Friday, February 11, 2011

Three-Bagger: Young, Annual & Touchy Subjects

* Since demanding a trade from the Rangers earlier this week, Michael Young has had his name bandied about by a lot of Twins fans. It's not hard to see the appeal a big name acquisition that would break the monotony of this offseason, but a quick examination of the facts quickly rules out such a move.

Let's think about this. The Twins parted with Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy this offseason because they wanted to add speed and youth to the infield while cutting down on salary. Young is 34 with diminishing quickness, and he's owed $48 million over the next three years. The Twins would be completely reneging on their stated offseason philosophy by dealing for Young, and paying dearly to do so.

One could certainly make the argument that Young would be useful addition for the Twins (though his numbers overstate his value), but acquiring him would only make sense if Texas was willing to eat the vast majority of his salary -- like over 75 percent. I doubt the Rangers would be willing to do that without getting a significant return -- it sounds as though the Dodgers were rebuked on such an attempt -- so it's safe to say Young won't be ending up here.

In fact, I suspect that in spite of his wishes, Young is going to end up playing in Texas this year. Sometimes we forget that players only have so much leverage in these cases.

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* For the sake of my sanity, I'm just going to ignore this for now.


Doc said...

Rumors of a Liriano trade are the worst way to start off a Friday at work.

jbiowa said...

Is somebody in the Twins front office working on their fan manipulation skills? First you suggest a trade of Liriano which is sure to upset a large segment of the fans. Then you quickly suggest some type of Michael Young-Liriano trade which is sure to incense the fan base even more. But after making that suggestion, it makes the basic proposition of trading Frankie somewhat more palatable -- as long as its not part of a Michael Young deal. Seems like an old tactic -- suggest the really outrageous to make something else go down a little easier.

cy1time said...

I don't think that the Twins have any thoughts of trading Liriano for Young, not a great fit for us. But if Gibson looks ready, I don't think that we'll hesitate to move Liriano at the deadline. Smith doesn't want to repeat the Santana mistake of overplaying his hand for a bidding war that never materialized. If another team offered one big league ready pitcher and two top prospects for Liriano, Smith would pull that trigger. Maybe this time there will be a bidding war and the Twins can cash in. I'm not saying I like it, but I think that it is certainly in the realm of possibility.

Ed Bast said...

For the time being I'm willing to believe that the Liriano story is merely irresponsible journalism on JC's part. However, if true, it further illustrates my point that this front office is skilled at running a small market team - where the only expectation is to merely compete for a division title. They are clearly inept as a large-market club, both financially - in the 2nd year of TF they've managed to simultaneously get worse while adding payroll - and in understanding (or caring about) what it takes to win in the postseason. Even blustery blog commentators like me can tell you the Twins WITH Liriano don't have the pitching to win a Series. The notion that they would trade him tells me they are insane enough to believe they can win it all with 5 soft tossing righties whose stuff continually gets hammered in postseason after postseason, or they simply do not care about winning in the postseason, or - sadly - a combination of both.

This has already been a bad, bad offseason for the club. Let's hope the Liriano rumor remains just that.

Dave said...

I will cry if liriano gets traded. Doesn't it make more sense to sign him to a lower contract now so he is even more attractive in the trade market if you even wanted to?

I do take issue to people saying Young isn't a good fit for the twins. I think he is a perfect guy. Right hander, solid numbers, D a little shaky but not bad. He could also theoretically move back to SS or 2B if/when our infield implodes. The best part about him is that he is a clubhouse guy and would seem to fit in great with the twins. The money certainly isn't right, but I'm perfectly happy paying him 7 mil a year, and who knows, maybe the rangers would do that. Probably not though. Nick, you probably called it right when you said he would stay a ranger.

lvl 5 Charizard said...

"D a little shaky but not bad."

And delmons defense in LF is solid but not great, and tony bautista played a rangy 3b.

USAFChief said...

