Posted on February 7, 2011 at 4:41 PM
ARLINGTON, TX - Reports that the Rangers are trying to trade third baseman Michael Young doesn't sit well with his teammates.
"It's definitely a concern," says Rangers third baseman Josh Hamilton. "You think about his leadership and how long he's been with this organization. You think about him not being here is hard to think about. He's been here as long as I’ve been here. He's been a guy that I could go to and look to as a veteran leader and somebody I could learn from. If we lose him, it's going to be a big loss."
The Rangers signed free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre last month which changed Young's role significantly. The initial plan was to have young become an all around utility player as well as the team’s designated hitter.
"It's just hard to think about," says Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. "It's hard to lose a guy who's your most durable player, who is in there every day, who's getting 550 to 600 bats a year and putting up numbers like he does. Does it make sense? No, but I don't get paid to make those kind of decisions. I do what I have to do, play with whom I’ve got play with. We'll see."
The most likely destinations, according to reports, are the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It's a reminder that no matter what a player does on the field, one important factor remains.
"It's a business," Hamilton says. "It doesn't matter if you get contract extensions or get a long term deal; the nature of the game is exactly that. It's a business."
Young has been with the Rangers ten full seasons and has a career batting average of .300. Hamilton says the subject of Young's future even came up at home with his daughter.
"My daughter asked me the other day, she said, can your team fire you daddy? I said absolutely," Hamilton says. "She said, what do you mean, they just come to you and tell you that they don't want you anymore. I said, yeah, if they don't want you anymore, you can go to another team. She said when can they fire you? I said honey, I could be in the middle of an at bat and Ron could call me over and say J.D.'s got to talk to you and he could fire me. She said really! I said yeah, that's the way the game works." Hamilton says she couldn't believe it. "I think she got a little stressed to be honest with you."
Which has happened before. On August 31, 1992, in the middle of a game, Jose Canseco was in the on-deck circle when the Oakland A's traded Canseco to the Texas Rangers.
Hamilton is scheduled for arbitration on February 14th. He asked for $12 million dollars or $3.3 million more than the Rangers have offered. He’ll have a new contract when spring begins. Whether it’s a one year deal or a long term deal is something that has yet to be determined.
“They’re still talking and trying to work things out,” Hamilton says. “Like I told you guys before, I can’t concern myself much with it.”
Either way he says, he’ll be fine.