So, let us think forward on this...what would it mean if Michael Young were traded?
Depends on the return, of course...but supposedly, the Rangers would want to get a young third baseman back. Let's assume that Young gets dealt for a random third baseman who could start right now and is better than Travis Metcalf, the other team takes all of Young's contract, and any other pieces acquired, if any, are on the minor league level.
Now, you immediately drop about $14-15 million off the current payroll. That's probably enough to, right now, sign Orlando Cabrera and Ben Sheets, without shaving any other payroll off.
Now, that would cost you a 2nd and a 3rd round pick, but still...it would seem to make more sense than just sticking Elvis Andrus in the lineup right now.
I know there is a thought process that says that the Rangers want to start Andrus in the majors right now, and that's why the Rangers are talking to Young about switching positions now...but from the sound of things, it is more a matter of looking at Andrus taking over the middle of this year or in 2010. And the market for stop-gap shortstops is certainly better than the market for stop gap third basemen.
Other options, if you don't like Cabrera, or want someone easier to shunt aside at the All Star break?
Well, there's Craig Counsell, or Angel Berroa, or Alex Cintron out there. Really, there are a bunch of generic shortstops floating around who could be picked up for little.
But getting back to Cabrera...he's basically Young, except lesser bat and better defense. And he'd cost almost nothing.
Would the Rangers be better with Sheets and Cabrera right now than with Young?
If this goes down, is it possible the Rangers might be more likely to compete in 2009, rather than less likely?