About two weeks ago, we learned that infielder Michael Young is thinking about retiring after 13 full seasons in the Majors. Young, 37, split time between the Phillies and Dodgers last year, posting a .730 OPS. He has shown mediocre power in each of his last two seasons and his defense has been less and less reliable. If he were to retire now, he would have a career batting average right at .300, certainly a nice round number to take with him.
GM Jon Daniels wants Young to retire as a Ranger when the time comes, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Young has been a Ranger since 2000, when the Blue Jays sent him to Texas with Darwin Cubillan for starter Esteban Loaiza. Since then, Young has taken over 8,000 plate appearances as a Ranger and played every position in the infield for them as well as DH. The Rangers came close to winning it all with him in 2010 and 2011, but the Giants and Cardinals had other things in mind. It would certainly be fitting for Young to retire as a Ranger.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).