, don’t rush Guillen into the line up, we could use him for the second half. I think he can still hit. Go Tigers, 2011. –Dave

At first, I got all excited about seeing Young in our lineup, but, geesh, his salary is atrocious. It would be great to have a spectacular hitting 2nd baseman.
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Besides, Detroit wasn’t on his trade list. The snooty type, I guess. Don’t need that on our team.

Those no trade lists are often used only to drive up prices for teams not on it. It’s a strategy.
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Just as long as he doesn’t go to the Twins……………
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–Rich

The Twins have traditionally tried to keep their payroll low. Young’s contract would really put that practice to a test. I don’t remember who they used last year at 2B, but I don’t see Nick Punto on their roster or their depth chart, and I thought they signed Nishioka to be their 2B candidate. They also don’t appear to need any more hitting.
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Who among the eight teams Young has listed for a trade needs infield help? I would not expect the Twins or the Yankees to be that team. That leaves the Angels as the only AL team and they appear to have a good infield with good back-ups. The other 5 teams are in the NL.

.I’m not sure why I am dwelling on Michael Young except just maybe I have cabin fever here under almost 2 feet of accumulated snow and can’t wait for baseball to start. LOL

I don’t agree with Lynn Henning very often but I do with his most recent article stating we need another big bat in the lineup.
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True, maybe one will emerge from within, (Hope & Dream), but I sure would have liked to see us with Carl Crawford as our left fielder.
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If management can hope and dream I can too can’t I?

I was thinking that Michael Young too would be nice, but when I saw the contract, I said hell now. And remember he hit 20 homeruns a lot of them being at the homerun haven of Texas, would not happen here.
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We are almost there. Can’t wait for baseball to start, Red Wings are giving me a headache!

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