Michael Young expected Saturday
The club continues to explore the trade market for Young. But general manager Jon Daniels said Wednesday the Rangers are preparing with Young on the roster.
"We had meetings yesterday and we went through the club, how it sets up with the full expectation that he'll be an integral part of it," Daniels said. "We'll adjust if a trade comes about. We're operating under the assumption and expectation that he'll be here."
Young requested a trade a few weeks ago and the club said it would attempt to fulfill his wishes if it made them better. Young, who was asked to move to designated hitter and super-utility this offseason, is due $48 million over the remaining three years of his contract and the Rangers don't want to absorb a lot of that money and they want talent in return.
Daniels said no one in the front office has talked to Young recently, but the club would reach out to him if he isn't traded as the report date nears. Daniels said he hasn't talked to Young's agent, either.
Daniels didn't want to put any kind of deadline on a decision to keep Young and move on. He said they'd take it day by day once Young arrived.
"Obviously we'd prefer to be talking about other things," Daniels said. "But it's there, we have to deal with it and we will. Nobody's happy we're in the situation, but we are. We've addressed it in our meetings. From a baseball perspective, I [hope] everything falls in line the way it did this winter. It could be a very versatile, deep, productive team."
Daniels means a club that has Young at DH and in a super-utility role as was envisioned when Adrian Beltre was signed to a long-term deal to play third base in January.
Manager Ron Washington has made it clear he wants Young on the team and he doesn't think this will be a distraction.
"Baseball always has drama in it," Washington said. "You deal with it, you get through it and you move on. That's baseball."
The club has asked Young to move for the third time in his career. He went from second base to shortstop in 2004 to make room for Alfonso Soriano. Then, a few months after winning a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008, he slid over to third base so that rookie Elvis Andrus could move into the lineup.
Young wasn't happy with that decision at first, but agreed to move and arrived at spring training ready to workout at a new position.
Young hit .284 in 2010 with 21 homers and 91 RBIs. It was the fifth time in his career that he had at least 91 RBIs. The 34-year-old is the career franchise leader in hits, setting the record last season.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.