Michael Young Rumors

Yankees Could Still Consider Young, Reynolds At Third

The Yankees could soon learn the result of Alex Rodriguez's appeal of his suspension. If the suspension is upheld, they could turn to free agents Michael Young or Mark Reynolds as alternatives, Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York writes.

If A-Rod isn't available, the Yankees do have the lefty-hitting Kelly Johnson to play the hot corner. Young or Reynolds, both of them right-handed, could platoon with Johnson, who could also play second base. Young hit .279/.335/.395 with the Phillies and Dodgers last season, and Reynolds hit .220/.306/.393 with the Indians and Yankees. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweeted last month that the Yankees had interest in Reynolds and Young, but since then, they've agreed to terms with Brian Roberts to help address their second base needs. That would appear to impact their plan at third base, since Johnson can play both positions.

Marchand notes that the Yankees are unlikely to make any moves at third until they know more about Rodriguez's situation, and they might not make any until after Masahiro Tanaka signs, whether that's with them or someone else.

Brewers Eyeing Michael Young

The Brewers are interested in Michael Young as a first baseman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The Dodgers and Rockies are also in the mix for Young.  The Nationals are involved too, but they're also exploring other options at present.

Young could pair with Juan Francisco at first base in Milwaukee.  It certainly helps that, as Rosenthal notes (link), Brewers GM Doug Melvin and coaches Jerry and Johnny Narron know Young from his days with the Rangers.

The Brewers have been combing the first base market and lost a potential option when they're own free agent, Corey Hart, hooked on with the Mariners.  Recently, our own Charlie Wilmoth looked at some of the other remaining options at the first base position, including the Cardinals' Matt Adams, the Mets' Ike Davis ( whom they've been heavily connected to), and Kendrys Morales.  Adams would be a tremendous addition, but prying him away from divisional rivals could be tough.

West Notes: Mariners, Cruz, Trumbo, Dodgers, Rockies

The Mariners are one of the winners of the Winter Meetings, John Harper of the New York Daily News writes. Many in baseball have predicted Robinson Cano's 10-year, $240MM deal will end poorly, but the contract will help the Mariners attract other stars and generate fan interest, Harper says. More Saturday night links from baseball's Western divisions:

  • The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish has new quotes from Mariners GM Jack Zdurienick on the club's plans for the rest of the offseason. While the Mariners still aim to acquire a right-handed bat, bullpen arms and a back-up catcher, they may have to get creative to do so, Zdurienick says. Nelson Cruz would appear to fit the club's need for right-handed offense, but Divish says he's asking for a deal with a $16-17MM annual salary.
  • Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times has high praise for Mark Trumbo's character following the trade that sent the slugger to the Diamondbacks. "I've been a lifelong Angels fan, and in many ways, it has been pretty much all I've known," Trumbo said of the deal. "It'll be a little tough."
  • An unnamed Dodgers player told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter) that Juan Uribe is an "amazing teammate and defender who hit [the] organization's biggest [home run] since [Kirk] Gibson." The third baseman, who will reportedly re-up with the Dodgers for two years and $15MM, clubbed a dramatic go-ahead homer that helped the Dodgers clinch the National League Division Series over the Braves this year.
  • The Rockies want to add a veteran to their bench, and Michael Young may be available now that the Dodgers have re-signed Uribe, Troy Renck of The Denver Post writes (Sulia link). Young is reporetedly looking for a starting role, however.
  • Carlos Gonzalez says he's prepared for an upcoming move to center field, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. Gonzalez will shift to center from left following the Rockies' trade of Dexter Fowler to the Astros.

Dodgers Could Sign Young As Regular Third Baseman

The Dodgers are considering signing free agent Michael Young and installing him as the club's everyday third baseman, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. MVP Sports Group represents the 37-year-old.

