Michael Young has asked the Texas Rangers to trade him, a request that the AL champions are willing to oblige for their career hits leader who is unhappy about his changing role.
General manager Jon Daniels said “nothing is imminent,” however, and that the Rangers would trade Young only if they could improve the team in doing so.
After signing free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre last month, the Rangers said Young would become the primary designated hitter and serve in a utility role where he could fill in at every infield position. Young, the team’s longest-tenured player after 10 seasons, initially agreed to that plan.
“Our first choice would be to continue with our offseason plan and go to camp with Michael and him playing pivotal role on the club,” Daniels said. “He’s changed his mind, had a change of heart about that role, and if we can accommodate his request, and in doing so upgrade the club, we certainly would like to do that.”
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What could make that difficult is that Young is owed $46 million over the remaining three seasons in contract — $15 million in each of the next two seasons and $16 million in 2013. Plus, there are only eight teams not on his no-trade list.
The 34-year-old Young has spent his entire major league career with Texas, and he played in 1,508 regular season games before finally making it to the playoffs last year. A .300 career hitter with 1,848 hits, he had five consecutive 200-hit seasons (2003-07) and led the AL with a .331 average in 2005.
Also on Monday, American League MVP Josh Hamilton said his contract talks with the Rangers were “moving in the right direction” and that a two-year deal is possible.
While Hamilton and the AL champions have to settle his 2011 contract to avoid a salary arbitration hearing next week, a two-year deal would also cover Hamilton’s other remaining arbitration season in 2012.
AROUND THE HORN
A person familiar with the negotiations said former Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez and the New York Yankees agreed to a minor league contract. Injuries have limited him to 64 games over the past three seasons. The statue outside Wrigley Field of legendary Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray was vandalized with spray-painted graffiti that said “Sox” and a second, illegible word. The Los Angeles Dodgers will wear throwback uniforms honoring their Brooklyn roots for six games. The team is asking fans to pick from among three uniform choices online at www.dodgers.com/throwback before Feb. 17. The Dodgers signed infielder Aaron Miles to a minor league deal. Scott Brosius, head coach at Oregon’s Linfield College and 1998 World Series MVP, was named manager of the under-18 national team for the United States.