Diamondbacks “renewed efforts to trade” for Michael Young

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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.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.