Josh Hamilton Says Dealing Michael Young Doesn't Make Sense; Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels Confirm He's Requested a Trade

Categories: Texas Rangers
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Photos by Sam Merten
Josh Hamilton says trading Michael Young would be "a big loss."
As workers cleaned up the aftermath of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium across the street from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the Texas Rangers equipment truck headed out this afternoon to the team's spring training facility in Surprise, Arizona. Shortly before Josh Hamilton and Darren Oliver unveiled a banner to celebrate the occasion, Hamilton said his agent, Mike Moye, and the club were making progress on his contract for this year, and he addressed rumors that Michael Young could be traded.

"It's hard to lose a guy who's your most durable player, who's in there every day, who's getting 550, 600 at-bats a year, putting up numbers like he does," he said. "Does it make sense? No. But I don't get paid to make those kinds of decisions."

Hamilton said he worked out this morning with Young, who told him that he's unsure whether he'll be on the team when players report later this month to Surprise.

"It's definitely a concern," Hamilton said about trading Young. "When you think about his leadership and how long he's been with this organization, you think about him not being here, and it's kinda hard to think about. He's been here since I've been here, and he's been a guy I could go to, who I really look to as a veteran leader and somebody I could learn from. So, if we lose him, it's gonna be a big loss."

Rangers president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels confirmed in a conference call afterward that Young has requested to be traded because he doesn't want to primarily fill the designated hitter position this early in his career. Young's agent, Dan Lozano, told Daniels about a week ago that Young had changed his mind after previously agreeing to take over the DH role and occasionally play various infield positions.

"Nothing's imminent at this point," Daniels said of a potential deal, noting that Lozano submitted a list of eight teams to which Young prefers to be traded as part of the limited no-trade clause included in the five-year, $80 million contract extension signed in March 2007.

Daniels said he wants to accommodate Young's request, but he stressed he won't make a deal without improving the team by doing so. Ryan, who described Young as "one of the premier hitters in the game," said it's premature to say whether the club is willing to include money in a deal to offset the three years and $48 million remaining on his contract. Ryan also said Young wasn't specific about why he's changed his mind other than stating his concern about the effect of moving to DH on his career.

Ryan told Young that he'd be playing in the field about 20 percent of the time and said Young didn't express frustration about the recent trade for Mike Napoli in his two conversations with him last weekend.

Daniels said Young simply has had more time to think about his new role: "As time has gone on, he's changed his mind."

When asked whether playing first base full time was an option for Young, Daniels said the organization is committed to allow Mitch Moreland to establish himself at that position.

And how did the Rangers get in this mess in the first place?

"Obviously, the catalyst of this was signing [Adrian] Beltre," Daniels said.

Hamilton said Young "loves it in Texas and has been here a long time," but has "some discontent" about his current situation. "Hopefully, we can keep that chemistry there and some guys will have to step up and be a leader. It's going to be different if something happens and he's not here. But we'll have to step up and focus on what got us where we were last year. And part of that chemistry was loving each other, encouraging each other and backing each other up."

The reigning American League MVP described the offseason as "quick" and said he's almost at the weight he's targeted for spring training -- 238 pounds -- after battling pneumonia. (He said he's at 233 pounds now.)

"Physically, I feel good," he said. "Mentally, I'm getting there."

While Hamilton is under team control for two more seasons, he's the only player on the club without a contract as the two sides have submitted arbitration amounts of $12 million and $8.7 million, respectively. Hamilton said the Rangers discussed the possibility of buying out both arbitration years, but he's prepared to head to a hearing if they can't come to an agreement before next Monday's deadline.

"It's not just about me and what I'm going to get, but it's about the guys who are coming after me and doing the same things for those guys that the guys before me did," he said.

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30 comments
Rooster
Rooster

Love me some Michael Young, but maybe someone should have this conversation with him:

"Dude. You're not what you used to be, and we're waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overpaying you. We're not going to take a financial hit and not be able to get a decent DH because you want to be a crybaby. If you want more time on the field, then play better. It really is that simple. Otherwise grab a tissue, cash the inflated checks we're stroking you, and wipe away the tears."

P1Steven
P1Steven

Would MY still be here if The Rangers were honest with him about trying to move him? The most successful teams that dont have NY,Boston, LA $$$$ have to make tough choices. The Rangers made a tough choice by not breaking the bank for playoff hero Cliff Lee. Good teams make tough choices...

Mishon
Mishon

Did anyone catch what the big announcement on RAGE was yesterday?

just sayin'
just sayin'

First of all, he isnt going to the Yanks. He isnt going to take a spot from Cano, Jeter, Arod, or Jorge at dh. Mark NY off the list.

