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Rangers send mixed signals about Young
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.
The general manager of one team said the Rangers have sent mixed signals about their willingness to part with Young, the six-time All-Star and unofficial team captain.
In fact, one source close to Young said the team told the third baseman on Tuesday night that he wouldn't be traded. However, the Rangers have continued their dialogue with interested clubs.
No deal was imminent as of Wednesday night, and one source estimated the chances of Young remaining with the Rangers were better than 50/50. Young is due $48 million over the next three seasons, and Texas probably would need to include cash to facilitate a trade.
Sources say the Rangers' most intense talks have been with the Colorado Rockies, but they have also discussed Young with the Angels, Cardinals and Dodgers. Meanwhile, Young made clear in an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com on Wednesday night that he wants to remain with the Rangers.
The Toronto Blue Jays — Young's original organization — have been in contact with the Rangers, but their level of interest is unclear.
One source believes Texas would like to trade Young in order to free up payroll — and a starting spot on the infield — for free agent Adrian Beltre. At this point in their respective careers, Beltre, an All-Star with Boston this year, is regarded as a better all-around player than Young.
Beltre is a better defender than Young, but Young did post solid offensive numbers this season by the standards of third basemen: He batted .284 with 21 home runs and 91 RBI in 157 games.
The Rockies are one of only eight teams to which Young can be traded without his permission. They would use him at second base, a position he hasn't played regularly in seven years.
Charlie Blackmon, a left-handed-hitting outfielder, is among the Colorado prospects who have been discussed between the Rockies and Rangers, according to a source.
The Los Angeles Angels also are looking for a third baseman. Young can’t block a trade to the Angels. Still, as a division rival, they are an unlikely suitor. If they are prepared to make a multi-year commitment to a third baseman, it's much more likely that they would sign Beltre than trade for Young.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have engaged the Chicago Cubs in trade talks regarding multiple players in recent days. It's not clear if the Cubs have serious interest in Young. As with Colorado, his only logical spot on the Chicago infield would be second base. The Cubs are set at the corners, with Aramis Ramirez and the newly signed Carlos Pena.
Young's no-trade clause would permit him to veto a trade with the Cubs.
The Rangers' ongoing pursuit of free-agent starter Cliff Lee — which should be resolved within the next week — will have a major impact on the team's payroll commitments, one way or the other.
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