Blog Entry

Young isn't too sensitive, he's too nice

Posted on: February 26, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2011 2:12 pm
Posted by Matt Snyder

With the Adrian Beltre injury, we have a living, breathing illustration of the value that Michael Young brings to the Rangers -- and it's not just being a favorite of three year old fans . If the free agent signee goes down for any length of the time, the Rangers can easily plug Young in at third base. He can be a DH. It's probably not ideal, but the team could probably use him at shortstop or second base if the necessity arose.

All of this got me to thinking: was Young's trade request unreasonable, or is he actually being too nice?

I tend to come down on the latter.

I rarely support players becoming disgrunted due to demotions or position changes. See, I'm a merit guy. If you are good enough, you'll keep your spot. If not, you won't. Personal feelings shouldn't intrude upon business.

But at some point, enough is enough.

Young came up as a second baseman, and moved to short for Alfonso Soriano. That could should be seen as an upgrade, actually, as shortstop is a more prestigious position than second base. Still, Young moved positions to make room for a sub-par defensive player. In fact, Soriano was one of the worst defensive players in baeball his first season for the Rangers, by several metrics. Young, on the other hand, went on to start a string of six consecutive All-Star Games. He won a gold glove in 2008. Sure, it probably wasn't deserved and most of us could agree the voting system for that award is badly flawed, but if you're Young, you won an award for defense.

And just a few months later, the team told you to move to third base.

And Young did it.

Now, again, he was a sub-par defender in his own right, but he could swing the bat. From 2004-2010, Young had an OPS-plus of at least 105 six of seven seasons. Twice it was over 125, which is excellent. His average season was .309/.357/.461 with 18 homers, 90 RBI, 97 runs and 39 doubles. That's an average over the course of seven years. At 34, Young's not old. He hit 21 home runs and drove home 91 with 99 runs scored last year, so he's not washed up.

But with the poor defense, it's reasonable to see the team moving him to DH. That could easily be accepted for a true professional, which it appears Young is. I mean, we're talking about a guy who twice changed positions in a six-year span. At the very least, he should be able to accept DH as his final destination.

The problem, it appears, is the Rangers still didn't even want Young at DH. Buster Olney of ESPN notes, in his most recent blog , that the source of Young's unhappiness is that the Rangers tried hard to acquire Jim Thome at DH. When they failed, they still landed Mike Napoli -- a terrible defensive catcher who can hit. So, in Young's mind -- and the evidence at hand says he's probably right -- the Rangers didn't even think he was good enough to just hit.

Again, we're talking about a guy with a solid offensive resume who hit .284/.330/.444 last season, but was .322/.374/.518 just one season earlier and is not old. He had an .802 OPS in the Rangers' first-ever ALCS victory.

Thome is 40 years old. He had a stellar 1.039 OPS last season, but was at .865 the previous year. Again, he's 40 . And was treated to only relatively good matchups last year.

Napoli is 29, but he only hit .238 last year. His OBP was .316.

This all isn't to say I'd definitely rather have Young over Thome or Napoli -- though I would certainly rather have him hitting than Napoli -- it's just to see things from Young's perspective. From his point of view, it's hard to not be angry.

We're talking about a player who was the longest tenured major leaguer without a playoff appearance before last season. He did everything that was asked of him for 11 years in Texas and never signed elsewhere. He's a career .300 hitter who always took his lumps on the diamond due to being a poor defender, but now his bat is being questioned.

Now, everything has come full circle with the Beltre injury. Sure, it's a minor malady and Beltre will likely be just fine for opening day. But the injury should be a real eye-opener for anyone in the Rangers organization who may have underestimated the value Young brings to the team.

I'm guessing that's all Young ever wanted in the first place. Just respect what he brings to the ballclub. In the end, his disgruntlement with the organization wasn't about him being overly sensitive. It was simply him wanting to see the respect he's earned. Luckily for the Rangers, Young is enough of a professional that he's not talking about his trade demand any longer. In time, maybe they'll come to respect that and everything else about him.
Category: MLB

Since: Sep 2, 2010
Posted on: March 23, 2011 12:39 pm

Young isn't too sensitive, he's too nice

Awwwwwwe, did a Red Sox fan get his feelings hurt when Beltre left    :(

If you want to talk about overpaying wait until your precious Sox offer A. Gonzalez a bloated deal. Also, 142M over 7 years for Crawford??? Don't get me wrong I like Crawford and feel he might be one of the best OF in the game, but a 7 year deal at age 29 when his career is based on speed, good luck finding value in that when he is 34 or 35. I will enjoy watching Sox sink in the quicksand of Gonzalez and Crawfords contracts for years to come.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:25 pm

Young isn't too sensitive, he's too nice

Beltre injured his hamstring while jumping for joy with Scott Boras after they hoodwinked the Rangers into outbidding against themselves. I still don't see why every cbs sports writer says that Beltre gives great defense. Mark Ellis gives great defense too...when he is healthy. As I have said a few months before Beltre will miss a significant portion of next season. Most players who sign big contracts usually do and for the very fragile and sensitive (also known as a crybaby) Beltre things could not get any worse for the Rangers. Anyone here besides me notice that when Beltre struggles offensively he always has his great defense to fall back on. Teams are not paying players big money to great defense. They are paying them to drive in runs.

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:58 pm

Young isn't too sensitive, he's too nice

"The story ignores the reason why the Rangers are trying to move Young - his contract.  The Rangers can pay another player far less to DH for them and come close to the same production."

And this is why they overpaid by about 30 million for a guy with a long history of only giving a shit when he is in a contract year.?  Nice try.  They have tons fo cable money incoming.

Since: Jul 20, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:21 pm

Young isn't too sensitive, he's too nice

Rangers are worried about money? Is that why they paid Beltre a boatload of money even though the guy only produces when he is due a contract? Rangers got to the Series with pitching, it seems to me that they are trying to put together a slow pitch softball team again. Save your money and lock up your young pitchers!

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2011 3:16 pm

Young isn't too sensitive, he's too nice

The story ignores the reason why the Rangers are trying to move Young - his contract.  The Rangers can pay another player far less to DH for them and come close to the same production. 

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