LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There's a difference between actively trying to move a player and listening when his name comes up in talks with other teams.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan says his team isn't doing the former when it comes to third baseman Michael Young.
“I wouldn’t say that were shopping him,” Ryan said. “A lot of players come up in discussions and you listen to what’s out there. I think people ask us about all kinds of players and so you see what level of interest some teams have on various things, but it’s all just part of the process. We're not shopping him."
A FoxSports.com report on Tuesday said the Rangers were listening to trade offers for Young. A baseball official told ESPNDallas.com that Young's name had come up in some talks with other teams. A few thoughts on this:
1. It's the Winter Meetings and all kinds of names come up for discussion. The Rangers, at least since general manager Jon Daniels took over, don't just stop conversations when names come up. No one is untouchable when it comes to teams presenting ideas for trades, etc. That's because you never know what they might say.
2. This isn't the first time Michael Young's name has come up at the Winter Meetings. In 2008 in Las Vegas, Daniels said he was fielding calls about Young, then the club's shortstop. He was just coming off a Gold Glove season and the club ended up moving him to third the next month. A group of us talked to Ryan about Young and listening to offers about key members of the team. What did Ryan say then?
"We're not planning on trading any of our nucleus, but if someone came to us, we'd listen," Ryan said. "The prudent thing to do is not to eliminate something until you investigate it. We have not said X, Y, and Z are untradeable. That's the only fair way to see what might be available."
Again, that was 2008. Obviously, things are very different now that this club has been to a World Series. But they don't change their philosophy on trading players. So they're going to listen.
3. Trading Young would be difficult. He's making $16 million for three more seasons and is 34 years old. Another viable third base candidate in Adrian Beltre is on the market at a comparable price.
4. Young remains the face of the franchise. That doesn't make him untouchable. But his value is more than on the field. He's the unquestioned leader of the clubhouse. Chemistry in that clubhouse was a big reason for the Rangers' success. Don't undervalue it.
Still, at $16 million per season for three years, it's understandable the Rangers would see what other teams have to say. I just can't see something happening on that front. But don't blame the Rangers for at least listening to offers about anyone. That's just smart business if you ask me.