After spending much of his time in 2011-12 as a designated hitter, Young served last year as the Phillies' regular third bagger before finishing the year as a utilityman for the Dodgers. Young's return to a daily role in the field came with mixed results. On the one hand, he proved that he is still capable of keeping up with the grind. On the other, Young's hot corner work graded out at or below replacement level in the aggregate.

Young hit at a slightly above average rate in 2013, posting a .279/.335/.395 triple-slash in 565 plate appearances. On the other hand, UBR pegged Young as costing his clubs 4.6 runs through baserunning. And advanced fielding metrics were not fans of his work on the hot corner. UZR, for instance, graded Young as the second-worst regular third baseman in the league.

While we heard recently that the Dodgers were eyeing Young, it would seem a surprise for Los Angeles to plug him into its everyday lineup to start the year. The club could also ink him as a utility player and use his presence to regain some leverage in a seller's market. Juan Uribe, who delivered a big year for the Dodgers in 2013, remains available. But the club is reportedly prepared to move on after not hearing back on an offer to the free agent, with Olney tweeting that L.A. increasingly believes he'll find a new home. Otherwise, the Dodgers will presumably need to test the trade market, where pickings are slim and prices could be high.

AL West Notes: Wilson, Young, Angels, Morrison

The Rangers made headlines today by selecting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.  Before going on to NFL stardom, Wilson was selected by the Rockies as a second baseman in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and Colorado retained its rights to Wilson until this morning. Wilson will report to Spring Training and talk to the Rangers' minor leaguers in a motivational capacity.  "We decided if he ever wanted to play again, he'd be a guy that we'd want with us," Texas assistant GM A.J. Preller told reporters, including MLB.com's Richard Justice.  The Wilson selection isn't a gimmick,  ESPN's Richard Durrett writes, and Jon Daniels is excited to have Wilson's winning qualities in the organization, though Daniels stressed that the club isn't trying to distract Wilson from his NFL goals.  Here's more out of the AL West…

  • Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz remain unsigned, which is good news for the Rangers, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett writes.  The Rangers like both players and are hoping that their asking prices drop the longer they stay on the market.  Daniels said that his team's pursuit of Choo was "unchanged" from yesterday.
  • There is a chance that Michael Young could rejoin the Rangers if both parties see a fit, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweets.  Texas dealt its longtime franchise staple to the Phillies last offseason and Young was subsequently dealt to the Dodgers in August.
  • Despite recent rumors linking the Angels to Matt Garza and Raul Ibanez, general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters (including Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times) that his team doesn't have any outstanding offers to free agents.
  • In a special piece for FOX Sports, new Mariners first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison wrote about the experience of being traded to a new team. Morrison's piece is particularly fascinating in that it was written prior to the trade that sent him to Seattle. LoMo says he doesn't have any ill feelings toward the Marlins organization, adding that contrary to public opinion, owner Jeffrey Loria was "great and generous" to Morrison and his family. Loria allowed Morrison and his family to use his personal plane to get to Kansas City for the funeral of Morrison's father.
  • The Astros spoke to the Marlins about Morrison and also pursued Corey Hart and Mike Morse, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports.  Jose Veras rejected the Astros' initial contract offer but the two sides still share a mutual interest in a reunion.
  • The YankeesIndiansBravesPhilliesBlue JaysTwins and Indians were all involved in trade talks for Brett Anderson before the Athletics sent the right-hander to the Rockies, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

West Notes: Gutierrez, Young, Morse, Sizemore, Cruz

Here are some quick notes from around the West divisions:

