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.  

3 Comments

Not surprising that the A’s wouldn’t consider Young. You nailed it when you pointed out he isn’t a great defender and that contact is way too big.

I do have a question. I saw in the clips for the A’s 2011 ads they were wearing yellow uniforms. They looked good!
Any chance they will wear them say on Sunday home games?

Giants have orange Friday and that was a success…

Am looking forward to spring training, yea !!!

Why not trade for Young and play him at shortstop. He would like that and he was a capable defender at that position in the passed? The A’s payed Chavez almost as much as Young is making and got nothing for their money. Think about the advantage of having a 300 Hitter at shortstop. Is Pennington that much better at shortstop? I believe this move would put the A’s in the post season. What is that worth?

I strongly disagree with the idea of playing Young at SS. If he’s a below average defender at 3rd, he won’t be even average at SS (especially later in his career – that’s why Texas moved him to 3rd – Andrus has better range).
I’m not sure that Young would hit .300 in Oakland – I think part of his average can be attributed to playing in Texas’s hitter-friendly park.
I like Pennington at SS. Sure, he made a few more errors than the average SS, but he also has above-average range, and a good arm – which gets him more chances than average. At the plate, he brings the element of speed (there aren’t many SS who steal more bags). Given the lack of A’s power (though improved from last year), it’s like having another lead-off hitter, in the 9-hole. Plus he’s young; I think as he hits his prime, his average will increase.
Kouz has a good glove, and more power than Young. I’m all for giving him another shot this year, and seeing how he performs. I wouldn’t take on Young’s salary… I don’t think his bat is worth the defensive downgrade. Nothing against him as a player, I just don’t think he’s the answer.

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