There are multiple reports that the Texas Rangers are considering signing Adrian Beltre to play third base, and that they are considering moving Michael Young. If this is the case, the Mets should jump all over this and make Young their second baseman.
Many people only learned about Young during the 2010 World Series. He is one of those under-the-radar guys who happens to be one of the better hitters in baseball. He is a career .300 hitter, and had five-straight 200+ hit seasons. He got a bit of a late start in his career (he only became a regular at age 25), but if he can stay healthy, he is such a good hitter that he has an outside chance at 3000 hits. He just turned 34.
Young came up as a second baseman, moved to shortstop, then moved to third. A Gold Glover, he can easily slide back to the right side of the infield.
Now the downside — he has three years left on a contract that pays $16 million per year. That’s a lot of money for a second baseman. But if the Mets can unload a couple of bad contracts of their own, the move might make financial sense.
What if the Mets could send Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo to Texas for Young? Beltran and Castillo have a combined $24.5 coming to them this season on the last years of their respective contracts. The Rangers may not want to take on the extra money this season, but in the long run they’ll save $23.5 million. That could be enticing.
Plus, they still need one more outfielder/DH type. They are reportedly considering resigning Vladimir Guerrero, who would probably cost upwards of $10 million. With Beltran, they won’t have to. As far as Castillo, he is useless, but the Mets should demand that Texas take him to make the money part of the deal work. Including Oliver Perez as well would be great, but I’m trying to be realistic here. The Mets might have to add a prospect to make the deal more appealing.
This gives the Mets an $8.5 million savings this year, money they could use for pitching. Or they could sign Guerrero themselves to play right field. That would make for a pretty powerful lineup.
None of this is likely to happen, as I assume Texas would prefer to get prospects instead of high-salaried players for Young, especially if Cliff Lee spurns the Yankees and the Rangers have to pay him 20+ million per season.
Also, Sandy Alderson has already said he doesn’t want to take on any big, long-term contracts. I don’t disagree with his strategy, but I would break it if I could get a hitter like Michael Young.