When it came out that Rangers shortstop Michael Young wanted out of Arlington, it was only natural that the fanbase of every team in MLB with a questionable or shaky shortstop situation would start the “ooh, we could get Young” clamoring.
Never mind the fact that Young has five years and $80 million left on his deal, is already 32, and is the last two years has shown STEEP decline. Assuming Young is still capable of playing shortstop, he has a fair bit of value.
The problem is that may no longer be a fair assumption. Sure, he won a gold glove at short last year, but apparently that wasn’t enough to stop the Rangers from suggesting that Young needed to move over to third base. I think their internal evaluation says a lot more than the gold glove voters.
So with that in mind, would the Cubs have any interest in Michael Young? One writer thinks so. Check it out after the jump.
How about Young to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano? Like in most of these cases, there are no-trade clauses and for some of these cases there is deferred money. For the sake of the arguments let’s just assume that everyone will play ball and accept a trade and the value of the contract is today’s dollars. Also, let us assume that all $80 million is left on Young’s extension since his $10 million signing bonus does not have to be paid in full until March 2019.
So in this case, the Cubs would be moving six years at $106 million left on Soriano for five years at $80 million for Young. So they get some financial relief. Also, even with Milton Bradley, the main sluggers on this team (Soriano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto) lean rightward. Soriano is a year older than Young, and the Cubs have to wonder what his speed/power combo will look like moving forward when he already is a lousy defensive left fielder. Also, In Ryan Theriot and Aaron Miles, the Cubs have a pair of middle infielders who exist between starters and reserves. Young could play either short or second, and – while a righty, too – he can hit at the top of this lineup and, at the least, seem a better fit than Soriano.
Soriano, meanwhile, could provide Texas with some of the lost oomph of having Bradley leave for Chicago. He could play left, but as opposed to with the Cubs, the DH is also available for Soriano here. Hardball.
I think a lot of Cubs fans could get on board with the idea of moving Soriano’s contract – particularly while the sting of his hapless post-season performance is still fresh. And naturally, the Cubs would have to take on a large contract to move Soriano. But to save $26 million more than five years from now is not exactly a reason to make a move.
And remember how I mentioned that Young showed steep decline the last two years? How steep, you say?
Young put up a .284 / .339 / .402 line, with a 96 OPS+ last year (100 is average – so, yes, Michael Young was paid well over $10 million to be below average).
Ryan Theriot put up a .307 / .387 / .359 line, with a 93 OPS+, and did it for about three bucks.
Sure, Theriot could slide over to second and platoon with Mike Fontenot, and Aaron Miles could become a utility player. But that conveniently ignores the massive gap in left field this move would create. We’ve had a hell enough of a time replacing an overpaid slugger in right field.
I’d say this suggestion/rumor is a non-starter.