NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It's not easy to leave a place you've been for more than a decade. Michael Young has watched this Texas Rangers team go through tough times, putting up with last-place finishes and August and September games that were more about fielding prospects than trying to contend. But he stuck around long enough to be a part of a winning team, becoming the face of the franchise and a leader in the clubhouse. He finally made the postseason in 2010 and was an important part of two World Series clubs in 2010 and 2011.
But at 36, Young's role is likely to change. He still got time in the infield the past two seasons but was primarily a DH. This season, if the club hangs on to its current infield and makes room for Jurickson Profar, Young's at-bats will get squeezed even more. Depending on what happens with Josh Hamilton or Justin Upton, the club may want to use that DH spot to get more at-bats for Nelson Cruz or David Murphy. Add it all up, and Young's role begins to look like a true bench player.
A trade to the Phillies would mean more playing time and more opportunity at third base. He'd be on a contending team and would still have a chance to get back to the postseason and the World Series. Sources said the clubs are in serious talks about it, but any deal hinges on whether Young waives his no-trade clause. He's earned the right to make that call thanks to playing more than 10 years in the league, all of them in Texas.
It's difficult to imagine Young in a uniform other than one for the Rangers. But he's a competitor and wants to play. He'll get a better chance to do that in Philadelphia than Texas. He should take the opportunity and see what he can do with the Phillies. The Rangers' clubhouse would lose an important leader, and fans would lose out on seeing one of the greatest Rangers players in history finish his career in Texas. But for Young, the move makes sense. It also makes sense for Texas, which wants to get more young players in the lineup and doesn't really have a defined spot for Young.
It's not easy to leave your home. But in this case, Young should consider it. Stay tuned.