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This week, the Texas Rangers went from we-aren’t-trading-Michael-Young to we-have-to-trade-Michael-Young back to we-aren’t-trading-Michael-Young, all in the span of a few days. It is safe to assume that the book-ends of that back-and-forth are mere posturing, and, as an expensive, disgruntled, superfluous player, Young’s days in Arlington are numbered.

The Chicago Cubs have never been a realistic destination for Young, primarily because of the exorbitant $48 million he’s owed over the next three seasons. For the Cubs to even consider taking on Young, the Rangers would have to eat upwards of 75% of his deal – a figure the Dodgers requested and the Rangers summarily rejected. Thus, short of a bad contract swap, it’s hard to picture the Cubs managing a deal for Young.

Although, the Cubs do have a few bad contracts, don’t they? Phil Rogers is once again doing some Michael Young speculating, but this time, he suggests that the Rangers thought about trying to work out a trade with the Cubs. Indeed, the Cubs and Rangers may have discussed a deal (even if there are no “ongoing conversations”).

In surveying the landscape after Young’s trade request, the Rangers discussed a variety of possible landing places, with the Cubs among them.

Center fielder Marlon Byrd, a productive Ranger under Ron Washington in 2007-09, is believed to be on the list of players they would consider for Young. But what if Daniels was so determined not to deal with daily questions about the unhappy Young that he would consider another former Ranger in exchange — outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who could replace Young as a primary DH?

While a source with the Cubs indicated Friday there were no ongoing conversations with the Rangers regarding Young, they are monitoring the situation like many other teams. And why not? Young-for-Soriano might be the best possible fit.

For all the knocks on Soriano, last year he had 24 home runs and 79 RBIs in 496 at-bats. His .818 OPS was better than all but four American League teams (Rangers, Twins, Red Sox and Orioles) got from designated hitters.

While Young played a shaky third base a year ago, scouts believe he still has the range, arm and instincts to be a solid second baseman. He started his big-league career there before moving to shortstop to accommodate the addition of Soriano in the Alex Rodriguez trade seven seasons ago. chicagoe.com.

Rogers goes on to note Soriano’s no-trade clause (which he would have little reason to waive), but concludes that, because Soriano used to play in Texas, he might be amenable to do so again. Given his defense of Soriano, Rogers gives no reason the Cubs would do the deal, but presumably the reason is to clear salary ($48M versus $72M remaining) and outfield space.

Again, this is mostly just Rogers’ speculation – though it’s worth pointing out that the Rangers at least considered the Cubs a possible trade partner at one point. Assuming the money aspect made sense, does adding Young and losing Soriano or Byrd make the 2011 Cubs better? I’m not sure it does. Outfield depth is a blessing, not a curse. There’s no guarantee that Tyler Colvin would be productive as a full-time starter or that Brett Jackson will make the leap this year; just as there’s no guarantee that Young will outproduce the presumed Jeff Baker/Blake DeWitt platoon at second base (particularly when defense is factored in).

  • N

    When I saw the headline for this article on the Tribune site, I laughed at the notion that Phil Rogers would do something crazy like try to trade Soriano for Young. And then he really did it! It’s kind of beside the point to figure out if it’s good for the Cubs, because it makes no sense for the Rangers. They’d be trading for the same onerous contract, attached to a player who can’t start in the field for their team (Hamilton and Cruz have the corners pretty locked down) and may not be much better than Mike Napoli as a DH. Soriano would be just as unhappy a role player as Michael Young is now.

    If there’s a Cubs trade to the Rangers, it’d have to be pitching based. We were all excited for Webb as a possible fifth starter on a NRI; the Rangers MLB.com depth chart has them as their third starter. That’s not going to end well. But, even Silva for Young means the Cubs are eating a lot of money, and they seem in no position to do that this year.

    • evan kaminski

      why dont the cubs trade ramirez move soriano to 2b and put young at 3rd

      • Ace

        Soriano cannot physically handle second base at a Major League caliber level anymore.

  • http://joesmithwierdo@yahoo.com eryk

    A Young for Soriano trade would be AMAZING. The Cubs would unload on one of their worst contracts ever, open up a space in the outfield for Tyler Colvin, solve the second base issue, and it would be CHEAPER than keeping Soriano around, while getting similar production from a more premium position. Plus it would not only be a good fit for the Cubs, but a GOOD fit for the Rangers. They would have their DH problem solved with a good hitter with a big name that can help attract more fans to the stadium. It works for both sides. So, if a Young for Soriano is possible than IT MUST BE DONE.

    • eryk

      But any other trade won’t work, so if not Soriano for Young than no dice.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        I disagree. If the 2 teams wanted to make a deal, they could agree on something beside Young for Soriano.

