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Friday, October 21, 2011

Young remains Rangers’ heartbeat … but could have been a Royal

Argh! The Royals could have been enjoying 75 win seasons this entire time!

It nearly happened before the 2003 season when, coincidentally, the Royals and Rangers became co-tenants at their new spring home in Surprise, Ariz.

Those were the Royals’ grim penny-pinching days, and they were already fretting at maximizing their return when inevitably forced to trade outfielder Carlos Beltran, who had just completed his third season of at least 100 runs and 100 RBIs in four years.

The Rangers were interested. They had just signed then-shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year contract for an eye-popping $252 million and envisioned a brightening future. Beltran would fit right in.

Talks progressed to the point where the basic framework for a deal seemed in place. The Royals would get Young, then a second baseman, and third baseman Hank Blalock for Beltran. The deal wasn’t done, certainly. But it was close.

Ancillary pieces were still being negotiated. The Royals wanted outfielder Laynce Nix, and discussions hinged on what other player (or players) the Rangers would receive….

The deal went on hold when Beltran suffered a strained oblique in mid-March. The Royals then got off to an astoundingly magical start and, when Beltran returned, the immediate urge to make a deal evaporated.

That was also the year Young emerged as an impact player by collecting 204 hits and batting .306. Eight years later, the numbers speak for themselves but, still, tell only part of his contributions to the Rangers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2011 at 03:52 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers, royals

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 21, 2011 at 11:11 PM (#3971095)
Man, AROD and Beltran in their primes. That woulda been something. Young and Blalock (who looked very promising) would have been a big price but Beltran was certainly a much better player than any of the other salary wastes the Rangers did get.

I'll add I didn't realize that Beltran had 8 100+ RBI seasons in his career. In that 2003 season, he still managed 102 R and 100 RBI despite just 141 games.

Young did hit 306 but just a 97 OPS+. Blalock would have been the big loss as he put up a 117 OPS+ in 2003.

Still an interesting alternate universe thought. If Blalock's gone, the Rangers might give Teixeira a go at 3B, keeping Palmeiro at 1B. Maybe they don't trade Carl Everett, a trade where they got Frank Francisco. If they don't have Francisco, they don't have him to trade for Napoli and ...

the Blue Jays win the 2011 World Series.

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