Every team has at least one, one guy they look back and wish they had a mulligan on, one trade they wish they hadn’t pulled off.Michael Young is forever be one of those “what-if” questions for the Toronto Blue Jays.
A fifth round draft pick in 1997, Young spent four seasons in the Blue Jays farm system before being shipped to the Texas Rangers in exchange for starter Estaban Loaiza on July 19, 2000. The rest is history.
After two relatively mediocre seasons by Young, the second baseman took off in 2003, reeling off five consecutive seasons with over 200+ hits, three straight seasons of 100+ runs, and six straight All-Star selections. Ultimately, Young would spend 14 seasons in the Major Leagues, with his last two split between the Dodgers and the Phillies.
On Thursday, Michael Young officially called it a career, as tweeted by Ken Rosenthal.
In 14 seasons, Young finishes his career with a slash-line of .300/.346/.441 with 2375 career hits, 185 home runs, 1030 RBI, and 26.9 Wins Above Replacement according to FanGraphs. Those are some substantial offensive numbers for a player that spent most of his career as a middle infielder. However, his fielding always left a little to be desired, as he graded out with a Defensive Runs Saved mark of -82 and a Ultimate Zone Rating of -10.2. That lead to multiple position changes over the years, something the ultimate team player always made easy for the Rangers, helping to make room for acquisitions of Alfonso Soriano and Adrian Beltre, along with opening space for the development of Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler.
Unfortunately, he will never have his chance at reuniting with the team that drafted him. With the retirement of Mark DeRosa, Michael Young would have fit well with the Blue Jays in 2014. His right-handed bat, and ability to play both corners and second base, would have made him a nice complimentary bench piece, either as a platoon partner for Adam Lind or as a back-up infielder.
At 37-years-old, and without the promise of everyday playing time, Young ultimately decided it was time to go home and be with his family.Three offers on the table couldn’t fuel the fires any further.
We wish you the best of luck Mr. Young. Wish we could have known what could have been.