On June 12, the Colorado Rockies designated outfielder and leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr. for assignment and recalled right-handed reliever Chris Volstad from the team’s Triple-A affiliate. While you already may have heard this news, and since no corresponding move has been made regarding Young since last Wednesday’s DFA, it should come as no surprise that I believe it is time for the Minnesota Twins to step up to the plate and grab a very talented and useful outfielder from the Rockies.
Since Young was designated for assignment, the Rockies have 10 days to trade him, release him or place him on waivers. If the player clears waivers, he can then be outrighted to the minor leagues; however, if you read Young’s Twitter account, it sounds like Young has closed the chapter of playing with the Rockies. In a Tweet sent on June 12, Young stated, “Best wishes to the Rockies organization. Thank you for my time with you. Truly a blessing to be with the city of Denver. Thank you all for the support. Love you all. Always have faith in the man upstairs and in yourselves.”
If you take that message into consideration, it sounds fairly certain that Young will be traded or placed on waivers instead of being sent to the minors. If he were to be placed on waivers or traded, the Twins should sprint to the front of the line to acquire this talented youngster. Young has appeared in 57 games this season and batted .242 with one home run, six RBIs and eight stolen bases. Over his career, Young is a .261 hitter with six HR, 40 RBI, 70 SB, a .329 OBP and -0.1 WAR over 313 games in five big-league seasons. Young also has the ability to play second base, which he has done periodically throughout his career, which should make him even more attractive to the Twins.
The Twins currently are in dire need of a leadoff hitter, a short-term replacement for Aaron Hicks in centerfield and a solid everyday second basemen. Young, in my opinion, would meet all of the required characteristics that I have mentioned above. Sure he may not be an All-Star caliber player or an above-average second basemen, but he surely could do better than what we are getting right now at second base and he could likely be acquired at a bargain price. You could argue that Young’s talents may not be maximized under manager Ron Gardenhire and his hesitation to steal a lot of bases, but I believe Young could still flourish if given the chance to earn a meaningful role on the Twins
If you look back at his career, Young has never really had a chance to play on an everyday basis. That could be related to performance or it could be related to organizational depth, but right now the Twins have needs at multiple positions that Young could fill and he easily could become an everyday player with the team or, at a minimum, become a valuable player off the bench.
While there have been no indications that the Twins are interested in Young, let this be the official notice to the organization that the team should pursue and look into acquiring Young’s services from the Rockies. This is your typical low-risk, high-reward type of move that the Twins love to make, so why wait to pull the trigger on such a transaction? The time is now to improve the team and fill it with talented players who could help the team out over the next few seasons at a relatively low cost. Young fits the mold; it’s time to bring him aboard.