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Michael Young: “I’ve been misled and manipulated”

Feb 7, 2011, 11:13 PM EDT

Michael Young swinging

Jon Heyman of SI.com speculated earlier this evening that despite Michael Young‘s desire for a trade, he would still likely open spring training with the team.

Well, judging by Young’s comments to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News earlier tonight, the Rangers may have no choice but to deal him away.

“I’ve kept a low profile out of respect for the team, the coaching staff, my family and the fans because I didn’t want to put anybody on an unnecessary roller-coaster,” Young said in a brief phone conversation. “Now, I think it’s important to address the inaccurate portrayal that is being painted. The suggestion that I’ve simply had a change of heart and asked for a trade is a manipulation of the truth.”

“I want to be traded because I’ve been misled and manipulated and I’m sick of it,” Young added.

Wow.

Young declined to provide any details of how he was misled or manipulated, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported earlier tonight that the Rangers were shopping him earlier this winter, but telling him otherwise.

There’s probably a certain segment of Rangers fans who will defend Young in this instance. That’s understandable. After all, he is the club’s all-time hit leader. But it’s still awfully difficult to feel sorry for someone who is going to get paid $48 million over the next three seasons, whether he plays third base or sits on the bench a couple days a week.

  1. Kevin S. - Feb 7, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    It’s awfully hard to feel sorry for someone who is going to get paid $48 million to not be good at his job.

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Feb 7, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    If anyone was misled and manipulated it was the Rangers front office when they inked this guy long-term at such a ridiculously bloated price.

    Michael Young is a good ballplayer. There is no doubt. He’s a career .300 hitter. He’s a team leader. Blah-Blah-Blah…

    He’s also not a great hitter. He’s certainly not someone who should be getting paid $16 million a year. He’s been bounced around the diamond for a reason; he’s just not all that great with the glove at any place they’ve run him out there.

    He had two, maybe three, really top-flight offensive years, but those were half-a-decade ago. Most of his offense has been a product of the bandbox he’s played his home games in.

    He doesn’t hit well enough to stick full-time at a corner and his glove doesn’t play well enough up the middle. He’s a DH/Utility fielder at this point in his career and a very well-paid one at that, he needs to get over his little tizzy and get ready for Spring Training.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 8, 2011 at 12:09 AM

      All good points. So then why did the Rangers offer him that contract? And why did they structure it in such a way that makes him all but untradeable at this point? No one forced them to offer him this contract, they put themselves in this hole. No one forced them to sign Beltre and acquire Napoli, thus leaving nowhere for Young to play. I don’t feel bad for a guy making that kind of money but I can completely understand why he’d want out. This whole situation was completely botched by the Rangers, starting with that contract, going through finding his replacement BEFORE trading him, to now alienating one of the better players in the history of the franchise. They completely mismanaged this asset. I think it also shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how baseball really works and makes me think this is mostly Greenberg or Ryan running the show, not Daniels. The bottom line is that when you have a contract this bad, and a player with nowhere to play, you have to include either cash or prospects in any deal if you want to make a trade. To think that you might actually get something back for him, at this point, is completely and totally absurd.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:54 AM

      It will be interesting to see what Rangers fans think of Beltre and his contract in 3 years when he and the Rangers are in the same boat as Young. He will be 35 years old then still owed close to $50M if his option year is vested for the final 3 years of that contract. Beltre may be better then Young defensively but offensive he has been somewhat inconsistent. In 3 years his numbers both offensively and defensively won’t warrant the $16M per or so he is still due and he won’t look any better to Ranger fans then Young does now. Then what for the Rangers?

      • Kevin S. - Feb 8, 2011 at 8:59 AM

        That offensive inconsistency was at least somewhat due to playing in that death trap for right-handed pull hitters, Safeco. Beltre’s superlative defense gives his bat a lot more leeway, too.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        Kevin S – I might bit on that explanation if not for the fact that his BA, OBP and OPS were all rather low in Seattle and LA and his HR total with the exception of 2004 all seem remarkably similar regardless of where he played. I don’t believe that Seattle effected his numbers as much as people would like you to believe. Plus add in that he was in his mid to late 20’s and very early 30’s in both LA and Seattle, that should be the prime of his career. I don’t think there is any doubt (it’s just my opinion) that over the next 2 or 3 years as he approaches 35 his offense will diminish even further. As my initial post indicated fine he’s better defensively then Young now, but does anyone really believe he is going to be as good defensively at 35. All I’m saying is no one should be surprised if the Rangers /Beltre are in exactly the same boat in 3 years as they are currently are with Young. A 3rd baseman whose skills are not what they were and whose salary makes him a problem to trade of move around in the infield. Boras, did for Beltre what he does for most of his clients. He identified a couple of teams with a need/desire and got one of them to over pay for his product.

      • Adam - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        ufy, you realize that Dodger Stadium is also a death trap for hitters, right? Beltre didn’t hit in a ballpark favorable for his style until last year.

