There’s a really good chance that disgruntled infielder Michael Young is going to have to report to Rangers camp next week. He has requested a trade and the Rangers’ front office has attempted to satisfy that request, but there’s simply nothing out there.
A source told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday evening that the Rangers now don’t expect to find a landing spot for Young before the start of spring training.
The 34-year-old is simply owed too much money and not productive enough historically away from the Rangers’ cozy ballpark to justify such a lofty salary. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Dodgers asked Texas to assume 75 percent of the remaining three years and $48 million on Young’s current contract when the two sides engaged in trade talks earlier this week. That’s $36 million that the Rangers would simply have to eat. Those talks have obviously been broken off.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels isn’t dumb. In fact, he’s a very highly regarded baseball mind. He is not going to blindly satisfy Young’s desire to get out of Texas with a deal that would cause harm to the future of the club that he is in charge of running. Paying $36 million to thin air over the next three seasons would be borderline idiotic and would certainly limit the Rangers’ ability to improve their overall roster.
If Young wants to suck up his pride and report to Rangers camp with a smile on his face, maybe all of this can be smoothed over. Young has expressed great feelings of respect for club president Nolan Ryan and manager Ron Washington, and a face-to-face meeting with those two would surely go a long way toward the reconciliation of what is, right now, a complete mess.
Young might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, but there will be plenty of at-bats available to him if he commits to being a flexible member of the 2011 roster. Whether at designated hitter or first base, Washington can find him regular playing time.
The Rangers tried to shop him and couldn’t find a viable suitor. Now the ball is in Young’s court.
The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.