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.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”