It has come to my attention that the Boston Red Sox are looking into trading for Michael Young. If this is true and General Manager Ben Cherrington happens to be reading this, please take my advice and immediately stop considering this.
Let me start by saying that I used to have a giant fantasy baseball man crush on Michael Young. He ended up on my team every year simply because I valued him more than others did. What wasn’t to like? All he did was hit. Every year from 2003 to 2007 he collected over 200 hits, leading the AL with 221 in 2005. He’s had over 700 at bats in a remarkable six seasons. On average he was good for around 15-20 home runs and 95 RBI. It was like clockwork.
Then Young got old. Age has hit the Philadelphia Phillies‘ first baseman like a ton of bricks. The Texas Rangers parted ways with their six-time All-Star after his 2012 season showed serious signs of decline. It came to the point last year that I had to actually drop him from my fantasy team, albeit reluctantly. It was clear that he was no longer the player I once knew.
Although he was a shortstop in his prime, Young could also play third base with the best of them. That is no longer the case though, and Young has been designated to the “old man’s position” of first base. First base of course comes with less defensive responsibility and doesn’t require as much range or speed as the left side of the infield does.
So when I heard that the Red Sox were discussing trading for my former fantasy MVP, I spit out my coffee and rushed to the computer. The Red Sox have a great crop of young players that can play third base and shortstop. Xander Boegarts is one of the top prospects in baseball. Jose Iglesias is the best defensive shortstop in the game and is hitting almost .400. Stephen Drew is still on the books for the rest of the season. Will Middlebrooks could possibly become the hitter many expected to be when he regains his confidence.
It’s certainly not a guarantee that any of the young Red Sox infielders will pan out. But what we do know for sure is that Young is not going to get any better and it would be silly for the Red Sox to pursue him.