Michael Young dugout

Everyone’s sorry about how Michael Young’s situation played out in Texas


Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas has an in-depth story about Michael Young’s departure from Texas and all of the drama that surrounded his final three years with the Rangers.

Interesting: Jon Daniels admits that he didn’t handle things well following Young’s trade demand in the 2010-11 offseason following the team’s pickup of Adrian Beltre. Daniels doesn’t elaborate, but he said he learned a lot then and, as of now, no longer discusses the status of current players with the media.

Also interesting: Young admits that he didn’t handle things well when he was moved to third base off shortstop prior to the 2009 season after Elvis Andrus was given the starting shortstop gig. That precipitated an earlier trade demand. Now, however, he says that “if I could go back in time, I would have embraced it as a great challenge.”

Seems like a lot of reasonableness is afoot. Young says, however, that he has no relationship with the Rangers’ front office and, prior to the trade to Philly, had told them to deal only through his agent.

I would assume that all of this will be forgotten in a couple of years when Young returns to Texas as a coach, goodwill ambassador or — depending on how he does in Philly — a bench guy/DH playing out the remainder of his career where he was always happiest, front office strife or not.

UPDATE:  This is interesting. The comments from Young about his regret in the way he handled his trade demand before the 2009 season came from his press conference with the Phillies yesterday. These comments are getting big play in stories like the linked one here from Durrett.  Absent from most of the writeups, however, were a comment Young made about how he handled his second trade demand, in the 2010-11 offseason:


Interesting how that — which would otherwise be a juicy quote — doesn’t make most of these stories.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.