Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported in mid-February that the Diamondbacks were interested in Michael Young and today he writes that they “renewed their efforts to trade” for him last week only to balk when the Rangers “asked for a strong package of prospects and major leaguers.”
Rosenthal is probably the best national reporter in the business and I’m not doubting what the “one source” quoted in the article told him, but I’m highly skeptical that the Rangers wanted “a strong package of prospects and major leaguers” for a guy they’ve clearly been trying to trade for the past four months.
Perhaps the Rangers asked for that type of return for Young if they’re expected to eat the entire $48 million remaining on his contract, but short of that they seem likely to let him go for either a sizable chunk of money saved or a decent prospect. And if they’re truly holding out for the package Rosenthal describes … well, then it’s no mystery why he hasn’t been traded in four months. Young just isn’t that valuable.
Of course, in this case the Diamondbacks are on the list of teams to which Young can veto a trade, so it may be a moot point anyway. He would be an upgrade on Melvin Mora at third base, though.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.