T.R. Sullivan with a pretty meaty story on the developing Michael Young situation, with some quotes from Jon Daniels and some talk about the issues surrounding a possible trade:
"I still believe there is a likelihood that we can come together on this and put it behind us," Daniels said Monday morning. "We want to have further discussions with Mike and talk to him about it. We're all preparing for Michael to be an integral part of our team going forward. That's how we're preparing and that's my expectations."
But Daniels is also clear about where he wants Young to play in 2009.
"We're preparing for him to play third base," Daniels said. "We'll have further discussions with Michael, but we feel this is in the best interests of the club."
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Daniels said he didn't think the Rangers were being too forceful in presenting the situation to Young.
"Obviously, Michael took issue with the word choice that I used, but I also wanted to put it honestly," Daniels said. "Clearly this was the direction we felt we needed to go. Rather than sugarcoat it, I thought it was the best course of action to be honest and lay it out the way we wanted it to happen.
"I completely understand his sentiments, but I don't agree with the term that we're tearing his job away from him. If anything, we're asking him to take on a more prominent role. Not necessarily moving from short to third -- you can argue that either way. We're asking him not only to play third base but also help a 20-year-old shortstop who could benefit from his experience and knowledge of the game. That's a big reason why we think it will work."
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Major League sources said Young's contract is a factor. He signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension in Spring Training 2007 that begins this season. That includes a $10 million signing bonus that is the Rangers' responsibility. With deferred compensation factored in, any club that trades for Young will be taking on a contract with a present-day value left of approximately $62 million.
That's a sizable number at a time when clubs are tightening their payroll and emphasizing younger players. Young, a five-time All-Star who won a Gold Glove in 2008, turned 32 last October.
The Rangers aren't worried about age and don't regret signing him to the contract. They are just hoping that he'll eventually agree to play third base, and they are hoping to get it resolved before Spring Training. But there is a sizable chasm between player and club."I don't feel we presented it as an ultimatum or tried to run it down his throat," Daniels said. "We tried to do it softly and explain it to him. My goal was he would agree to it and buy into it. That's still possible. We're still looking for that to happen. But, obviously, he took it differently and here we are."