Fit him for pinstripes? Michael Young edition

Compare that to the table below, made up of the alternatives we considered back in December.

Young’s career numbers:

Year Age BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Awards
2000 23 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100  
2001 24 .249 .298 .402 .699 80  
2002 25 .262 .308 .382 .690 78  
2003 26 .306 .339 .446 .785 97  
2004 27 .313 .353 .483 .836 109 AS,MVP-8
2005 28 .331 .385 .513 .899 131 AS,MVP-11
2006 29 .314 .356 .459 .814 108 AS,MVP-30
2007 30 .315 .366 .418 .783 106 AS
2008 31 .284 .339 .402 .741 95 AS,GG
2009 32 .322 .374 .518 .892 128 AS,MVP-16
2010 33 .284 .330 .444 .774 105  
11 Seasons .300 .347 .448 .795 105  
162 Game Avg. .300 .347 .448 .795 105  
Provided by View Original Table; Generated 2/6/2011.

Young looks a whole lot better than any of the names on that board (which has thinned considerably since, as a number of these  players have been snapped up by teams looking for cheap utility players). And compared to likely returns on Russo or Nunez, he’s probably worth somewhere in the realm of two additional wins above replacement. That has serious, serious value, especially to a team that is going to be in contention (which significantly adds to the marginal value of wins).

This, of course, is a bit of a pipe dream. Young was signed to a terrible contract, and will cost the Rangers $16 million each of the next three seasons. He’s also a proud guy, and given how sick he seems of getting shunted around the diamond year to year, signing up for that full time seems…a bit of a stretch. He’s also got a limited no-trade clause.

But from all the news floating about the interweb, it seems like Texas is motivated to move him. There’s no team that will take him without the Rangers footing at least some of the bill. And if the Yankees could get him for less than $10 million per season, he’s at least break even value-wise. The teams currently in the hunt (publicly) are the Rockies and the Dodgers. The Dodgers are being held up by their ownership situation. Discussions with the Rockies, depending on who you believe, are either very active, or non-existent. Could the Yankees wedge their foot in the door, and if so, should they?

It’s funny. I started this post on a bit of a lark, expecting to chuckle about how little the Yankees need Young, but the more thought I give it, the more sense he makes. It really depends how much cash Texas is throwing in–and after all, it’s not like the Rangers have previously shown any reticence about subsidizing the Yankees’ payroll.

About Will@IIATMS

Will is a lifelong New Yorker and Yankees fan who splits his time between finance, music, and baseball. He was one of the early contributors to IIATMS, though life took him away for some time. He is very excited to be back.

18 thoughts on “Fit him for pinstripes? Michael Young edition

  1. Doesn't Young want out of Texas because of his limited use to the team as his only real job now is being stuck at DH?

    Wouldn't he want to be in NY even less for that same reason? To me it sounds like trading for a good starting pitcher and telling him to replace Mitre as our long relief guy. Just won't be happy in that role.

  2. Taylor–

    I agree, that's an issue. I even made that point (explicitly) up above. See the third paragraph from the end.

    Doesn't mean he wouldn't be a heck of an upgrade over our current utility folks, if the Yankees were to acquire him. And hey, who knows–maybe he'd prefer the util slot over DHing.

  3. Young may not be real happy at his situation in Texas, but he's not desperate to get out of there either.
    It's not like he is playing in Buffalo where the stench is so great you have to get out, ( Example Marshawn Lynch). It may be hard to get him to agree to a trade to leave Texas where he spent his career.

  4. I love the idea and on a positive note, his two best friends are Alex Rodriguez and Mark Texeira. Also, it would give Nunez the AAA experience he needs every day.

    Negatively speaking? The Rangers and Yankees are feuding, his contract is high and his "official" role would be DH vs lefties. I wish it could happen but I just don't see it.

  5. I have been thinking about Michael Young as a Yank, especially since I saw that his role might be reduced in Texas. If he is willing to take a "super-utility role," which with the Yankees might mean about 400 ABs as they let each of the starters rest., I think it's an awesome move for the Yankees. If I remember correctly, can't he also give you an occasional start in the outfield?

  6. Does the guy see himself as a utility player? filling in once a week at 3B and once at SS? i cant imagine so.. With his limited no trade, i cant believe he'd want to come here..

  7. The one thing that has not been fully addressed in these comments is that fact that the Yankees would be one of the last teams Texas would want to trade him to assuming they would even talk to the Yankees about a trade without asking for something ridiculous in return even though they would like to dump his salary. Michael Young is a leader, can play several infield positions probably including first base and would be a very good pickup for the Yankees. But unfortunately it is a pipe dream.

  8. my question is why doesnt anyone look at him for left field – he is obviously athletic and i would think he could make that switch since he had no trouble with other switches . plus id love to have him in my clubhouse

    • Well, the easy answer is that Gardner is a more productive player than Michael Young at this point in their respective careers–not least of all because Gardner plays fantastic defense, while Young would be a bit of an adventure.

  9. A long time Yankee fan (grew up on Long Island, came to Tx on baseball scholarship) I tried to be an Astro fan (was a Biggio fan) then I took notice of Michael Young and found a Biggio ++. This guy is the real deal, the consummate athlete and baseball player. I went to bid farewell to old Yankee st (and Shea) at end of July, 2008. Sitting in fifth row box behind Yankee dugout, I politely told Yankee fans to watch Michael Young as had he spent his career in NY, he'd be as popular,probably moreso than Jeter (who I put in the same class of person and ballplayer.) I took some heat until Young hit his third consecutive double going with the pitch to deepest spots in the stadium. He also made a couple unreal defensive plays. Without their leader and captain (I blve his ldshp in the clubhouse was worth a good number of games) look for the Rangers to finish 3rd in their division. Give me 8 Michael Youngs and a
    middle of the pack pitching staff, I'd be printing WS tix now. Shocked at my friend, Nolan Ryan even looking at Beltre (2 ok offensive yrs, his next if has one will also be in free agent year.) A far cry from Young who will battle pitcher down 10-1 with 2 outs in the 9th!! Back to one team fan–Yankees.

  10. Why hasn't anybody discussed what the Yanks would have to give up to get Mr. Young? Aside from the money. At 34 he has good years left, was always a clutch performer, and would be a good addition to any team. I'd consider 1- Yanks get him for a farm pitcher 2- get Rangers to pickup part of the salary then #3- trade Rodriguez to Colorado absorbing some salary to make it more attractive for Rockies. Arod in the light Colorado air could help him get to his HR goals, while the Yanks would have good chemistry, good clubhouse, a quiet, strong leader type at 3rd base an workable budget-wise. Maybe a wild idea but why not? STAN