Monday, January 3, 2011
Updated: January 4, 9:52 AM ET
Michael Young says he'd move for Beltre
By Richard Durrett
Rangers third baseman Michael Young said Monday evening that he is willing to change positions should free agent Adrian Beltre end up in Texas.
"I want to do what's best for a winning team," Young said. "That's always been the case and it always will be. I'm willing to do what I need to do to help this team."
Young said general manager Jon Daniels has talked to him a few times since the winter meetings about the possibility of changing positions. Young said he was told he would play various infield positions if the club signs Beltre, but that most of his at-bats would come at the designated hitter spot to keep him in the lineup.
Young said he doesn't have any idea how close the club may be to signing Beltre, a two-time Gold Glove winner at third.
He also said he does not want to be traded.
"I want to play here," Young said.
Young responded after a source told ESPNDallas.com earlier Monday that Young indicated to the club that he wanted to stay at third base.
Young has changed positions twice already during his decade-long career in Texas. He switched from second base to shortstop in 2004 to accommodate Alfonso Soriano and then slid over to third base in 2009 to make room for rookie Elvis Andrus. Young moved to third just months after he won the Gold Glove at shortstop.
Now, he could be on the move again. Young, 34, is the clubhouse leader and remains a pivotal part of the lineup. He hit .284 with 21 homers and 91 RBIs in 157 games for the American League champions in 2010. The all-time franchise leader in hits, Young has had five seasons of 200 or more hits in his career and has played at least 155 games in all but one of his nine full seasons in the majors.
"Any player has strong preferences of where they want to play, but at the end of the day I want to do what's best for a winning team," Young said. "I'm very motivated to be extremely productive. I waited a long time to win. We won last year and I want to keep winning."
The fact that the Rangers broached the topic with Young doesn't mean they will sign Beltre, though they are very interested and have continued discussions with agent Scott Boras.
ESPNDeportes.com reported Sunday that the sides are close to a deal, possibly a five-year contract with an option for 2016.
Beltre, 31, hit .321 with 28 homers, 49 doubles and 102 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox in 2010.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.