Disgruntled Young demands trade by the Rangers

DALLAS (Reuters) - Michael Young, a crucial player in the Texas Rangers' run to the American League championship, says he wants to be traded because of the way he was treated in the offseason.

"I have been manipulated and misled in this process and I'm not going to take it anymore," Young told Major League Baseball's official website (www.mlb.com).

Young, who hit .284 in 2010 and has a .300 average over his 11-year Major League career, spent the past two seasons as the Rangers' third baseman.

But Texas, who lost to San Francisco in last season's World Series, signed free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract in January.

The 34-year-old Young agreed at the time to become Texas's designated hitter and utility infielder. But for reasons he would not divulge, he has changed his mind.

"I just don't like what has transpired behind the scenes," he said. "The suggestion that I've had a change of heart (about being the team's designated hitter) and asked for a trade is a manipulation of the truth."

Rangers president and owner Nolan Ryan told reporters he believed Young had made up his mind to leave.

"We don't know where this is going to lead," Ryan said. "We're not going to make any preparations until we know what we are dealing with."

Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton hoped the team could keep Young.

"It's hard to lose a guy who has been your most durable player, who gets 550-600 at-bats a year and puts up numbers," Hamilton said of Young.

The infielder is due $48 million over the next three years and that could be a stumbling block to any trade.

Young said, however, "I think a trade is going to happen."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Ginsburg. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)