Michael Young's likely move is to third base, not a new team
Young requested a trade after the Rangers broached moving him to third base
Texas wants to make room for minor league phenom Elvis Andrus at shortstop
A Young trade is unlikely, though the Dodgers, Mets and Twins have interest
Longtime Rangers star Michael Young doesn't want to move to third base. But at this point that seems to be a more likely option for him than moving to another team. With five years and $62 million remaining on his contract in this tight market, he won't be as easy to trade as he thinks.
Young, 32, requested a trade after being told by Rangers manager Ron Washington that the plan is to move him from shortstop to third base to make room for wunderkind shortstop Elvis Andrus. Young has moved before to accommodate the team, but he questions the suggested move this time. Young won a Gold Glove at shortstop last season, while Andrus committed 32 errors at Double-A.
Young probably didn't need to make the trade request because the reality is that the Rangers have been trying to find takers for him for weeks. Young is still a productive player -- 12 homers, 82 RBIs, .282 batting average last year -- and the Rangers have fielded some interest, notably from the Dodgers, Mets and Twins. But it's hard to imagine the Mets or Dodgers dedicating that amount of money to a second baseman (both those teams have fixtures at shortstop), and it's harder still to imagine the Twins dedicating that amount to almost anyone. In this tight market, Young's contract, in fact, looks very large.
The other teams that appear to be looking at Young are more likely to consider him for second base than his preferred shortstop, anyway. Young also has a no-trade provision in his contract.
These are the potential contenders for Young (and let's not forget, they're all long shots):
1. Twins. They've been looking around for infield help. But all in all they seem much more likely to sign a free agent such as Joe Crede. Also, it's uncertain whether Young would approve a trade to Minnesota.
3. Dodgers. Having re-signed Rafael Furcal at shortstop, they are now concentrating on bringing Manny Ramirez back into the fold, understandably so.
4. White Sox. They've always liked Young, but they appear to be paring payroll.
5. Red Sox. They haven't yet made the big move to upgrade the offense. But they seem fairly happy with young Jed Lowrie at shortstop, and people familiar with their thinking insist that Young isn't even on their radar.
6. Yankees. Young's great friends and former Texas teammates Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira would love to have him come over. But the Yankees seem unlikely to trade second baseman Robinson Cano now. They like Cano despite his poor 2008 season, and they also like the fact that he's a left-handed hitter.
After Pettitte passes, now he waits
The Yankees' longstanding one-year, $10 million offer to lefty Andy Pettitte expired when the club signed star free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira to a $180 million deal. The Yankees explained to Pettitte all along that the offer could go away if they hit their payroll limit, and they apparently did that when they signed Teixeira.
Pettitte, 36, never took the Yankees' offer because he was hurt by the idea of a $6 million pay cut, never mind the fact that he started and finished poorly last year (he began the year with his HGH press conference and ended it with seven losses in his last nine decisions.) Overall he was 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA.
But it doesn't appear that Pettitte has anything better, and if he wants to pitch in 2009 he will have to wait. If the Yankees can trade either Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady, that may open up payroll room to resubmit a similar offer to Pettitte, a beloved Yankee. This time we'd have to think Pettitte might finally except.
However, months after first making the $10 million offer to Pettitte, Yankees people still believe there is "less than a 50-50 chance'' that Pettitte's Yankees career will resume. Retirement seems to be the main second option for Pettitte, though the Dodgers and Astros could be long-shot possibilities.
Around the majors
The Reds are looking for an outfielder after coming up empty in their efforts to trade for Jermaine Dye. They'd love free agent Bobby Abreu but doubt they can afford him. Garret Anderson, also a free agent, is another possibility.
The White Sox have been asking teams for top pitching prospects for Dye but aren't necessarily insisting that those prospects be within a year of the big leagues, as teams often do when they dangle stars. But no one has bitten yet. The Chicago Sun-Times reported the Angels could now be in the mix for Dye.
Twelve teams came to see Chad Cordero's first workout, among them the Dodgers and Angels. One observer said Cordero threw very well.
Rickey Henderson should have been a unanimous Hall of Fame pick (who are these 28 writers who didn't vote for the all-time leader in runs and stolen bases?). Jim Rice deserved to get in. But so did Andre Dawson and Jack Morris.