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Michael Young Willing to Move to DH

Jan 4, 2011 – 11:23 AM
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Josh Alper

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The Rangers appear to have solved one problem with the potential acquisition of third baseman Adrian Beltre as a free agent, and the latest Tuesday morning is that the team and Beltre are close on a six-year deal, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Michael Young, the team's current third baseman, said on Monday night that he is willing to move to designated hitter to accommodate Beltre's arrival in Arlington. Rumors of a Beltre deal have been buzzing with growing intensity over the last few days, although different outlets have different opinions about just how close to completion the deal actually is at this point in time.

Young has experience switching positions. He moved from second base to shortstop after the Rangers dealt Alex Rodriguez in 2004 and then switched to third when Elvis Andrus came up from the minors in 2009. He didn't love making the latter move and doesn't sound thrilled about this one, but he's willing to take another one for the team.

"Obviously, I know my first preference," Young told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. "If I have to take on a certain role to make the team better and I still get my 700 at-bats, be a productive player and play in a place I want to play, I'd be willing to do that."

Young's offensive production dropped a bit from 2009 to 2010. His 105 OPS+ was 23 points lower than what he posted in 2009, although it is right in line with his career totals and a big jump over his disappointing 2008 campaign. Those numbers pale in comparison to what they got from Vladimir Guerrero at DH in 2010, but the hope in Texas is obviously that Beltre can give them that thunder with the bat while being a better glove than Young.

You might argue that the Rangers would be wiser to re-sign Guerrero and deal Young. It's a fair argument, although it is one that is hard to pull off thanks to Young's $16 million salary in each of the next three seasons. Not too many teams are going to be lining up to take that salary off Texas' hands with Young turning 35 at the end of next season.

There aren't any perfect solutions to this particular problem, but this is certainly one that works well enough for the Rangers to go ahead on a Beltre deal.
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