Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Arizona Diamondbacks renewed their interest in acquiring Michael Young from the Texas Rangers, but were once again turned off by what the Rangers were expecting in return.
The talks sputtered when the Rangers asked for a strong package of prospects and major leaguers, one source said. There is also a question of whether Young would have approved the deal.
Ignoring the fact that Michael Young doesn’t really appreciate lawmakers in Arizona, and has the right to veto a trade to the Diamondbacks, the Rangers rumoured asking price seems exorbitant. A strong package of prospects and major leaguers? For Michael Young? Even if the Rangers were to pick up a sizable chunk of the $48 million he’s owed over the next three years, why would the Diamondbacks be willing to give up so much for a guy who played like Kevin Kouzmanoff last year, according to fWAR. In fact, if we look over the last four years, Young is only 0.6 higher in accumulative fWAR than Kouzmanoff.
I know that catering to passionate baseball fans at Getting Blanked can sometimes lead to a bit of insular elitism, as we collectively shake our heads at the more casual fans in simultaneous patronization. But as long as bloggers have to write multiple posts explaining why Michael Young is not a good fit in Toronto, or any other team for that matter, I have no problem remaining in an indefinite tsk tsk mode.
The fact that teams like Arizona would even humour the Rangers’ delusional requests makes me appreciate what a great signing the Jays made when they convinced Edwin Encarnacion to come back to Toronto for a guaranteed $3 million. Even though the team originally brought him back to play first base and act as the designated hitter, and despite his poor defensive reputation at third base, Encarnacion was superior to Young in every defensive metric imaginable last season. He was also a better offensive contributor in just over half as many plate appearances.
Looking at the Jays current options, I don’t see how Encarnacion won’t be counted on to play third base this season. With Travis Snider in left field and Rajai Davis playing center for the most part, right field will be given to Juan Rivera, as Corey Patterson and Scott Podsednik compete for the fourth outfielder spot.
The only problem is that veterans Rivera, Patterson and Podsednik have combined to start exactly 49 games in right field since 2007.
The Jays have been hesitant to move Snider around, and so when Rivera is taken out of the lineup, it will force Davis to shift over from center into right, as the fourth outfielder will be counted on to play center. Considering the declining defensive abilities of Scott Podsednik and Corey Patterson, playing either in center field, a position they’ve combined to start 62 times in the last two years, would be disastrous. A far better option would be to keep Davis in center, move Jose Bautista into right field and play Encarnacion at third base.
The versatility of Bautsita and Encarnacion allow the Jays several options with lineup formation. People are quick to criticize Encarnacion for his lack of walks, but considering the hitting mentality of the team he was on last year, his wOBA of .339, ranking him in the mid pack of the league among third baseman, isn’t too shabby at all.
And if not for anything else, there’s also this: