Found December 08, 2012 on
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Replacing Michael Young's production doesn't figure to be that difficult for the Texas Rangers.
Any fan of WAR can tell you that Young was one of the worst players in the American League in 2012 when you look at his numbers (his -2.4 was a career worst). His .277 average was his worst since 2002. His RBI total of 67 was dismal, especially considering he hit in the heart of the order of one of baseball's most potent lineups.
And then there's his defense, which fell off as Young aged. His range when he played was somewhat diminished, as were the reactions of the 36-year-old.
Despite all of that, the Rangers are going to find it next to impossible to replace Young, who waived his no-trade clause Saturday and agreed to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
His clubhouse impact is that important.
"He's the first guy I got to meet when I got to the big leagues," said Texas Rangers left hander Derek Holland. "He was like a brother as well as a father figure. He's had that big of an impact. He's helped me on and off the field. He's helped me progress as a player and a man."
Holland's quote could probably have been attributed to any number of players who have come in and out of the clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark over the past 12 seasons.
When the Rangers made the trade for Cliff Lee during their first World Series run in 2010, Texas manager Ron Washington came into the clubhouse and notified the players. It was Young who gave the deal the seal of approval and it was Young who was the first to greet Lee when he arrived in Arlington.
The trade for Mike Napoli before the 2011 season looked as if it were going to cut into Young's playing time. When Napoli showed up in Surprise for the first time, it was Young who sought him out. Once Napoli got to Arlington, his locker in the clubhouse was right next to Young's.
The Rangers never officially named Young a team captain but it's obvious he was. Other players called him Ranger Man. And Face, as in Face of the Franchise.
That's a fitting name too. Young is the franchise leader in games played, hits, runs, doubles, triples, total bases and multi-hit games. He's meant as much to the franchise as Pudge Rodriguez and Nolan Ryan.
Detractors will say that if Young was such a leader, why did he demand a trade when the Rangers decided to put Elvis Andrus at shortstop in 2009 or Adrian Beltre at third in 2011? Can you fault a player who believes he can still be an everyday contributor if he feels like that's not going to be the case?
Young responded to the move to third base after Andrus took over at short by hitting .322 with 22 home runs and made the All-Star team. When he was moved to the super utility spot after Beltre took over at third base in 2011, Young had one of the best seasons of his career and finished eighth in the All-Star voting. There was no sulking into the season. Just steady Young-like production, something that became a staple of him since he took over as a full-time player in 2001.
The anti-Young faction thinks the media gives Young more credit than he deserves. Maybe that's the case. But it's hard not to like a guy who you could go to for a quote after every game, whether it was when the Rangers were a last-place team, a first-place team or a team that was one pitch from winning a World Series twice.
He was always there, always accountable.
There have been other clubhouse leaders for the Rangers, but there hasn't been a need for one for most of the last decade because Young has filled that role.
Around baseball the Rangers are known for having one of the best clubhouses in baseball and a lot of that has had to do with Young.
Whoever the Rangers add this offseason, whether it be re-signing Josh Hamilton or trading for Justin Upton, it's also important they find a guy who can take over that role in the clubhouse.
It could be Ian Kinsler, who is now the veteran Ranger, having been with the club since 2006. It helps that he learned about the game from Young, who had the locker just to the right of him in the clubhouse. It could be David Murphy, who is another stand-up player in the Texas clubhouse. It could be Joe Nathan or Holland or Matt Harrison or Adrian Beltre.
It could be a lot of players. It just better be someone. If not, the Rangers will find out just how difficult it truly is to replace Young.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Rangers fans are left this week pondering the mixed legacy of their now departed Michael Young. As a legacy member of that team, Young had produced far more positive moments for the Rangers than the other way around. But his contract--which is not his fault--combined with two episodes of whining at position changes despite that contract--which is his fault--led to a falloff of some...
Michael Young has spent his entire career with the Texas Rangers. However, the last two seasons have been tenuous. The Rangers asked Young to move positions numerous times and he has wanted a contract extension. The extension never came, and now the Rangers have dealt him to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The trade was not without Young's consent though. Young had 10...
Replacing Michael Young's production doesn't figure to be that difficult for the Texas Rangers.
Any fan of WAR can tell you that Young was one of the worst players in the American League in 2012 when you look at his numbers (his -2.4 was a career worst). His average of .277 was his worst since 2002. His RBI total of 67 was dismal, especially considering he hit in the heart...
Michael Young is coming to Philadelphia.
After two days weighing his options, the 36-year old lifetime Texas Ranger has decided to leave the only organization he has ever played for, waiving his no-trade option for a chance to play third base everyday with the Phillies.
In exchange for Young, the Phillies will send back 25-year old right-handed reliever, Josh Lindblom, and Lisalverto...
The Philadelphia Phillies have filled their hole at third base with Michael Young after the veteran has accepted a rumored trade to Philadelphia. The Texas Rangers will be paying $10 million of the $16 million owed to Young in 2013. Heading to the Rangers in return for Young are reliever Josh Lindblom and prospect Lisalverto Bonilla.
2012 was the worst season of Young's career...
DALLAS (AP) -- Michael Young says he's ready for a different challenge in Philadelphia after spending the first 12 seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers.
Young says it was an easy decision from a baseball perspective. He wanted to go to the Phillies to be their everyday third baseman.
Speaking publicly for the first time since waiving his no-trade clause and the deal...
It took a little while for Michael Young to decide that he wanted to join the Phillies, but on Saturday, he finally decided to come to town. The deal to get Young sends two pitchers to the Rangers.
OFF YOU GO
Third baseman Michael Young has reportedly waived his no-trade clause, allowing the Rangers to trade him to the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies announced Sunday that they acquired infielder Michael Young from the Texas Rangers for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and minor league righty Lisalberto Bonilla. Young, who wants to play more regularly, dropped his no-trade clause to go to Philadelphia. The Phillies will pay $6 million of Young's $16 million salary for next year. Young...
Sources from the Associated Press (AP) announce that Texas Rangers, 3rd baseman, Michael Young will join the Philadelphia Phillies roster. Young agreed to waive his no-trade clause on Saturday, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been announced. The Rangers also will pay a significant portion of Young’s salary for…
The Phillies have acquired Michael Young from the Rangers according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Young will receive $1.2MM in benefits in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause, but Nightengale adds that he told the Phillies he did not want an extension.
The Rangers will $10MM of the $16MM owed to Young next season.
In exchange, the Phillies will send Josh Lindblom and minor...
Finally we will have resolution on the Michael Young situation. According to T.R. Sullivan, best-known by Phillies fans as the one who first reported that Cliff Lee had chosen to re-sign with the Phillies, the Phillies and Texas Rangers' trade for Rangers utility player Michael Young is "ready to go...
Adding veteran infielder Michael Young to the Phillies roster does not actually make the team younger, but it does fill the hole at third base. Young is owed $16 million in 2013 and the Rangers are reportedly picking up at least $10 million of that. The Phillies sent right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher, Lisalverto Bonilla to the Rangers.
Lindblom had little...
There is an old adage in baseball that says pitching wins championships. The San Francisco Giants can attest to that, as they’ve won two titles in three years on the strength of their stellar starting rotation and deep bullpen. But while pitching wins titles, it’s youth that keeps teams playing for championships.
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