Young agrees to five-year extension with Texas
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Michael Young signed an $80 million, five-year contract extension Friday to remain with the Texas Rangers through 2013, a move that solidifies the three-time All-Star shortstop as the face of the franchise.
Not only was the timing odd, but the Rangers' decision to commit so much money for so many years to Michael Young is the wrong move for this franchise. Keith Law writes. Blog
The extension is for 2009-13 and includes no-trade provisions. Young is scheduled to make $3.5 million this season and a $5 million club option in 2008, after which he would have been able to become a free agent without a new deal.
Young's new contract is the second-largest in team history, behind only the $252 million, 10-year deal Alex Rodriguez got in December 2000.
"I recognize the commitment the Rangers have made," Young said. "We have a good core of players here who are committed to winning. We're due to turn this thing around and I wanted to be a huge part of the future."
When AL MVP Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees just before spring training in 2004, Young switched from second base to shortstop. Young has been an All-Star every season since moving back to the position he played in the minor leagues.
After trading A-Rod that spring, the Rangers gave Young a $10 million, four-year contract.
Rangers owner Tom Hicks said Young's extension helps provide stability for the team.
"To make a seven-year commitment, you have to like the man. When kids look at Michael Young, they will see what this franchise is all about," Hicks said. "We were not smart enough to draft Michael, but we were smart enough to trade for him. Michael is one of the greatest players in the history of this franchise."
Young has four straight 200-hit seasons, and his 858 hits in that span are second to Ichiro Suzuki's 904. Young hit .373 (166-for-445) with runners in scoring position during that stretch, a mark bettered only by Barry Bonds (.394, 63-for-160).
A .300 career hitter, Young was the AL batting champion in 2005 at .331, and was the All-Star game MVP last summer. Young hit .314 with 52 doubles, 14 homers and 103 RBIs last season.
"Locking up Michael for the next seven years makes my job a lot easier," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He is a leader on this club and clearly represents the fans of our community and the franchise."
Rangers No. 1 starter Kevin Millwood is in the second year of a $60 million, five-year deal, and the Rangers kept 15-game winner Vicente Padilla from leaving in free agency with a three-year, $33.75 million deal this winter.
Switch-hitting slugger Mark Teixeira signed a $15.4 million, two-year contract and avoided salary arbitration before last season, but the first baseman will be eligible for arbitration again after this season.
Texas acquired Young from Toronto midway through the 2000 season, when he was a minor league second baseman and the second player the Rangers got behind pitcher Darwin Cubillan when they traded right-hander Esteban Loaiza.
Loaiza has had winning records the last four seasons, pitching for four teams. But Cubillan had a 10.70 ERA in his only 13 games for the Rangers in 2000 and hasn't pitched since 2004 for Baltimore.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
SPRING TRAINING NEWS
Follow the day's news from spring training in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues as we begin the countdown toward Opening Day on Sunday (Mets at world champion Cardinals, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2):
• Colon, Weaver, Figgins on DL
• Pirates send Sanchez to the DL
• Rogers has clot removed, will miss first half
• Sabathia throws, says he's ready for opener
• Pavano to start Opening Day for Yankeees
• A's put Dan Johnson on DL with hip injury
• Walker signs minor league deal with A's
• Grapefruit: Towers wins spot in Jays' rotation
• Cactus: Big Unit to start season on DL