Phil Rogers suggests Soriano for Young swap

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune presents what he seems to believe is a realistic solution to the Michael Young situation for the him to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano:

But what if Daniels was so determined not to deal with daily questions about the unhappy Young that he would consider another former Ranger in exchange — outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who could replace Young as a primary DH?

While a source with the Cubs indicated Friday there were no ongoing conversations with the Rangers regarding Young, they are monitoring the situation like many other teams. And why not? Young-for-Soriano might be the best possible fit.

* * *

With a week to go before Young is to report to Arizona, the Rangers are telling other teams they would hang onto Young rather than just take the highest offer for him. But club President Nolan Ryan is close to Young and may feel a responsibility to bring this out-of-nowhere showdown to a close.

That last paragraph is telling, as Rogers seems to be implicitly acknowledging a Soriano for Young swap makes no sense for the Rangers, but apparently is hoping that Ryan will feel obliged to move Young to accommodate him.

This makes no sense, of course, because Soriano is owed $72 million over the next four seasons, compared to $48 million over the next three for Young, and because Soriano would pretty well be limited to DH and a little bit of LF, while Young at least gives you some flexibility in the field.

Soriano bounced back from a 726 OPS season in 2009 to put up a .258/.322/.496 line in 2010, good for a 112 wRC+.  Young, in comparison, had a 104 wRC+ in 2010, so it isn't like Soriano represents a significant upgrade with the bat.

In addition, Soriano is 35, a year older than Young, who is 34 this season.  Soriano is at a point where he's close to falling off the cliff, and another season like 2009 could spell the end of his career.  Young isn't that much younger, but given the difference in the contracts, Young's a much safer bet.

Rogers' piece reads like Bleacher Report fanboy stuff, the type of thing you'd expect to see posted on a message board followed by the "it probably wouldn't happen but it is fun to think about" disclaimer. 

The Rangers would be better off flat releasing Young than trading him for Soriano.

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