Although I didn't hear it, from the comments today, it sounds like Norm Hitzges is pushing the meme that moving Michael Young to third base is not about improving the defense, getting Elvis Andrus up here, filling the organization hole at third, making the team better, or any of that.
Rather, it is part of an insidious plot by the Rangers. They want to get rid of Young and his contract, but they can't do it unless he waives his no-trade clause. So they go to him with a proposal that they know he won't want to do, so that he'll cause a ruckus and demand a trade, and thus they can get rid of him that way.
And it isn't just Hitzges...others, it seems, are pushing this line of thought.
Personally, this reminds me of the 9/11 conspiracy theories. I don't believe in the 9/11 conspiracy theories because, among other things, I have a hard time believing the government is competent enough to pull something that intricate and complicated off successfully, and without anyone finding out.
Similarly, I have a hard time believing that the Ranger organization is so masterful in their puppeteering that they can ensure that Michael Young would be so alienated and offended by their request that he switch positions that he would throw a fit and demand to be traded. The idea that this whole thing is a nefarious plot designed to allow them to escape from his contract, a trick where Daniels, Hicks and Ryan (don't forget -- Nolan Ryan is supposedly in charge of everything, remember) are asking Michael Young to throw the team in the brier patch by waiving his no trade clause and demanding to be dealt.
And this was supposedly done in the very midst of one of the worst free agent markets (in terms of players getting paid) out there, with a guy coming off a bad season and with a contract widely deemed to be untradeable.
Now, to be clear, I think the Rangers would be open to trading Young, if they could get his contracts off the books and get something nice back in return. I'm not suggesting Tom Hicks doesn't want to save money, isn't interest in shaving payroll.
But the idea that wanting to move Young to third base -- something that a lot of us have been urging needs to be done for some time, something that others around the league think is a logical and expected move -- is motivated by a desire to anger Young so he'd waive his no-trade clause, when there's clearly no market for him?
Come on. Even if you think Daniels and Hicks are that incompetent, surely Nolan Ryan isn't that bumbling and clownish, is he?
We'll know one way or the other shortly, of course. If Young is still here come spring training, that would seem to suggest that this isn't all about getting out from under a bad contract.
But even if that's what this was all about...wouldn't it have made more sense to do things the way the Padres did with Jake Peavy, and approach Young and basically say, we're in rebuilding mode, you are making too much money, we aren't going to spend to get players around you, so why don't you waive your no-trade and let us send you to a contender?
This whole line of thought is just absurd.