The Michael Young saga continues into the weekend, but at this point a trade seems unlikely. There are too many moving parts and the club seems adamant about striking a deal only if it makes sense on both ends, which is going to be hard to come by so close to Spring Training.
Any trouble that JD has moving Young is squarely on Young. This probably goes back to 2009, when he was asked to move to 3B. His ego took a hit and there’s a good chance those wounds never completely healed.
That’s my opinion, anyway.
All that being said, I want to clarify that I don’t think Young is a bad person.
He’s got a lot of pride and, unfortunately, that has led him to choose the path he finds himself on now. Coupled with that is his inability to gauge his own value, both personally and compared with the rest of the market.
The fact is, there are a lot of guys that could be nearly as or more effective who are younger or cheaper or both.
But Young, despite his flaws, is still highly regarded by the local media and other players across the league. He gives a lot to charity and has been nominated for several awards that reflect that.
Even though he has severely fumbled this situation and shown some classlessness, I don’t think that’s any reason to ignore all the good he has done for an organization that always needed more guys like him.
That’s all I want to say about this until there’s a new development. Nothing more until a trade goes down or a lack of a trade leads to a divide in the clubhouse.
On another more positive note, Josh Hamilton has signed a two-year contract extension, guaranteeing that the club will never go to arbitration with him.
For the baseball stupid, arbitration is a mechanism in major league contracts where a player who has been in the league for 3 full seasons can ask for a raise based on what he thinks his value is. If the club doesn’t like the player’s offer, they can make their own offer.
If negotiations don’t lead to a deal by a certain date, the parties are brought before an impartial committee. Each side makes their case and the committee decides between the two offers. There is no compromising once the arbitration process has begun.
Arbitration hearings are best if avoided.
Consider what it would be like if your girlfriend wanted a pair of earrings for her birthday and you wanted to buy her one of those pens that writes in space. Then, to decide, you brought her to your parents and told them [with her in the room] everything she did that made her not as good a girlfriend as she might think she is.
With Hamilton it is especially important not to arbitrate. With his prior drug history and tendency to injure himself, that could have led to a lot of hurt feelings. On top of that, he is an MVP and hit .359 last year, so you’ll probably lose anyway.
Hamilton was asking the team for $12MM and that’s essentially what he got.
According to TR Sullivan —
“Hamilton agreed to a $3 million signing bonus, a $7.25 million contract for 2011 and a $13.75 million contract for 2012.”
My guess is, if Hamilton can stay healthy and put up another season even half as good as 2010, we’ll be here in a year talking about a bigger, multi-year deal.
I hope so, anyway.