        • eryk

          I not saying that Im just saying with any other trade, the Cubs would have so much money locked up in the future with Zambrano, Soriano, and then Young. That would place a big burden on them, so I figured giving up Soriano for Young would help ease some of that financial pressure. So what I meant was if its not Soriano for Young it will be a mistake for the Cubs.

    • evan kaminski

      yes young for soriano would be amazing we would have one of the best lineups!

      • Hogan

        Check Young’s home and away splits, the ol’ballpark in Arlington has been kind to Mikey and have inflated his stats. He hasn’t put any real time in at second for years and would barely be an upgrade at second offensive. Baker crushes lefties to fantasy numbers and Dewitt is a little better against righties, and also has been working with Jaramillo. I’m not expecting a ton, but it is better than another aging player with no position, even if we do get rid of the one we already have.

  • philoe beddoe

    I believe a wise man was suggesting this trade earlier in the week….just dont see Texas doing it..

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The Cubs have a lot of money coming off the books after this year. They could try to trade for Young with Texas paying all his 2011 salary.

    • eryk

      Im not talking about 2011. Im talking about the future when the cubs would have a lot of money in two unproductive players Soriano and Young because Young isn’t a free agent until 2014 and Soriano until 2015. They won’t be as good as they are now and it will kill our finances to have expensive, old, unproductive players.

    • BT

      So you are saying the Cubs should CUT Soriano because he has a bad contract, but they should trade FOR Young, and his awful contract? You don’t see a problem with that?

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        The Cubs should cut Soriano because he sucks. Young would be an upgrade at 2B. You sure do like to argue, don’t you? You need to work on your debating ability.

        • Ace

          You do realize that Soriano will almost certainly outproduce Young in 2011, right?

        • BT

          Yes, I think is obvious that you have bested me in this particular battle of the intellects. I’ll work on getting better though.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    I believe Young, for the Rangers, will outproduce Soriano for the Cubs given a similar amount of playing time. I also believe the Cubs with Young at 2B and Colvin in LF would be better than they are now. As for the payroll, it obviously wouldn’t change this year with Soriano AND Young on the Cubs if Texas agreed to pay Young’s contract this season in order to trade him. The payroll in 2012 and beyond is another matter.

    • Tex

      No chance Young outhomers or has more extra base hits than Soriano!!!. Soriano is still a dangerous hitter! Just because you don’t like his contract(I don’t either) it is foolish to say he shouldn’t start in left. He is still a more productive hitter than either Fukodome or Colvin will be next year. In fact….I bet Soriano has a higher average this year than Colvin.

  • CubSouth

    So whomever the Cubs have as the 25th man on the roster, will produce better than Soriano? Really?

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Never said that. On the bench he’d be a distraction. The best thing the Cubs could hope for is for someone to take him off their hands. Not likely. Platooning would be the next best thing. The bench would be the worst option.

  • CubSouth

    Your right that it would be great for someone to take him off our hands. To me, I think we should let ST determine who gets the spots in the Outfield. If Soriano actually does have a good Spring, better than Colvin, then he deserves a chance to make up some of his salary. Platooning would be a good option but I’m much of a fan of it for a season, maybe the first month and for strategy, but not just for the sake of getting players AB’s.

  • eryk

    to me there is no question that Young for Soriano would be worth it.

  • curt

    soriano for young in a heartbeat at least young looks like he hustles and besides the money savings that could be applied 2 either pujols or a replacement for ramirez soriano hasnt even came even close 2 justifying that deal he got make the deal

  • curt

    make soriano go away plz

  • http://bleachernation ramy16

    i dont think trading soriano for young is a good idea specially when were trading one bad contract for anouther! just chalk it up to our fat fuck of a gm to ruin our team… iam glad however that we do have a competitve team to put out there for 9 innings…ken rosenthal say the cubs are the sleeper for the nl central…and that we do have wood and marmol to close out games…speaking of marmol did the extension get done?? i would have liked for use to pick up orlando cabrera…but he signed with the indians…i would trade byrd to seattle for franklin gutierrez! young talented center fielder!!

  • Chris C

    I think the Young for Soriano trade would be a good deal. I am just curious if the Cubs have tried to Renegotiate the contract with Soriano or if that is even possible.

    • Ace

      Unfortunately, contract renegotiations are very uncommon in MLB due to the guaranteed nature of the deals, and the strength of the MLBPA. At most, the Cubs could request Soriano defer some of the money he’s owed, and in return, they could maybe offer him some interest; kind of like he’s making the team a loan.

      In other words, it’s not really possible.

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