Michael Young's role in 2013 uncertain

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said he isn't sure what role veteran Michael Young will have next season.

Young, 36, is coming off one of the toughest seasons of his career. He hit .277, his lowest average since his first full season in 2002, and had eight home runs and 67 RBIs in 611 at-bats. He's due to make $16 million in the final year of his contract and has full no-trade protection because he's played 10 years in the league and at least five with the same team.

Young was the primary designated hitter for the Rangers but also played a fair amount in the infield.

"Right now I think we'd just better see when we get into spring training and see how things play its way out," Washington said the winter meetings. "Michael is a part of this team and as far as I'm concerned he'll continue to be a big part of this team. We've just got to wait and see because there's some youth that's going to be infused and we've just got to wait and see how that process works."

That "youth" starts with Jurickson Profar, who could end up a regular infielder this season. If so, and the Rangers don't trade any infielders, that could cut into Young's playing time. The club could choose to move second baseman Ian Kinsler to first base, which would mean fewer at-bats at that spot for Young. And if they want to get Mike Olt some time off the bench as a backup infielder and part-time DH, that could also impact Young's playing time.

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