The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers have had plenty of trade discussions this past winter. Most of their discussions together revolved around a possible trade that would have sent Robinson Chirinos and Rafael Dolis to the Rangers in exchange for Chris Davis and Darren O’Day. With Chirinos now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, that potential deal has been off the deal for some time now. But, that does not mean that the Rangers and Cubs have stopped talking about trade possibilities.
According to a report from the Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Cubs have an interest in trading for infielder Michael Young. Young’s time with the Rangers appears to be coming to an end. Once the Rangers signed third baseman Adrian Beltre to a contract, Young requested a trade in order to seek more playing time. The Rangers spent most of the off-season misleading Young on whether or not he would be traded, thus, creating the situation that they have now. This is not the first time that we heard the Cubs are interested in Young, as Phil Rogers of the Tribune mentioned the possibility earlier in the year.
There are a few complications for the Cubs that may restrain them from trading for Michael Young. For one, Young is still owed $48 million over the next three seasons. Which is why in the report, Cafardo suggests that the Cubs are hoping for salary relief from the Rangers. The other complication would be the fact that Young has a limited no trade list which is in effect until May–when his 10-and-5 rights kick in. Currently, the Cubs are not among the eight teams that Young would accept a trade to. Meaning the Rangers would have to convince Young to waive his no trade clause in order to come to the Cubs. For what it’s worth, it does not appear that Young does not want to come to a mid-west team; as the Cardinals, Astros, and Twins are among teams that he would accept a trade to.
From a production standpoint, Young,34, would be a very good addition to the Chicago Cubs. Last season with the Rangers, Young hit .284/.330/.444 in 718 plate appearances with 21 home runs and 91 RBI’s. For his career, Young is a .300/.347/.448 hitter with above average power for an infielder. Defensively, Young would not be much of an improvement over Blake DeWitt or Jeff Baker. But, Young is capable of playing all four infield spots.
If the Rangers are willing to provide salary relief, then it would make sense for the Cubs to trade for Young. However, up to this point the Rangers have not given any indication on how much they are willing to absorb of Young’s contract. Regardless, Young will be a welcomed addition. Depending on who the Cubs would give up, I don’t think it hurts their youth movement. As by the time Young’s contract expires, players like D.J. LeMahieu figure to be ready for the Major Leagues.
According to Chicago Cubs Online, Mick Gillispie noted during the Cubs vs Sox game on Friday that Ken Rosenthal reported Michael Young recently added the Cubs to the list of teams he is willing to accept a trade to. Anyone else find that interesting? That may mean that the Rangers and Cubs have been in trade discussions involving Young, and the Rangers may have asked Young if he would accept a trade to the Cubs. At this point everything is purely speculative, but things are certainly getting interesting.