UPDATE: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com writes that a major source of the friction between the two sides is that the club was attempting to trade Young, but telling him otherwise. Now he wants out of Texas, but the Rangers are reluctant to deal him.
In a word, awkward.
6:22 PM: Confirming what Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels just said in a conference call that Michael Young has requested a trade.
According to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Daniels said that Young had a change of heart about accepting his new role with the club and requested a trade about a week ago. At issue is that Young is concerned that he will be pigeon-holed as a designated hitter as he ages.
“He’s had time to think about it,” Daniels said. “Time’s gone on and he’s changed his mind.”
While the Rockies have been mentioned most frequently in connection with Young, Daniels added that no deal is imminent at this time. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Young has a limited no-trade clause which includes eight teams where he can be traded without his approval, though the Rockies are reportedly one of them.
The biggest hurdle to a potential deal is Young’s massive contract. The 34-year-old is owed $16 million over each of the next three seasons.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.