UPDATE: Call off the Michael Young trade talk

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UPDATE: It seems that’s over. Multiple sources, including Evan Grant and others who were reporting a possible Michael Young trade, are now saying that it’s not happening. The Rangers have approached young and told him as much.

To the extent the trade was going to be to the Rockies so that Texas could then sign Adrian Beltre, I’d like to think I was partially responsible. When that rumor first started last night I went on Sirius/XM radio with Mike Ferrin and Flash Gordon, who asked me about it. My immediate response: “Why don’t the Rockies just sign Adrian Beltre? Not tons more expensive and, you know, he’s a lot better.”  Perchance Colorado heard that and agreed?

Well, no, I suppose not. But if a knucklehead like me can understand that, you figure that a team full of guys paid to think about such matters could.

Tuesday, 11:42 PM: Oh, baby. Multiple sources are telling Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers are talking to the Rockies about a trade for Michael Young.

This will be no easy task, since Young is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, but Grant writes that if the Rangers are able to deal him, they will pursue free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Now that would be something.

Tuesday, 8:02 PM: Here’s more clarification from Rangers president Nolan Ryan, via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com:

“I wouldn’t say that were shopping him,” Ryan said. “A lot of players come up in discussions and you listen to what’s out there. I think people ask us about all kinds of players and so you see what level of interest some teams have on various things, but it’s all just part of the process. We’re not shopping him.”

Tuesday, 7:58 PM: According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers officials have “debunked” the rumor that they are shopping Michael Young. Again, probably doesn’t matter if they are, because they aren’t going to get that much interest with a contract like his.

Tuesday, 6:19 PM: Ken Rosenthal says that the Rangers are listening to offers for Michael Young.

I suppose if I had Michael Young and his contract that I’d listen to offers too. I just wouldn’t expect any.  Besides, Young is really popular in Texas, you’d have to figure that it wouldn’t be the easiest trick in the world to trade him in a salary dump.  They’d have to get players, and who wants to give players for a guy who is owed $16 million a year for his age 34, 35 and 36 seasons.

This could be a shot in the dark by the Rangers, hoping that they could maybe unload his contract before his 10-and-5 rights kick in next May.

In other news, there’s a host for an Atlanta sports talk station inexplicably broadcasting from inside the media room here at the Winter Meetings, where people are trying to write. He’s loud, and that would be bad enough. Making it worse: he just referred to Greg Maddux as “The Crime Dog.”  That’s a major, major code violation.  If you don’t know his nickname at least have the common courtesy to call him “Daddy.”

I’m going to get some dinner. Then some courage. Then I’m going to come back and give that guy a wedgie.  If things go sideways, my last tweet of the evening will be a request for someone for to throw my bail.

Kolten Wong lashes out after losing his starting role with the Cardinals

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Kolten Wong is no longer the only second baseman being considered for a starting role on the Cardinals’ roster, and he’s not happy about it. On Saturday, GM John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny hinted that Wong could lose playing time to Jedd Gyorko or Greg Garcia in 2017 — in other words, an infielder who brings a little more pop at the plate. Prior to the Cardinals’ game against the Marlins on Sunday, Wong gave his heated response to the media. Via Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

I don’t think you give somebody a contract for no reason,” Wong said. “When you are given a contract, you are expected to get a chance to work through some things and figure yourself out. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, all these guys never figured their stuff out until later on down the road. It’s the big leagues. It’s tough, man. For me, the biggest thing is I just need people to have my back. When that comes, it will be good. But, I think right now, it’s just staying with my play, understanding I’m working toward getting myself more consistent, understanding what kind of player I can be. If that’s going to be with another team, so be it.

When pressed, Wong said that he would rather be traded away from St. Louis than step into a limited role with the team. “I don’t want to be here wasting my time,” he told the press. “I know what kind of player I am. If I don’t have the belief here, then I’ll go somewhere else.” The 26-year-old was inked to a five-year, $25.5 million extension prior to the 2016 season, complete with a $12.5 million option and $1 million buyout.

Part of Wong’s frustration stems from the Cardinals’ backtracking on their stated commitment to him as their starting second baseman last winter. Mozeliak admitted that while Wong had the defensive tools necessary to hold down the position, he failed to impress at the plate. It’s an argument that Wong hasn’t been able to rebut this spring, going 8-for-44 with two extra bases and 10 strikeouts in camp. He hasn’t looked much better in the regular season, sustaining a career .248/.309/.370 batting line with a .678 OPS and 5.1 fWAR over four years with the organization.

Still, the second baseman feels that he should have been given some heads up that he was playing to keep his starting role this spring, admitting that he entered camp with the mentality of someone who had a guaranteed spot on the Cardinals’ roster and not someone whose job security was dependent on his day-to-day results. “I need the time to consistently figure out how to be me and succeed at this level,” said Wong. “Everybody goes through it. Not everybody is Mike Trout.”

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.