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.
Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe …
Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.
Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.
Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.
Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.
Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.
His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …
It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?
Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.
Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.
Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.
Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.
Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.
It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …