O Captain! My Captain!

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Michael Young has agreed to go to the Philadelphia Phillies, who will start the 36-year-old at third base.  Texas will apparently send Philadelphia $10 million toward Young’s $16 million salary for 2013.

Young will reportedly get $1.2 million in benefits as part of the deal (in part, to account for the tax consequence now that he’ll be subject to state income tax), and also get a full no-trade clause (which he’d lose otherwise in the deal, as the “5” part of the 10/5 rule that entitled him to his present no-trade rights vanish with the change in teams).

Young, according to Nightengale, told the Phillies he did not want a contract extension, a signal that he wants to choose his own destination in 2014.

The Rangers have not confirmed the trade, but Nightengale expects a formal announcement from both clubs this afternoon.

The Rangers will receive 25-year-old RHP Josh Lindblom and a minor leaguer, believed to be 22-year-old RHP Lisalverto Bonilla. Lindblom would definitely go into the Rangers’ bullpen as a sixth-inning or later option. Bonilla, who had 64 strikeouts in 46.1 innings split between Class A and Double-A in 2012, would likely not be an option for the major league club at the start of the season.

Michael Young, was the the guiding force in the Rangers clubhouse and on the field for the last decade as the team stormed to prominence. Although in the twilight of his career, he was a part of the two greatest seasons in franchise history in 2011-12.

“Mike’s the glue that holds everybody together,” OF David Murphy said Friday on XM Radio of the possibility of losing Young. “He’s a great player regardless of what type of year that he had last year. I think every player is allowed an off year here or there regardless of whether you are a superstar or whether you’re an average player.

“Mike’s definitely been in that superstar/All-Star status for a long time and didn’t live up to his own standards last year. But he’s just a guy that he creates a great atmosphere in our clubhouse regardless of whether you are a rookie, whether you’ve been around a long time, whether you’re a player that has just signed as a free agent or traded for. Everybody feels welcome in our clubhouse and everybody gets along.”

Via twitter, Jason Parks [Baseball Prospectus] says, “If you can play 12 full-seasons at the ML level with one team, I find it very hard to question your #want. Tip of the cap, Mr. Young.
Via twitter, Elvis Andrus: Super sad that our captain Michael Young is gone wish the best for him and his family. Be always the best.

Last season there was a lot of fans complaining about his play in the field and his production at the plate. And yes those things were true. Michael Young had the 2nd-lowest bWAR in MLB last season. He was valued at 2.4 Wins BELOW Replacement in 2012. But part of the blame falls at the feet of the manager who refused to bench a slumping player at any point during the year and continued to play him in the field and give him at-bats. Over the past couple of seasons fans have soured on Young, with his refusing to move positions and then deciding to after pitching a fit like my infant son does, and then refusing a trade. But this time he figured it was best to part with a franchise he had only played with at the ML level after getting traded from the Blue Jays.

Refer back to what Jason Parks said and as a fan of this team let’s remember all the wonder things he’s done for it and us. The community will miss him as well as he donated a lot of time and money to charities with the Michael Young foundation. So let me just say thanks for everything you’ve meant to this team, this city, and the fans.

Michael Young’s tenure here lasted from 7/19/2000 to 12/8/2012. That’s 12 years, 4 months, 20 days. Over 4,200 days. He leaves here as leader in games played and the all-time hits leader. If there’s anything I regret with this, it’s that the Rangers never managed to win the big one with him here.

I think I’ll wear my Young t-shirt I bought 12 years ago when he was a rookie one last time.

Photo: Michael Young holds the 2011 American League trophy as Ron Washington smiles and looks on.

Photo by: Charlie Riedel


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