ESPN.com’s Buster Olney was definitely on to something when he wrote Saturday that “something has changed” in the relationship between the Rangers and Michael Young. He wants a trade. And the Rangers are going to try to meet that request.
A source familiar with the situation told Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports on Sunday afternoon that Texas will “attempt to trade” Young in the coming days because the infielder “has grown disillusioned with his diminished role on the team.”
The Rangers brought in Adrian Beltre on a massive free agent contract this offseason and will start him at third base in 2011. When that deal was initially signed, it moved Young to the DH role. But then the Rangers traded for Mike Napoli and Young took quick notice this weekend that his at-bats would probably be taking a hit this season.
So he wants out. A change of scenery.
We’ll see how it goes. Young is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, has never been great defensively, and finished with a pedestrian .774 OPS last season. He also turned 34 years old in October.
The Rockies are known to have some interest, though recent reports are saying they want the Rangers to eat $20 million of Young’s remaining contract. Brown hears that the Angels could be interested, but they probably won’t want to take on another bad deal. Remember, Anaheim brought in $81 million worth of Vernon Wells just a couple of weeks ago.
Young should dominate headlines for much of this week — the last week without baseball until November.
Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).
Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.
Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.
Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.
Orioles’ center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be sidelined for four weeks while he rehabs a broken ring finger on his right hand, according to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck. Bourn broke the finger while playing catch with a football after a spring training workout.
The veteran outfielder re-signed with the club earlier this week on a minor league deal and was prepared to compete for a bench role this season. He’s in line to receive a $2 million salary if he makes the major league roster and can make an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on a set number of plate appearances. Now, however, his chances of cracking the roster out of spring training look considerably diminished, as his current timetable gives him an approximate return date of March 25 if all goes well.
Bourn had an impressive, if short-lived run with the Orioles following his trade to Baltimore last August, batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and a .793 OPS in 55 PA. While still somewhat removed from the totals that brought him an All-Star nod with the Braves in 2012, his defensive chops should give the Orioles some depth in center once he’s healthy again.