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To be Young again

I wonder if the Cardinals would have played the rapidly concluding off-season differently if they could have predicted the blow up between Michael Young and the Rangers.

While I am intrigued by the signing of Lance Berkman, who was a thorn in the sides of St. Louis baseball fans during his time with the Astros, I am still shocked that the Cardinals did nothing to improve their infield situation -- save for the swap for former Cub Ryan Theriot.

Young, who can play second or third base -- he used to play short, but that was too long ago to count on him there -- is a high average hitter with surprising power for a middle infielder. He would have fit neatly into the Cardinals lineup because, if he played second base, he would have freed Skip Schumaker up to play in right field where he is much better defensively.

The biggest problem with Young is that he is second place hitter, batting there far more times than all the other positions in the order, combined. The Birds would still be left with a hole in the fifth spot behind Matt Holliday.

One of the main concerns about Young is the $48 million he is owed the next three years under his Texas contract. But it's pretty reasonable, if the Rangers really want to move him, that they foot some of that bill. His contract is structured in such a way that $15 million of that pay over the next three years is deferred. If Texas picked that up over the next three years, his deal is a more palatable $33 million over three years.

I guess we'll never know because the Cardinals have used their previously dry powder. But it might have been a very different off-season if the Young saga played out earlier.

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