Some of you asked for a separate blog post on this topic and a chance to make some comments. So here you go.
The question: Should the Rangers trade Michael Young?
As I wrote earlier this morning as part of the Q&A about the Mike Napoli trade, I don't think the Rangers should trade Michael Young. I know I may be in the minority at this point. Ken Rosenthal makes an interesting case as to why it would be best for the club to deal the 34-year-old.
But I believe the positives that Young brings outweigh the negatives. I know the opinion about Young might change dramatically if he didn't still have three years at an average of $16 million left on his contract. He will also be much tougher to trade come May, when he'll have 10 years of Major League service and five with the same team.
Young is still a top-notch hitter. He batted .284 in 2010 and has hit that mark or better in every season since 2003. The Adrian Beltre addition makes the Rangers' infield better, but having Young in the lineup makes the entire team better.
Not only can he hit and play any infield position (that will include first base after he gets some time at the position in spring training), but he's a critical component in the clubhouse. I know some of you want to discount that and argue that this team has plenty of veteran leaders. And they do have some good leadership in that clubhouse. But I agree with manager Ron Washington: Young is the straw that stirs the drink.
He is the leader of this team. He helped foster the chemisty that gave this team an important element to making the World Series.
Trading Young won't be easy, anyway. Who is going to take most of Young's remaining contract? How much money will the Rangers have to pay of that salary if they deal him? (But I'm still stunned that someone took all but $5 million of Vernon Wells' contract too). The other argument is freeing up space to sign players in the future. But at this point we have to believe Chuck Greenberg when he says the club has the money to make those signings despite Young's contract and the newly-signed Beltre.
Ask yourself this question: Is this team better in 2011 with Young in the lineup, in the clubhouse and doing his thing? The answer is yes.
I know a bunch of you disagree. Feel free to discuss. Would you trade Michael Young?