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Michael Young says that if he plays in 2014, it’s “a safe bet” he’ll suit up for the Dodgers

Jan 26, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

Michael Young Getty Getty Images

Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Michael Young is still deciding whether to continue his career or retire. The infielder said that if he does decide to keep playing, it’s “a safe bet” that he will do so with the Dodgers. He will make his decision prior to the start of spring training.

Young joined the Dodgers at the end of August last year after being traded by the Phillies for pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Young made a few starts at various positions around the infield for the Dodgers in the final month while also serving as a pinch-hitter in games he didn’t start. Between the Phillies and Dodgers, Young posted a .279/.335/.395 line in 565 plate appearances. That’s hardly a poor line, but his defense has been sinking his value for a long time. (Baseball Reference has him with -74 fielding runs over the last five seasons, for example.) Young, now 37, would still be serviceable in a strict pinch-hitting role.

  1. shawnuel - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    That may be what Young thinks………..

  2. jwbiii - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    The problem with keeping him as strictly a bench bat is that the Dodgers have four decent to outstanding outfielders and two good options for the last outfield slot, so they’ll have a couple of reasonable bats on the bench.

    • beavertonsteve - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      If he sticks around it will mostly be about his ability to play in the infield (not that he’s great at it anymore or anything).

      • drewy44 - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        I don’t think the Dodgers can count on Dee Gordon to fill that utility role that needs to be filled since Punto and Skip left. Young is a better bat off the bench than Gordon or Sellers. All three are mostly a defensive crapshoot (with Sellers probably having the best glovework).

        Besides, it gives people something to howl about when Mattingly pinch-hits Young for AGon again.

  3. NYTolstoy - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    If defense is what weighs Youngs value down then why doesn’t an American League team look to sign him as a Only DH type player with an occasional pinch hit appearance. He’s offensive value is still above average Ai it makes sense to give him a look.

  4. cackalackyank - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    It sounds like Young has an invitation from the Dodgers, kind of a “door is always open” kind of thing. If that’s not the case, Young has quite the ego, to assume he can just drop in and continue his career. It is kind of odd that he wants to stick in the NL after so many years in the AL with Texas, especially if he is more of a bat only option now.

  5. ptfu - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Michael Young’s career batting average is exactly .300. Retiring preserves that, while playing has a good chance to drop him below that long-respected number. This might mean something to him if he cares about his legacy.

  6. markofapro - Jan 27, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    That make sense for him. He grew up in that area. Somebody in AL will want him.

  7. lostsok - Jan 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    The Dodgers don’t have a lot of great bench options. Right now Young looks at least as good as Branden Harris. Rojas has better D, but no offense (or experience) at all. Dee Gordon has great speed off the bench, but is as inconsistent, powerless hitter, and awful at SS and likely worse at 2B. Young is a solid gamer, and while his defense is poor he is at least versatile…but he can play at a functional level at 2B if Guerrero stumbles early.

    Compared to other options, I hope Young comes back.

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