UPDATE: Remember what I wrote earlier? Well, scratch all that. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Michael Young said he is willing to be a designated hitter if the club signs Adrian Beltre.
6:39 PM: Depending on what you read right now, the Rangers may or may not be close to signing Adrian Beltre. However, one thing we know for sure is that the club has at least prepared for the possibility of signing him. With that in mind, they have approached Michael Young about a potential position change.
Let’s just say he’s not feeling the whole idea.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com and Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Young told the club that he is not interested in moving off third base. The 35-year-old already switched from second base to shortstop to make room for Alfonso Soriano in 2004 and shifted to third base in 2009 for Elvis Andrus. He wasn’t thrilled about changing positions in 2009, so it’s no surprise to hear he’s not into some vague utility role, as well as splitting time as a designated hitter or sharing first base with Mitch Moreland.
Well, fine. Just trade the guy, right? Not so easy when someone in their mid-to-late 30s is making $16 million over each of the next three seasons.
If the Rangers sign Beltre, they might just have to say “tough cookies” and brace for the potential fallout.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.