So it's made its way around the interwebs by now, but regarding the potential Michael Young trade (quick version: Michael Young wants to be traded, and the Astros are on his list of teams that he would approve a trade): Are you freaking kidding me?
First of all, Michael Young is 34. He plays 3B. He's owed $48m through 2013 ($16m per year). This means the Astros would be paying that amount of money to a 3B in years 34, 35, and 36.
There's absolutely no way - hopefully - Ed Wade offers up Carlos Lee for that deal. Would I like to see Carlos Lee gone? Oh hell, and yes, I would. But Carlos Lee is about six months younger, and is "only" still owed $37m through 2012. So that's less of a financial commitment for a shorter period of time for a (barely) younger player.
Zach Levine puts it this way:
Taking on Young means adding on an additional year with a huge and immobile contract. While Lee's goes through 2012 at $18.5 million per year, Young's goes through 2013 at $16 million. The additional sticking point would be the deferred money, $15 million that would be paid out presumably by the new ownership group in 2014 and beyond.
Smilin' Ken Rosenthal calls a Lee-Young deal a longshot, because remember Big Timmy P gave Carlos Lee a full no-trade clause. I can't imagine he would sign off on a deal to Texas. He's been there once, and left the first chance he got.
If you're of the opinion that Carlos Lee's 2010 was an anomaly, then note that - even with 2010 - over the last three seasons he's hit .284/.331/.483. Over the course of the same period, Young has hit .295/.346/.451. Is that worth an extra $11m? Nope. If the Astros make that deal, and for whatever reason, Lee signs off, and the Rangers accept it, it moves either Bill Hall or Chris Johnson to the bench or to the minors. Add to that the Rangers have an outfield of Josh Hamilton, Julio Borbon, and Nelson Cruz. Presumably Lee would DH (at least that's what would happen if the Rangers had an ounce of common sense) - would he make that move?
To sum up, this is complete bullcrap, and I can't believe this has even been entertained.
Though FanGraphs' Dave Cameron has a different view:
The Astros aren’t exactly set on the infield. They have Bill Hall slated to play second base and Chris Johnson slotted in for third, but neither of those options are long term solutions, and Young would be able to play everyday in Houston without blocking anyone who might have a decent future.
Mm. Thanks for that.