Answering the Michael Young question
Lots of you have reached out to me about the possibility of the A’s going after Michael Young, even though they’re not on the list of eight teams to which Young has said he’d accept a trade. Young did add that he’d consider other teams on a case-by-case basis, but don’t expect Oakland to get involved in what’s really become an unnecessary mess for a truly classy guy. Despite their unsettling take on Kevin Kouzmanoff at third base, the A’s never inquired on Young, I’ve been hearing, and there’s reason to understand why.
Young is 34 and is due $48 million over the next three years. There’s also a good chunk of deferred money that’s to be paid out with interest over the next few years. Now I know some of you are asking why the A’s can’t fork up that kind of money when they’re willing to offer Adrian Beltre $76 million over six years, but you have to realize they’re very different players. At the beginning of the offseason, Billy Beane made it clear that he wouldn’t bring in offense at the expense of taking away from a superb defense, and Young doesn’t exactly boast the goldest of gloves. In fact, he’s considered to be a below-average defender. His bat’s surely nice to look at, but not for that kind of money AND for the players they’d have to give up in exchange. Plus, the A’s made their offer to Beltre before they handed good money to Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour.
This is not to say the A’s don’t like what Young has to offer, because I’m sure they do. He’s a tremendous player. But at this point, Kouzmanoff is their guy. 2010 represented his first in the league, and he still managed to put up 16 homers and 70-plus RBIs. Those numbers may not be ideal for a third baseman, but they’re expected to escalate not only with that year of AL experience under his belt but also with the opportunity for him to bat in a more suitable sixth or seventh slot behind the likes of DeJesus, Matsui and Willingham.
It’s fun thinking about Young possibly facing the Rangers while wearing an A’s uniform, but it’s likely not going to happen.