COMMENTARY | With the Los Angeles Dodgers playing better baseball and seemingly having more money than Bill Gates, they've been attached to just about every player rumored to be on the move. They'll inevitably make a trade, if for no other reason than they have the money to do so and general manager Ned Colletti has a history of deadline deal-making.
Young's Reputation Exceeds His Talent and Value
Young is in the final year of a five-year, $80 million contract he signed with the Rangers. He has a reputation as a veteran leader who hits the cover off the ball and is a great piece for a contending team. However, that reputation is very much overblown.
Young has posted a career line of .301/.347/.443/.790 with a .343 wOBA. That's not terrible by any means, but most people simply see the .300 batting average while ignoring the average on-base skills and average power.
Those things wouldn't be so average if Young could defend at second, short, or third. Unfortunately, he can't at any of those positions, thus substantially dragging down whatever value he would have had.
Young is seen as an All-Star player, but he's nothing more than solid at his best while being unable to adequately defend his position.
In 2013, Juan Uribe > Michael Young
It's not even close, honestly, as Uribe has outperformed Young this season. Michael's bat has been a bit better but Juan has added value to the Dodgers on the basepaths and most importantly with his glove, while Young has been bad with his legs and atrocious with his mitt.
Young has been a solid hitter with terrible defense, while Uribe has been a solid hitter with excellent defense. Going forward, Young will likely swing the bat better but Juan will and has always defended better, and that's what the Dodgers need most the rest of the way.
Juan Uribe's 2013 campaign: 1.6 fWAR. Michael Young: 0.3 fWAR.
Avoid Falling For The Myth of Michael Young
People laud Young for being a "team player" and a "leader," for being "gritty" and a "gamer." However, in actuality he's demanded multiple trades and had he been a different player he'd be crushed by the mainstream media for being a malcontent and not doing what's best for the team.
Leadership is overrated and certainly not something you trade young prospects for, and I would never part with talented youngsters for an overrated and soon-to-be 37-year-old.
Michael Young's reputation has always outweighed his actual talent, production, and value. At 36 going on 37, I'm not paying a premium in prospects that you give up for a player in his prime when what I'm getting is his late, late 30s.
Greg Zakwin is the founder of Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle, a Dodgers' and sports card blog. He writes with an analytical tilt about The Blue Crew at ChadMoriyama.com. You can find and follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke. A graduate of UCLA in 2011 with a Bachelor's in History, he's been a follower of the Dodgers since birth and still mourns the loss of both Mike Piazza and Carlos Santana.
- Sports & Recreation
- Michael Young
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Juan Uribe