Michael Young Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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 Yankees, Indians, Braves, Phillies, Blue Jays, Twins 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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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).
MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season's final two months. Remember though, players must be acquired by Aug. 31 to be eligible for their new team's postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. Also bear in mind that a player's no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.
Last Updated: 8-15-2013
- Elvis Andrus, Rangers -- Andrus is under contract for an additional nine years and $124.475MM, making it no surprise that teams passed on claiming him. He was hitting .255/.317/.306 at the time he cleared waivers -- a notable decline in production for the 24-year-old. The Rangers reportedly have no intention to trade him.
- Erik Bedard, Astros -- Bedard owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013 for Houston. The southpaw, who cleared waivers on Aug. 14, would be a really cheap pickup as he is owed just $300K for the rest of the season.
- Dan Haren, Nationals -- Haren was placed on waivers on Aug. 8 without any clubs biting on him and his remaining $3.7MM in salary. The right-hander owns a 4.99 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 so far in 2013 and he could be of interest to teams if the Nationals fall further back in the Wild Card chase.
- Brendan Ryan, Mariners -- Word came down of Ryan clearing waivers on Aug. 14. The M's were said to have him available before July 31st but couldn't find any takers.
- Matt Lindstrom, White Sox -- Everyone needs relief help, but the White Sox were selling at the non-waiver deadline and couldn't find a suitable deal for Lindstrom. The reliever, who has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9, cleared waivers on Aug. 14.
- Justin Morneau, Twins -- Morneau cleared waivers on Aug. 14, when he had roughly $3.5MM remaining on his $14MM salary. A free agent at season's end, Morneau was dreadful in July, batting .175/.266/.330. He homered six times in his first 10 games of August though, which could make teams reconsider their stance.
- Barry Zito, Giants -- Zito cleared waivers on Aug. 14, but at that point still had $5.14MM remaining on his $20MM salary. With an ERA north of 5.00 and that kind of money remaining on his deal, it seems likely that Zito will play out the rest of his widely panned contract in San Francisco.
- Josh Johnson, Blue Jays -- With more than $4MM left on his salary at the time he was placed on waivers, no team was apparently willing to take a risk that the big righty's poor results will begin to reflect his more promising peripherals. Unless Johnson hits an August hot streak, it seems likely that the Jays will hold onto him and consider whether to make him a qualifying offer when he reaches free agency at the end of the year.
- Adam Dunn, White Sox -- That Dunn cleared waivers isn't a huge surprise, given his $15MM salary in 2013 and in 2014. He's been red-hot since June 1, however, which could lead contending AL teams such as the Orioles and Rangers to show interest if the White Sox are willing to include some cash in the deal.
- Jimmy Rollins, Phillies -- Rollins has taken a big step back in production this year (especially on the power side of the ledger) and is owed $11MM for 2014 (and possibly the same for 2015 if his option vests). The 34-year-old shortstop seems discinclined to waive his full no-trade rights, making him unlikely to change hands.
- Michael Young, Phillies -- The third baseman could be an August trade candidate given his expiring contract, experience, and serviceable (if unspectacular) 2013 campaign. He is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade protection to go to a contender.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.