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02/17/11 1:30 PM EST
Young's teammates want him on the club
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers may not be able to trade infielder Michael Young, but second baseman Ian Kinsler has no doubts about what will happen if they can't.
The Rangers' first full-squad workout is Sunday in Surprise and Kinsler said Young will be here.
"Yeah, absolutely," Kinsler said Thursday. "This isn't DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick or Manny Ramirez. This is Michael Young. It would be completely out of his personality not to be here. Absolutely."
Young and Kinsler remain close friends and have been in communication during this whole process. Young's situation and his request for a trade was the subject of the first question asked to Kinsler upon his arrival in Spring Training Thursday.
"It's going to work itself out," Kinsler said. "He'll be here when he needs to be here. "We'll handle it appropriately and move on. It's something we have to deal with. Right now he is a Texas Ranger. Everyone wants him. Hopefully that's the way it ends."
Shortstop Elvis Andrus also arrived in camp on Thursday and was asked one polite question about his offseason before the subject turned to Young.
"I heard about it a little bit," Andrus said. "A lot of people have asked me about it. I'm hoping he can stay on the team. It's not a good situation. I hope he stays. He's a real leader, an important piece on the team."
Andrus was caught in the middle of the last storm involving Young two years ago. Young had been the Rangers' shortstop from 2004-08, winning a Gold Glove, before the club asked him to move to third base. They wanted to make room for Andrus and Young wasn't happy about it. He asked for a trade, the Rangers couldn't make one and Young eventually ended up agreeing to the switch.
It worked out well for all concern, especially Andrus. He said Young was a big reason why.
"He's like my daddy," Andrus said. "He's actually my daddy. He and Ian were the guys who made me comfortable. He's a large part of this team."
Young's latest storm broke on Jan. 5, when the Rangers signed third baseman Adrian Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract. The Rangers feel Beltre is an upgrade defensively at third base and asked Young to consider a new role as a designated hitter and "super utility" infielder.
Young wasn't happy about it, but reluctantly agreed to the switch when assured he would still be in the lineup regularly. He has since requested a trade after hearing that the Rangers were including him in trade discussions with other teams, as well as negotiating with free-agent designated hitters Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. Ten days ago, Young went public with his trade request and hasn't been available for comment since then.
"All the speculation about how frustrated he is, how it's going to affect the team, how he's not going to show up is crazy," Kinsler said. "It doesn't matter what locker room he is in ... as long as he's here, he'll be the same player that we've always known.
"He's motivated. He's always motivated. He's a baseball player. It's what he's done his whole life. He's obviously frustrated with the situation, but it's not changing him.
"He's never said he didn't want to be here. He said he wants to be there. Originally he said I'll be the DH. He said he loves it here, his family loves it here. He's loyal to his teammates, he loves his teammates. When he says that, he means it."
So by Sunday, the Rangers expect him to be here, especially with the possibility of a trade diminishing rapidly.
"Yeah, no doubt," pitcher Darren Oliver said. "Why wouldn't he be here? You think he's going to be like Juan Gonzalez and the other guys and show up on the last day possible? He'll be here."