You had to know when Texas signed Napoli that this was going to happen. Young is a mediocre defensive 3rd baseman. He isnt going to get 2nd back from the uppercutting golden half-jew. He doesnt have the power for dh. So he is done as a Ranger. He is overpaid, but I think this move will come back and haunt the Rangers. Beltre will be a bust. Just you wait and see. I personally hope that he can veto everything till he gets traded to the Angels. I bet that motherfucker bats .900 in Arlington if he gets traded in the division.

sporty
sporty

I think this backlash is a bit unfair and shortsighted. I am disappointed Michael Young would agree to a new role and backtrack, but he has moved to a different position twice before where you rarely see any stars do it to begin with. Maybe a more accurate statement is Young is not a good company man. Have there been ANY reports of Michael actually being a jerk to teammates? Josh certainly doesn't seem to hold any grudge against him. And wasn't Michael one of the teammates that welcomed Josh at his press conference when he was dealt here from Cincinnati? According to the Sports Illustrated article, Josh's teammates in Cincinnati didn't quite show him the love or support that say Michael did. But he's a bad teammate?

People are upset with Michael because he will not agree to a demoted role most likely being of a split-time DH and backup infielder. So Michael should just shutup and be happy he has a bloated paycheck right? Did Michael write-up his own contract or was that the Rangers' front office? We all knew his contract was going to be ugly near the end and here we are. But the tone back then was a lot more "He's a great guy," than the current "screw him, trade him, do away with this whiner." The truth is there are plenty teams that would like to have Michael, but not with the foolish money the Rangers signed him to.

Michael moved to SS and won the gold glove. The Rangers asked him to move to 3B. Michael asked for a trade. Fans snarled, huffed, puffed, and said all these things they never uttered about Michael before, and Michael retracted it quickly and moved to 3B. This was back when Michael was a legitimate all-star and batting champ contender. It may seem selfish he even questioned what the franchise asked of him, but when he signed he chose to stay in Texas and be the franchise player here instead of going to a proven winner elsewhere. He was on so many shitty Rangers teams the past 10 years...who here didn't feel better for Michael than any other Ranger on the roster once they made the World Series? But he's a bad guy? He's a bad teammate?

Also, Michael says the Rangers deceived him. Why is this being dismissed so easily? You can say it's a business and that's the way it's done, but around the time of the GM meetings the Rockies rumors started up and spread like wildfire. Everyone and their mama was reporting it, but the Rangers said it was nonsense, just a false rumor and had no substance. Who here believes them? It is beyond obvious they were talking a deal and misled Michael about it. Or what about the Thome rumors? Was that made up media fodder too? The Rangers may be in the right in their privacy and they have no obligation to be truthful to any of their players, but that does not mean what Michael said is not necessarily true, and a guy who's played here for 10 years, on a lot of shitty teams, may have thought he deserved more respect than that.

I am not advocating what Michael is doing. In fact, he did give his blessing to the Beltre signing and agreed to his newest role. But how much insight did Michael give when the Rangers were talking to Jim Thome, even reportedly offering him more cash than the Twins did? If that were to happen, Michael would become a split time DH, something he did not think was in the works. And with Napoli signed that could easily be the outcome as it stands. As a Rangers fan I'm sad to see this relationship get so soured, and let's be honest a bitter divorce is unfolding before our eyes. But I also don't think there are necessarily any "good' or "bad" guys in this development and I hope Ranger fans remember Michael is not a Barry Bonds, Milton Bradley, Jeff Kent, Hanley Ramirez, John Rocker, Manny Ramirez type of teammate and there is a lot more gray than any black and white, good guy/bad guy conflict here.

Great article, Sam. Good to finally see some interesting sportsy discussion for once than hearing about all the hot booties at Super Bowl row.

Tennessee Fire
Tennessee Fire

Trade going to be pretty difficult. No one is going to give what he's worth hitting in the BPinA because his road hitting stats are down. I guess Colorado thinks he can put up the BPinA numbers in their park too. What's the status on the Eric Young/Michael Young swap?

Rob_Em
Rob_Em

I remember a while back everyone was saying Young is a great teammate for moving to all the positions the Rangers ask him to go to. In the comment section, Sam reminded people Young hasn't necessarily been the greatest teammate in the past, and it looks like it only took a matter of time before Young revealed himself.

I don't want to be too harsh. Tens of millions of dollars could theoretically be on the line, but he surely can't be deaf to the argument that he is one of the worst defensive infielders in the league.

Young will hopefully choose the targets of his PR campaign carefully. Even if he is telling the truth and has evidence to back it up, he's not going to win against Nolan Ryan in Texas.

