The Arizona Diamondbacks last week renewed their efforts to trade for the Rangers’ Michael Young, according to major league sources.
The talks sputtered when the Rangers asked for a strong package of prospects and major leaguers, one source said. There is also a question of whether Young would have approved the deal.
While Young has requested a trade, he is willing to be moved to only 10 teams, multiple sources said — the eight that can acquire him without his permission, plus the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs, who are on his no-trade list.
The Diamondbacks are one of the clubs that Young can block, according to his contract. But one source offered a conflicting account of Young’s intentions, saying he would be willing to join the D-Backs and play third base.
Young, 34, is guaranteed $16 million annually in each of the next three seasons. Trades involving players of his price and stature are unusual in spring training, but the Rangers will lose leverage by waiting. In May, Young will achieve 10-and-5 status – 10 years of service, five with the same club – giving him the right to veto any trade.
Still, the Rangers do not want to move Young if it means hurting their chances this season, sources said. The Rangers view Young as a valuable offensive contributor at a variety of positions, and they are reluctant to make a deal in which they include significant cash and receive only prospects in return.
FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi confirmed last month that the Rangers can trade Young without his permission to the Rockies, Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Cardinals, Twins, Yankees and Astros.
As for the Phillies and Cubs, Young’s contract makes him unattractive to both teams.
The Phillies, like many clubs, view Young as a better second baseman than third baseman. The team would face a void at second if Chase Utley misses significant time due to his knee injury, but the Phillies are near their payroll limit and unable to take on another major salary, sources say.
The Cubs, meanwhile, could view Young as an upgrade over a platoon of Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker at second. But like the Phillies, the Cubs would find it difficult to match up contracts with the Rangers, making a deal a longshot.
Young has not stated the specific reason that he wants to be traded. But he has spoken of being “misled and manipulated” by the Rangers, who asked him to become a part-time DH and super-utility player after they signed free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.