Mitch Moreland is the Rangers first-baseman for 2012. We been told this a few times by Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels. Why don’t we believe them? It’s because we can’t shake the idea that Prince Fielder is actually a prime target for the Rangers.
And if Prince does indeed land here, Mitch is immediately placed on the trading block. Wrong, maybe. Isn’t it possible that Mitch is the first-baseman and Fielder is the DH. This would make Michael Young the trading piece rather than Moreland.
I know, I know crazy idea “trade Michael Young” hasn’t been thought about that since, y’know every off-season that he gets moved off a position by a superior player. First it was Alfonso Soriano off of 2B, then Elvis Andrus off of SS, then Adrian Beltre of off 3B. Now the guy can’t even keep the DH role. The more I think about it, this will happen. Its almost like an every off-season occurrence. You have the Winter Meetings, the Rule 5 draft and Michael Young asks for a trade. It should be on the MLB calendar. If Michael Young was the beer guy, I think JD would replace him with a guy that has a better “Beer Here!” yell. I’m not sure I’m ready for an off-season without some Michael Young drama.
Keeping Prince at the DH, would be a great way to protect the Rangers’ asset of whatever millions of dollars it will take to sign him. Fielder as we all know, is not going to be confused with Elvis Andrus, ever, not relying on him to do anything other than hit, would be ideal. Prince would be an excellent fit for the home-run porch in RF. If you ever want to commit big dollars to a free agent, you want it to be to a player with multiple years of his prime remaining, which Fielder has, turning 28 next May.
Mitch Moreland regressed in 2011, but he was hampered by a wrist injury that he just had surgery on to correct. Therein lies the reason to believe that Moreland will improve upon last season. Even if Fielder was added to the mix, Moreland would still be the best defensive first-baseman over Young, MIke Napoli and Fielder. Also keeping Moreland on first would leave a path open for Mike Olt in the future.
Signing Fielder, would jumble up the future commitments to Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler. But, if you sign Fielder, you just replaced Hamilton with another left-handed, power bat, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Ian Kinsler is already looking over his shoulder at the Jurickson Profar ETA bill-board in CF. Nelson Cruz? Will his hammies even be attached in two years? Not sure, and I am definitely not sure I want to sign him to a multi-year deal.
Most Rangers fans feel that, JD and Co. are on the brink of a big deal, maybe that big deal is the one that has been brewing for years- Michael Young.
Welcome to the Winter Meetings, where the impossible (Michael Young trade) can happen!