Corby's Backpack Fullaweed
Corby's Backpack Fullaweed

Dude, so I was sitting here reading this entry thinking "wow this a really insightful entry, Sam must have wrote it" sarcastically. Then I scrolled back up to the top and found out that Sam actually did write it. Take notes, Whitt. Kudos, Sam.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

My bad, I Should've noticed something was amiss, when there was both more than a top 7.5 things I think I saw somewhere else from somebody more talented than I care to try to achieve. Keep Effing that chicken Richie Shitt!

Marky Mark
Marky Mark

Greggo is on the "sick" again. Intersting, the other time he was on the "sick" was when the Rangers made their WS run, now the SB just blew (no pun intended, no really) through town. Today, I popped on during a commercial at the real sports station and The Hammer got pissed when Armin (is that his name???) tried to bring it up on the air, I mean really pissed, almost like the Hambonita was going to slug him if he said more. Come on RW give us the scoop, or are you chicken?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Josh really didn't give us anything that is not standard good teammate, don't throw someone under the bus talk.

Michael has been a great asset to the team for many years. You really couldn't have asked more of him, and part of me understands why he's irritated, but another part of me says he's being a baby.

Do we want a guy on the team that would just roll over and go with a reduced role without saying a word? No, you want a dude to fight. You want Witten arguing with a doctor, not Cutler dumb-facing. So yeah, I'd do exactly what Michael is doing more than likely. But the team is doing what they feel they need to do to be better as a whole. There's really not a good solution, is there?

McDoom
McDoom

Sam, I think you meant to put this on Unfair Park. This blog is strictly for top 10 lists and couching radio show prep topics.

You're right Josh, you don't get paid to make these decisions, and for good reason. It's the right time to move Young, especially before his 10/5 rights vest. Thank god Nolan isn't the GM either. Michael hasn't been a "premier hitter" for awhile, and you better believe the Rangers are going to have to eat some of Young's salary to move him. Unless Tony Reagins wants to take it all...

jerrahs rug
jerrahs rug

thanks for posting about this, Sam. Any idea as to what 8 teams Michael prefers to be dealt to? Colorado and Anaheim being two it's probably safe to say.

Michael is a good guy and one of the best players this franchise has seen, but it's time to move on. Hopefully the Rangers are serious when they say they intend to get something of value back and won't just dump him and eat a lot of the dough.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Man,this situation is turning into the ARod situation. Good job, Sam.

Rooster
Rooster

Lately we've put as much effort "remembering" your blog entries as you have writing them, which is to say, "not much".

jerrahs rug
jerrahs rug

Adrian Beltre is the new Michael Young!

(future terrible contract)

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

I was just about to post this.

"The suggestion that I've simply had a change of heart and asked for a trade is a manipulation of the truth," Young told DMN'er Evan Grant.

"I want to be traded because I've been misled and manipulated, and I'm sick of it."

Of course, Young didn't elaborate on how he's been "misled and manipulated."

A sad day indeed.

Ed Lover
Ed Lover

guarntee you I thought the exact same thing...MORE SAM.

jerrahs rug
jerrahs rug

There's more than 3 sentences, of course Richie didn't write it.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Yup, this is getting ugly. Apparently, Young isn't the model teammate many thought he was.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I just had myself a baseball cry. Damn it. Damn it all.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Back at ya, Scruffy. I'll be dropping by from time to time.

jerrahs rug
jerrahs rug

thanks, Sam. Michael should open up the teams he's willing to be dealt to if he's the one wanting out. I understand why he's frustrated, but the Rangers need to do what's best for them too. I looked at some of the contracts of the teams listed there and didn't see any real obvious matches as far as bad contract swaps go. Dealing him away to the Rockies for a bench warming Jose Lopez doesn't sound very enticing, but seems to be the most realistic scenario out there for now.

This is pretty shitty timing too with Vladdy/Thome/Manny all signed elsewhere. Who's left? Russell Branyan? I could realistically see a Branyan/Napoli split at DH. That sounds a bit scary to me. If Michael is traded I imagine Hamilton gets a lot of DH time this year to help keep him healthy. Maybe it'd be good for Nelson Cruz from time to time as well if his hamstring keeps bothering him like recent seasons. Honestly this sucks...too bad Vladdy couldn't have waited another week before signing.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

This is how a good union man approaches his #job, valid argument on his side..if it gets him to Philly or Angels/Yanks/Bosox sets him up for another contract with both the current team/rangers/yanks/Bosox/angels/flavor of the year..Genius is what the guys on the commercial say. If he opens it up, we stand better chances of getting something back and giving up less dough ray me.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Where'd Sam come up? Big Bob wouldn't do anything to Sam, who'd else spend all night in bankruptcy court..live Effing blogging yo! Love you Sam, you homeless looking poor man's Modano.

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