The Los Angeles Dodgers went out and picked up Michael Young in a controversial move during the 2013 MLB season. Now, Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers are attempting to bring Young back in for at least another season to address some of their infield issues. If there is any justice from the baseball gods, Young will opt to retire as Ken Rosenthal has reported the 37-year-old is considering:
Sources: Michael Young has interest from four teams, decent offers, but is strongly considering retirement. MORE
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 14, 2014
Rosenthal goes on to tweet that Young’s reason for retiring would be “to spend more time at home with his wife and three sons.” If Dodgers fans know what is good for them, they will be hoping and praying that Young decides to settle down and be more of a family man.
Offensively, Young was not awful in his time with the Dodgers. The seven-time All-Star has held an impressive career batting average of .300 over his 14-year career, but has failed to bat over .279 in each of his last two seasons. As the Dodgers’ lineup is already jammed with great hitters like Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, Young’s offensive contribution is not nearly as important as his defensive game, for which he is certainly a liability.
Dodgers fans were spoiled to have the quietly solid Mark Ellis as their second baseman the last two seasons, but now that he has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, the organization is scrambling for a replacement. Alexander Guerrero is the hopeful everyday second baseman of the Dodgers’ future, but with his little-known abilities still to be seen, a Plan B is necessary.
If Gurnick is right about the Dodgers’ attempts to bring back Young, the team could be in trouble if Plan B needs to be used. I do not normally lean too heavily on sabermetric statistics, but I believe the following fact speaks for itself: In their careers at second base, Ellis’ defensive runs saved above average – essentially, the number of runs above average the player saved per 135 games with his defense – has been 14 while Young’s has been -8.
Young will not only cost the Dodgers more runs than Ellis did but he will cost them eight more runs than the average second baseman. If General Manager Ned Colletti has any sense, he will avoid Young like the plague. The Dodgers need to either count on Guerrero or a prospect to rise to the occasion or they should look for someone outside of the organization.