Angels could make a run at Texas third baseman Michael Young
Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels confirmed weekend reports that third baseman Michael Young has asked to be traded, and the Angels are one of eight teams the Rangers could deal Young to without his permission. The Dodgers, according to reports, are also on that list.
Young, who starred at La Puente Bishop Amat High and UC Santa Barbara, would be a nice fit on an Angels team that got virtually no production from the third-base spot last season and whiffed in its winter attempts to acquire free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, who signed with the Rangers.
Young, whose limited no-trade clause allows him to block deals to all but eight teams, hit .284 with 21 home runs, 36 doubles and 91 runs batted in to help the Rangers reach the World Series last season, and he has averaged 185 hits a year during his 10-year career.
But Young is 34 and has three years and $48 million left on his contract, and Daniels did not indicate on a conference call Monday that the team would be willing to absorb a big chunk of the deal to facilitate a trade.
Team President Nolan Ryan also said that the Rangers are "going to do what's in the best interest of the ballclub," and it's doubtful he'd consider trading Young to his American League West rivals to be in the best interest of the Rangers. Ryan added that he expects "proper compensation" for Young, a six-time All-Star and the face of the franchise for the last decade.
So in order to acquire Young, the Angels would probably have to be willing to assume a large share of the $48 million left on his contract, or to part with at least one big league player who could help Texas this season as well as giving up a top prospect.
The Angels would have no interest in trading center fielder Mike Trout, who was recently named baseball's top prospect by ESPN.com's Keith Law, but they've upgraded their farm system in recent years and have a number of lower-level prospects who could satisfy the Rangers.
Young, who lost his third-base job to Beltre and is expected to lose designated hitter at-bats to Mike Napoli, the former Angels catcher who was shipped to Toronto as part of the Vernon Wells trade and then to Texas for reliever Frank Francisco, has been linked with the Colorado Rockies in trade talks. But Daniels said Monday that "nothing is imminent" on the trade front.
Photo: Rangers third baseman Michael Young waits his turn for batting practice before Game 4 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees. Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images