  • The Mariners have interest in re-signing outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, likely to a one-year, incentive-based deal, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes. (Twitter links).
  • M's GM Jack Zduriencik also says the Mariners might attempt to improve their outfield via trades, Divish tweets.
  • The Dodgers are discussing Michael Young as a possible option in their infield, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes (via Twitter).
  • Mike Morse wants $7MM or $8MM on a one-year contract, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets. That seems to be a lot to pay a player who hit .215/.270/.381 with poor defense last season. The Astros are reportedly among the teams interested in Morse.
  • The Astros have also recently spoken with representatives of outfielder Grady Sizemore, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart writes (via Twitter). Sizemore, 31, last played in the big leagues in 2011.
  • The Rockies are interested in both Morse and Young, the Denver Post's Troy Renck tweets.
  • Now that the Mark Trumbo trade is complete, the Angels are likely to keep second baseman Howie Kendrick, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean says that if infielder Pablo Sandoval comes to spring training in good shape, the Giants would consider signing Sandoval to an extension, MLB.com's Chris Haft tweets.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels says free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz doesn't owe the Rangers special consideration despite missing 50 games in 2013 after being suspended, reports ESPN's Richard Durrett. "He had a decision to make," says Daniels. "[W]e all understood the position he was in. I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t view it that way. I don’t think he owes us." Cruz could have appealed his suspension and continued to play for the Rangers last season, but he chose not to.
  • If the Diamondbacks are unable to trade for a pitcher, they could pursue Matt Garza, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert tweets.

NL West Notes: Uribe, Ibanez, Young, Morse, Ichiro

In an Insider post (subscription required), Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio names eight players who could be traded during the Winter Meetings. The Rays' David Price tops the list with Bowden's possible destinations starting with the Dodgers. The Dodgers also have two of their own on the list: outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Here's more on the Boys in Blue and the rest of the NL West: 

  • Re-signing Juan Uribe figures to be at or near the top of the Dodgers' to-do list at the Winter Meetings, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Uribe is not seeking a three-year contract and the holdup with the Dodgers is either their desire for a one-year deal or money, tweets ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted confirmation of an earlier report the Rockies are interested in Raul Ibanez, but cautioned nothing is serious at this point. Renck also noted Michael Young is on the club's radar for a bench role.  
  • The Rockies are also becoming more serious about Michael Morse along with the Giants, Marlins, and Rangers, reports the New York Post's Joel Sherman (Twitter links).
  • There's been speculation the Giants could be a fit for Ichiro Suzuki, but Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tweets he doesn't believe that's the case.
  • The demands of the trade market will determine what course Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers takes during the Winter Meetings, reports azcentral.com's Nick Piecoro. "Most people are asking for quite a bit right now, I'm not real excited about what I'd have to give up in the trade market," Towers said. "I'm hoping maybe the price starts to come down. If not, then I'll turn to more free agents."
  • Left-hander Erick Threets is looking to play in Asia, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The 32-year-old spent 2013 with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League pitching to a 7.04 ERA, 5.9 K/9, and 7.5 BB/9 in 23 innings covering 27 relief outings. Threets' last MLB affiliation was with the Dodgers' Triple-A team 2012 and his last appearance in a big league game was in 2010 for the White Sox

Rangers Notes: Daniels, Maddux, Murphy, Young

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux is "more interested" in the Cubs manager's job than he was two years ago, a source tells ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers.  The Cubs were interested in Maddux in 2011 but he pulled himself out of the process due to family considerations, though that "isn't as big of a concern" this time around.  The Cubs have yet to contact Maddux during their current search for a new bench boss.  Here's the latest from Arlington…