      • Kevin S. - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        ufy, the numbers simply don’t back that up. From ’05 through ’09 (the Seattle years), Beltre posted a .254/.307/.411 line at home, good for a .314 wOBA and a 91 wRC+. His BABIP was .279 and his HR/FB% was 10.7. On the road, the line was .277/.326/.471, .341 wOBA and 109 wRC+. BABIP of .298, HR/FB% of 12.0. When you consider that players get a boost from playing at home, independent of what their home park factors are, it’s glaringly obvious that Beltre was crushed by Safeco Field.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        Gentlemen, I guess we will just have to see in a couple of years if the Rangers made a wise choice or not. I still stand by my original contention, when Beltre is 35 the Rangers are going to find themselves in exactly the same boat they are in right now with Young. A contract that is very, very hard to move and a player that is not performing up to expectations for the money he is being paid. Only time will tell.

  3. superpriebe - Feb 7, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Update from Evan Grant….apparently, Young and Jon Daniels aren’t the very bestest of friends. And I quote…

    Michael Young: And I felt like, “This guy’s really hurting me”…and it hurt.

    Jon Daniels: And I felt like when you told me to “dere-lick” my balls…THAT really hurt.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 7, 2011 at 11:46 PM

      shut the website down, boys…

      it’s never going to get better than that.

    • Mike Luna - Feb 8, 2011 at 12:08 AM

      It feels good to laugh again. Thank you for that, superpriebe.

    • kiwicricket - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:02 AM

      Ding ding ding….we have a winner!

  4. Mike Luna - Feb 8, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    This is getting ugly. I have never known Young to call anyone out, especially his GM.

  5. nyyankeefanforever - Feb 8, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Man, this ownership group of the Rangers is pathological about lying when it comes to their screwups, aren’t they?

    No there’s no truth to the rumor we’re trying to deal Young. (Despite the many reports confirmed by execs from several other teams.)

    No we didn’t get Lee but our brilliant strategy saved the rest of the AL from the Yankees getting him just when he was about to sign with them. (Despite no evidence whatsoever to back up that fairy tale which, btw, would mean the Rangers were Lee’s THIRD choice!)

    Yes, Young “came to us and volunteered” to DH before the Beltre trade. (Sure doesn’t sound like he volunteered anything from what he’s saying tonight, does it?)

    Why can’t they just man up and admit their miscalculations instead of trying to make themselves look smart whenever they do things so transparently and overwhelmingly stupid as to defy rataional explanation — and then expect everyone to swallow it.

    Yankee president Randy Levine was so right about Greenberg and company. Delusional!!

    • Mike Luna - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:23 AM

      I never, ever saw any report that suggested that Young came to the team and volunteered to be moved to DH. He was approached before the Beltre deal and agreed [perhaps reluctantly] to vacate 3B.

      As far as the Lee comments, those were presented as speculation/opinion to a fan at a Q&A. Never presented as fact, as far as I can tell.

      There’s nothing pathological about what’s going on.

  6. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 8, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    During the tech bubble, I was a criminally overpaid interwebs guy. I actually giggled every time I looked at my paycheck. I worked hard and put in way more than the 40 hours they were paying me to work, but there’s no way I was worth what they were paying me. I still would have been pretty pissed off if I came back from vacation and there was a new guy with my job title working all of my accounts and I was relocated to a cube in the call center.

    Now if only worldcom could buy out the Rangers and immediately go bankrupt making his contract and stock options worthless, maybe Michael Young and I could commiserate over a cold beverage

    • xmatt0926x - Feb 8, 2011 at 1:32 AM

      That kind of thinking doesn’t apply to pro sports. Loyalty in sports is a phony idea that is only brought up when convenient. The bottom line is that in sports you are kept on the team and given what you want as long as you are highly capable. Along the way you’ll likely get paid millions and millions of dollars. When the inevitable slide in your skills begins you can’t honestly believe that you have the same pull on the team. I don’t see why Young is so upset by this. Its a 2 way street. The team uses you while they can and you get paid big time dollars. The team is “jerking him around” because his declining skills don’t warrant anything else. Is that disloyal? Will Michael Young retire and give up the last 2 years at $16 million per when he’s only batting .230 at age 37? I doubt it. Is he now disloyal??

    • Adam - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:05 AM

      Would you be pissed if you then only had to work 20 hours a week and still get paid the same?

      And it’s not like he came back from vacation to find out, they were going after Beltre, he’d have to be an idiot not to see that coming.

  7. Jonny 5 - Feb 8, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    I can’t side with Young on this one. He’s being a big baby. Teams shop players frequently. It’s how the cookie crumbles.

  8. paperlions - Feb 8, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    I wish I could be manipulated so badly that I was paid at least 3 times my market value in a guaranteed contract. That must be rough, my condolences Michael, I hope you can rebound from being the victim of such a horrifying scheme.

  9. paperlions - Feb 8, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    How was Young misled? Did the Rangers say that their priority was to make young happy and to play him where he wanted to play and as much as he wanted to play and that winning was secondary to those goals? I’m sure the Rangers feel misled by Young’s 2005 season, which indicated that he might be good instead of just average.

    • trevorb06 - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Isn’t there a clause in Young’s contract stipulating that he is king of the team and they must bow down to him?

      “Mr. Young, we have hired Francesca here to be your personal assistant. She is to serve you and make sure that you are always happy if the thought of $16 million doesn’t keep you over joyeous. She also is very good at keeping your balls clean*.”

      *Talking about baseballs people.

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