Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. href="mailto:tr.sullivan@MLB.com">T.R. Sullivan contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
DENVER -- The Rockies remain interested in trading for Rangers infielder Michael Young but are unwilling to deal everyday players or top-level prospects, a source with knowledge of the situation told MLB.com on Thursday. Another source told MLB.com on Thursday that it is "highly unlikely" Young will be traded anywhere. The Rockies, and other interested clubs, want the Rangers to pick up a significant portion of the $48 million Young is owed over the next three years, and the Rangers haven't been offered a package of players that will make them eat millions to make a deal. The Rangers are dealing mainly with the eight teams Young can be traded to under his limited no-trade clause -- the Rockies, Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Twins, Cardinals and Astros.
The source with knowledge of the Rockies' interest said the club is not abandoning its pursuit of Young, who would slot in as the starting second baseman and the No. 2 hitter in the lineup. Instead, the Rockies are waiting to see if the Rangers are willing to go into Spring Training with one of their leaders disgruntled. The key date is a week from Sunday, when the Rangers conduct their first full-squad workout in Surprise, Ariz. "Ideally, yeah, if there is a trade, it will most likely be before that point," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I'm not setting any deadlines though. We'll walk down the path and see if there is something that satisfies all parties. "But we put the club together with the idea of Michael playing a key role, and we're still prepared for that." The Rockies talked to the Rangers in December during the Winter Meetings and reached out to them again in recent days. Young has moved from second base to shortstop to third in recent years. But the relationship changed this winter after the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre to play third base. The Rangers want Young to fill a super-utility role and serve as designated hitter. But the Rangers also acquired Mike Napoli, who catches, plays first and does designated-hitter duty, and the theory is Young could see a reduction in his at-bats. On Monday, Young said his unhappiness is not over his role but his feeling that he was "manipulated and misled." Daniels has declined to respond to Young's statement, and Young has not spoken publicly since Monday.