Report: The Rockies are out on Michael Young

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We’ve heard the Rockies mentioned as a potential destination for Michael Young dating back to the winter meetings, so many have considered them an obvious fit now that the 34-year-old infielder has formally requested a trade. They are even one of the eight places where Young said he would approve a trade.

If only it was that easy.

A major league source tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies are out on Young.

Young’s remaining salary and the Rangers’ demands are two significant reasons why talks have broken down. According to Renck, the Rangers’ demands changed once Vladimir Guerrero agreed to sign with the Orioles. The Rangers are reluctant to simply give Young away, because they feel they don’t have an adequate replacement for him in the lineup. At least that’s what they are saying. It’s still possible that talks could be revived, but a deal between the two teams appears doubtful right now.

The Dodgers have interest in the Southern California native, but Mike DiGiovanna and Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times are reporting that the club has questions about Young’s defense and how his power will translate to Dodger Stadium. And if you read Aaron’s thorough takedown of Young yesterday, those concerns are completely valid.

The Rangers would love to get something of value in return for Young, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to do so unless they eat a significant portion of the $48 million he is owed over the next three seasons. It’s a tough spot.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.