IF Texas were to pick up a good part of Young's salary, adding Mike Young makes a lot of sense. He can play 2b most days, Nishioka plays short, and Casilla can be the utility guy. Young can also split time at DH as a RH hitter, serve as Valencia insurance, and give Morneau a rest occasionally.

I completely don't understand the thought process that says adding Young to the 25 man roster and deleting Tolbert doesn't upgrade the Twins.

That being said, the "Mike Young for Liriano" idea floated by Howard is absurd.

Anonymous said...

Are we in love with the Liriano of 2010 or the Liriano of 2006? He has a history of arm injuries, a violent delivery that comes with a slider he loves to throw, and has pitched more like an inconsistent 4 or 5 starter than an ace. Does he have the skills to strike out 11? Yes. Does he also have the mental makeup to let the opposing team bat around on him in the first inning? Yes (i.e. his infamous showdown with Ubaldo). So far he has shown flashes of being a very good pitcher but also flashes of a guy that struggles with his control...mix in the injury history and you cannot give the guy 39 million over the next three's not a small market move but a baseball savvy move. You don't mortgage the farm on a guy whose arm could give out in May (note the fortunes of the Cubs as they pinned their hopes on Prior and Wood...and those guys did not have the injury history of Liriano). And for all of you who are clamoring for the Twins to improve enough to get past the Yanks....Liriano, your supposed ace, had the Yanks down 3-0 in game 1 going into the 6th and gave up 4 runs...that is not a very gutsy or shut them down performance. I for one expect more out of my ace then a guy who gets flustered in big spots. I say sell high before the guy blows out his arm again....he has not done enough to earn the money he is asking for...and to Dave the whole problem with signing Liriano is that he won't sign for a lower contract right now...39 million over 3 years is not a bargain for a pitcher like Liriano who has much to prove.

Twins fans must let go of the Young speculation. First, his contract is ridiculous and he is heading into his mid-30s where careers can end in a hurry these days. Plus the Rangers are not going to pay the percentage of Young's salary that would make the deal worthwhile. And you don't want a straight up Liriano for Young trade...if you are going to trade Liriano you have to get more for him than an aging player with a huge contract with only a couple of productive years left.

Anonymous said...

Dave if we trade for Young there is no chance we get him for 7 mil a year..he's getting 16 million a chance the Rangers eat 9 million a year and give up a player of Young's caliber. Young may be mad at the Rangers but last I checked he's still under contract (and a pretty lucrative one at that) and the Rangers don't have to trade him just because he wants out. He'll stay a Ranger based simply on that salary.

To all that think he's a perfect fit for the's a guy who wanted to be traded when the Rangers moved him from SS to 3b to make room for Andrus and now that they acquired Beltre to play 3b and want Young to move into a super-sub/DH role (where he would probably still play everyday) surprise, surprise he is asking for another trade. Doesn't sound like a good clubhouse fit to me.

Anonymous said...

I have a great idea. Lets trade a good young pitcher for prospects!!! Lord knows Twins fans don't want to win a world series with Mauer and Morneau...

Perpetual rebuild

natenins said...

Just throwing this out there...

Liriano is 2 years from free agency right? And haven't we seen something of a trend of teams being arguably undercompensated in trades involving big names by the deadline with 1 year left on contracts? Throw in that Liriano can be a toss up in big games AND has had a pretty serious surgery, not looking so hot for the twinkies coming out on top if they wait. I'm not against Liriano, i'm just for the Twins winning.

That said, Mike Young can help. Just think about it, who would be better coming off the bench or giving Danny V some time off? Tolbert or Young? No one wants to see Young in the clutch...well, not more than they want to see Tolbert or Trevor Plouffe.

Now I don't deem the trade realistic by any means, however, in the event the Twins did get Young--and the Rangers took some of his contract--and Tolbert decided to play out of his mind, we all know that some team somewhere come august will want a bat like his. That means the Twins can ask for some more relief help because we can expect that at least one of the bullpen staff will get hurt or decide to stop playing.

Long story short, its unrealistic, but not a bad idea.