  • GM Jon Daniels discussed his relationship with Nolan Ryan, coaching changes, Jurickson Profar's development and other Rangers topics during a recent appearance on "The Ben and Skin Show" on 105.3 The Fan radio (partial transcript provided by the Dallas Morning News).  In regards to how the team will address Profar and the crowded middle infield picture, Daniels said, “If [a trade] helps us get better and win, then yeah, and I think we’d consider trading somebody. If it doesn’t, we’re not going to force it. There are a lot worse problems than having too many good players for a position.”
  • Also from that interview, Daniels discussed his club's offseason needs.  "Catching is an area that we need to address, as is our offense and run production in general, and there's a couple different spots we can look to add some offense. I think you're always in the market for pitching," Daniels said.
  • David Murphy will likely be playing elsewhere in 2014, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes as part of a reader mailbag.  The 31-year-old hit a career-worst .220/.282/.374 in 476 PA, drastically lowing his stock on the free agent market this winter.  Sullivan speculates that Murphy could be a good fit on the Astros or Giants.
  • Also from Sullivan's mailbag, he notes that Michael Young could retire at the end of this season.  Young turns 37 later this month and his contract will be up as soon as the Dodgers' playoff run ends.
  • Sullivan guesses that the Rangers would have to give up Profar, a top pitching prospect like Luke Jackson, and also a big hitting prospect from the lower minors to acquire David Price from the Rays. 
  • If the Rangers signed Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu, Sullivan doesn't think it would necessarily mean the end of Mitch Moreland's time with the club since the Rangers need more bats.
  • Earlier today on MLBTR, Zach Links included an item about the Rangers as part of a "Texas Notes" post.

The Michael Young Trade: Reaction & Analysis

The Dodgers made the final August trade of the season late last night acquiring Michael Young and cash from the Phillies for minor-league left-hander Rob Rasmussen. Here's the reaction and analysis from around baseball:

  • Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says Juan Uribe is still the team's starting third baseman and Young will see time at both corner infield positions, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told reporters, including ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon, Young is willing to accept a lesser role, and the resulting diminished number of at-bats, because he wants another crack at a World Series ring. 
  • The Phillies would have been better served accepting the Yankees' offer of Double-A right-hander Tommy Kahnle and paying the remainder of Young's salary that was made prior to the July 31st Trade Deadline, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. disagreed with Heyman's assessment telling reporters, including CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury, "We like this guy (Rasmussen) more. The guys that we talked about with other teams had other issues. At the Trade Deadline we were not out of it completely. We were still trying to win games. Different circumstances. Now we’re out of it, basically."
  • The Dodgers paid too high of a price for a sub-replacement level player of no discernable value to a playoff team, opines Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated.
  • Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times has the opposite opinion writing there is no drawback, no downside when you add to a club's bench a veteran like Young, who is universally perceived as a great teammate.
  • MLB.com's Lyle Spencer agrees with Dilbeck tweeting Young is a great addition for the Dodgers on so many levels: clutch, tough, versatile, smart, and a winner.

Dodgers Acquire Michael Young

One of the most popular names in trade rumors this summer is finally on the move, as the Phillies announced that they have traded Michael Young to the Dodgers in exchange for minor-league pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Philadelphia will also pay the Dodgers about $1.7MM – the amount the Phillies were still due to receive from the Rangers as part of their original trade for Young in December. Young reportedly waived his no-trade clause to make the deal a reality.

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A widely discussed trade target this summer, Young's name appeared regularly on MLBTR throughout July, but the Phillies opted to hold on to him as the deadline passed. The infielder reportedly sought to return to the Rangers, though we heard that the Red Sox were his second choice. Young was also connected with clubs such as the Yankees and the Orioles.

Though Young has spent the majority of his time in the field this year at third base, the Dodgers' incumbent third baseman, Juan Uribe, would appear to offer similar production to Young's .272/.333/.389 line in 2013. However, Young has long experience at every infield position excepting first base, so the Dodgers may opt to use him in a utility role.

Rasmussen, 24, was drafted in the second round by the Marlins in 2010. An undersized lefty with a tendency for wildness, he was promoted to Triple-A earlier in the season but was rocked to a 6.46 ERA in 54 1/3 innings, posting a 6.1 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9. However, he's been much better in his 81 1/3 innings this year at Double-A, where he owns a 2.55 ERA. Rasmussen was ranked as the 19th best prospect in the Astros system by Baseball America after the 2012 season before being traded to the Dodgers last December.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the deal on Twitter and was the first to report that Young waived his no-trade clause (Twitter link). Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times was the first to report that the Phillies received Rasmussen in the deal (Twitter link). ESPNLosAngeles' Mark Saxon first reported the amount of cash the Dodgers received (Twitter link).