Michael Young remains undecided whether he will return for his 15th major league season or retire to spend more time with his three sons.
But the 37-year-old infielder said Sunday that if he comes back this year, it’s “a safe bet” he’ll be playing for the Dodgers.
“I’ve made no secret I’ve loved my time in L.A.,” Young said. “Great teammates, coaching staff. It’s a first-class organization, top to bottom. As far as baseball is concerned, the Dodgers are it for me.”
The seven-time All-Star addressed his future at a charity bowling event he and former major league reliever Eddie Guardado hosted in Anaheim. The event raised money for children with autism.
Young expects to make a decision before the start of spring training. He said that if he decides to play, he and the Dodgers should be able easily to agree on terms of a new deal.
“I’ve worked out as if I expect to go out and have a productive season,” he said. “I’m ready to play.”
Young was acquired by the Dodgers from the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 31. In 21 games as a utilityman for the Dodgers, he batted .314 with four runs batted in.
If Young returns to the Dodgers, he could figure prominently at second base until it is determined that Alexander Guerrero is ready to play in the major leagues. A Cuban defector signed to a four-year, $28-million deal, Guerrero has never played in the majors.
“Second base is my natural position,” Young said. “That’s probably the biggest curiosity of my career: What would have happened if I had stayed at second base my whole career? I played short and third, which I love, but second base is my most natural position.”
Even if Young is used as a utilityman again, he is confident Manager Don Mattingly will get him plenty of at-bats.
“One thing Donnie does extremely well is keeping everyone active,” Young said. “You have to do that in the National League. That’s how you get production up and down your lineup.”
If baseball was his only consideration, Young acknowledged it would be a no-brainer for him to return.
But, he said, “I’m also at a point now where I’m evaluating a lot of different things.”
His sons are eight, four and one.
“I want to be around my sons,” Young said. “I want to make sure they get what they need from their father.”