Ignore the fact that Michael Young carries a $16 million contract for the 2013 MLB season because he needs to once again be a member of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Many would look at his sub par numbers from this past season and conclude that he has hit the decline of his stellar baseball career but if you dig a little deeper you may see something different.
Young is a proven veteran in the clubhouse and after a season that had many suggesting the team was lacking leadership he seems to be the perfect guy to replace the departing Omar Vizquel in that role. He has shown a willingness to play multiple positions the past few seasons along with a team first mentality that has had him switch positions on a permanent basis twice in his career.
Although I can envision him being a part of the team in a similar role to Omar I would expect Young to get many more at bats because he’s still got lots left in the tank. If you take a look at his first and second half splits in 2012 you can see that he had much stronger numbers closer to his career line over the final 73 games of the season.
So I propose this to AA, why not bring back Michael Young to be the Blue Jays next second baseman?
Clearly Kelly Johnson is as good as gone and I’ve been all about Adeiny Hechavarria this season but I’ll admit another year of seasoning in Las Veg…err.. Buffalo will do him no harm. Having Hech playing his natural position at short stop in AAA next season would continue him on the path of being the future infield captain of the franchise. It would also open up a spot for Young to slide in as an everyday player and integral leader.
Maybe the team goes against that thinking and they have Farrell(?) use him in a similar role that Ron Washington has done in Texas. Young could get a large number of at bats at the designated hitter position, spell Edwin of some defensive innings at first base as well as get spot starts for Lawrie, Escobar and the assumed second baseman Hechavarria. Over the past 4 seasons Young has had a positive effect on a 2-time all-star Venezuelan, Elvis Andrus, no doubt in my mind he can have the same effect on an emerging Cuban star.
The more I think about it the more I like it but it’s not easy to ignore what I mentioned at the beginning of this piece and that’s the fact that he does carry a $16 million price tag. Is that too much for AA to target via trade? And what would a contract for a 37 year old free agent look like in 2014? These are two questions I definitely don’t know the answer to but I would love to find out.
I would also love to see Young sign his final professional contract with the same team that he signed his first one back on June 13, 1997. And to conclude my love-fest, I would also loooove to add Young to the likes of Winfield and Molitor as leaders who joined the Blue Jays late in their careers to get that elusive World Series ring.