Many rival executives and even some agents have little sympathy for Young, and some are flat-out appalled by his response. "The guy is well-compensated by the Rangers, and the Rangers are asking him to make a change that they think is good for the team," one executive said. "They should tell him, 'You're unhappy? OK, would you like to void your contract?' And of course the answer would be no."
Said another official: "What a joke. It's all about him, and not about the Rangers." There is unanimity among executives I spoke with Monday on this point: It will be very, very difficult for Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels to arrange a suitable trade of Young because of his enormous contract. But Young's deal is loaded with deferred money, which diminishes the real value of the contract.
* * *
To put this contract in perspective in the current market: Orlando Hudson is a free agent. He is not in Young's class as a hitter but is an excellent defensive player and at 31 is a year younger than Young. So if Young is a Grade A player, Hudson is a B-plus/A-minus type of guy -- and there is a perception among some executives that Hudson would be fortunate to get two years and $20 million this winter. But the real value of Young's deal is $62 million. To trade Young, the Rangers likely would have to eat a huge chunk of his contract and accept a deal that probably would not yield topflight prospects.
"Put it this way," one GM said. "If the Rangers offered up Michael Young for free -- with that contract, I don't think there would be any takers." Said another GM: "Good luck moving that contract."
* * *
And, fair or not, the idea that Young -- who has had a pristine reputation in the game -- is balking at a position change raises doubts about what kind of employee he will be in the last years of his career. "I'm curious to see whether Nolan Ryan (the Rangers' president) comes out and says something about this," an AL GM said. "He's all old-school, and this can't be sitting well with him."
It seems that Jim Reeves and Randy Galloway are in the minority on the reasonableness of Young's reaction.