Young is one of the most valuable players in Rangers history. He is a 6-time All-Star, an All-Star MVP, a batting champion and Gold Glove winner. The Rangers record books have the name Michael Young scattered throughout. However, the face of the franchise may not be roaming the field in Arlington in the near future.
Before spring training opened up, the Rangers approached Young about moving from third base to basically being a platoon player at first base and DH, a couple of years after the team asked him to move to third from shortstop. The Rangers signed Adrian Beltre in the offseason, who is one of the better fielding third baseman in the majors. This is where the relationship breaks down.
Young was not thrilled at all about being asked to move once again and requested to be traded. The Rangers granted his wish and tried to put him out in the open market. The problem was there weren’t too many buyers out there, with the possibility of Young’s 5-year, $80 million contract being a key obstacle. So he remains with the Rangers, at least for now.
The relationship between Young and the Rangers didn’t seem to play much once spring training opened, other than Young stating he didn’t trust G-M Jon Daniels. He felt lied and betrayed to by Daniels, whom he was once close to. Daniels, along with the rest of the Rangers brass, said this was strictly a business move and nothing personal. Young obviously doesn’t feel the same way.
Young still remains popular among his teammates and Rangers Nation, with both sides hoping he stays. Manager Ron Washington has nothing but positive things to say about his player and can’t visualize the Rangers without Young. Seeing Young sitting by his locker stunned and hurt after the Game 5 loss to the San Francisco Giants in last year’s World Series shows how much it meant for him to win for this team.
The debate on whether it was the right decision to move Young carries on. Some feel he became a liability on defense, while others feel it was disrespectful asking him to move once again and lose playing time in the process.
Time will only tell how the saga with the Rangers and the face of the franchise over the years will turn out.
Written by C. James