Dear Drayton, Just Say No to Michael Young

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Michael Young wants to be on the Astros?
I understand that the Texas Rangers' third baseman, Michael Young, has requested a trade. I also understand that one of the teams for whom Young has approved a trade is the Houston Astros.

In years past I would most strongly approve of a trade for Michael Young. He's been a superb defensive player at second base, third base and shortstop for the Rangers. He's a career .300 hitter with a .347 on-base percentage, a .448 slugging percentage and a .795 OPS. In short, he's been a good player.

But that's in the past. He was a good player. And while he's still better than a lot of the players on the Astros, the only hope for this team comes from saying no to this trade.

I'm going to be honest here. I don't think the Astros have a very good team. I don't think that any team depending on the likes of Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Bill Hall, or Clint Barmes needs to worry about printing up playoff tickets for a long time. But it seems that the people running the team are finally understanding some things; primarily, they're understanding the need to get younger, to get some decent players in the farm system so that in the years to come they will be able to put a decent product out on the field.

And adding a 34-year-old player with declining stats and a contract that still has three years at $16 million a year remaining on his contract just doesn't speak to getting younger. It speaks of the same mind-set that has stuck the team with Carlos Lee.

Yes, adding Young to the team would make the Astros better. Much better -- he would easily be the best infielder the team has had since Jeff Bagwell was healthy. Even aging and with declining range he offers up a better solution at short and second than Hall and Barmes have ever been able to provide, and he's a definite defensive improvement over Chris Johnson.

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Dear Drayton, just say no
The only way a deal like this could even work in favor of the Astros would be if they could dump a big contract on the Rangers, and the only contract that would fit is that of Carlos Lee's, and supposedly the Rangers are one of the 14 teams to which Lee will not approve a trade. Plus, it's just kind of hard to see Nolan Ryan as being willing to take on a guy like Carlos Lee, even as a DH.

Even getting rid of Lee's contract still leaves the Astros having to pay off Young's contract. And that is a contract which lasts a year longer than Lee's. And when you're a guy like Drayton McLane who is trying to sell his team, a contract like Young's is a huge, huge albatross.

But frankly, I just want to see the kids play this year. I want to see what Brett Wallace can do. I want to see if Chris Johnson can make the necessary adjustments and be as successful in his second season as he was in his rookie season. This won't be possible if Michael Young is around because if Michael Young is around, he's going to be playing every day and, once again, the Astros will be retarding the development of a young player. And I'm tired of the team retarding the development of the youngsters because of a bunch of aging veterans.

The Astros are probably going to be a bad team this year. But for the first time in years, they might actually be a fun team to watch. Fun because a group of kids trying to prove they belong in the majors are going to be out on the field every night instead of a group of old guys looking to collect a paycheck.

So Drayton, just say no to Michael Young. Please, just say no.

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