Arizona and Florida have yet to see their first Major League game of long toss and already blockbuster trade rumors are being thrown about. The on-again, off-again relationship between the Texas Rangers and third baseman Michael Young appears to off-again – possibly for good – with Young reportedly requesting a trade.
With suitors lining up like hopefuls at an American Idol tryout, the Rangers will likely be able to take their time and find a deal worth their liking. But it’s also interesting to note a pair of teams rumored to be in chase.
First, there are the Dodgers. According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, L.A. is in the running, but their continued unstable ownership situation makes it unlikely that they’ll be able to swing a deal. Even before making their trip to Divorce Court, the McCourts weren’t likely to take on a guy still owed $48 million over the next three years.
It’s telling that general manager Ned Colletti was targeting Eric Chavez, who, with his severely decreased numbers and inability to play a full season, would have come with an immensely cheaper price tag. But with Chavez signing a minor league deal with the Yankees, L.A. is looking at opening the season with the 37-year old Casey Blake as the starter with Juan Uribe splitting time as a backup between third and shortstop.
So why get involved? The word “eyewash” comes to mind. With a fanbase sensing that this group may have hit its ceiling, the organization has to at least look like it’s making a play for the big-name players that can keep selling Dodger Dogs – even if there’s no realistic chance of getting a deal done. Also with the Blue Crew having lost its stranglehold on baseball fans in the Los Angeles market, the Dodgers have to try and keep up with the Angels.
Speaking of the Angels…they’re also reportedly on the list of teams seeking an audience with Texas to talk about Michael Young. Let’s ignore for a moment that Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels would need to have suffered a brain injury to trade one of the league’s best hitters within the division.
The Halos could have something worth looking at. As strange as it may sound, Texas may have a few decent arms coming through their minor league system, but may need to stock up on power. The Angels have some big sticks like Mike Trumbo, Kaleb Cowart and Randal Grichuk that could be worth taking a chance on if combined in the right package.
But unless the Rangers are willing to swallow a signficant part of Young’s salary, the Angels will have three players averaging more than $15 million per year (Young, Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter). Not a big deal if you’re the Yankees, but Angels’ owner Arte Moreno has gotten a little squeamish recently about the number of big contracts he’s willing to hand out.
Add to it that the team has started contract negotiations with the arbitration-eligible Jered Weaver – and more importantly, his agent Scott Boras – and you could be adding quite a bit to a payroll that already tops $104 million.
It’s likely that when camp opens in less than two weeks, Young will be in Surprise, wearing a “T” on his hat. As for what happens beyond that? Don’t expect the Dodgers or Angels to get one of those Ryan Seacrest golden tickets.