Michael Young is expected to become Texas’ primary designated hitter after the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre to a five-year, $80 million contract to replace him at third base, so not surprisingly today general manager Jon Daniels said the team is “out” of the mix to re-sign Vladimir Guerrero.
Guerrero out-produced Young by a wide margin last season, topping his OPS by 67 points, but Guerrero is also two years older than Young, struggled mightily in the second half, and offers zero defensively versatility. And perhaps most importantly, Young is owed $16 million per season through 2013.
If the Rangers could simply trade Young and his contract they’d likely do so and perhaps make an effort to re-sign Guerrero, but in order to deal Young they’d have to eat a significant portion of the $48 million he’s still owed. At this point it seems likely that Guerrero will have to accept a one-year deal for less than the $6.5 million he earned in 2010, as his list of potential suitors is rapidly shrinking with the Angels reportedly out of the mix as well.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.
Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.
In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.
There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.