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Notes: Young willing to talk10/02/2004 7:46 PM ET
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Eric Young is on the verge of becoming a free agent again. But if the Rangers want to keep that from happening, Young is all ears.
Young said he is set to file for free agency following the World Series, but would be receptive to talking about a deal with the Rangers before that, which could conceivably keep him off the open market.
"If they want me back, I would love to come back," Young said. "Texas is the only team that can talk to me right now and I'm hoping they want to talk to me."
Young has played a significant part in the Rangers' surprise season in 2004. He entered Saturday's game against Seattle hitting .292 and has played multiple positions, allowing manager Buck Showalter lineup flexibility. At 37, Young has said he feels he has three strong years left.
If the Rangers don't approach Young prior to the free agency filing period, Young said he would then simply consider the Rangers one of 30 teams that could bid for his services through the offseason.
Fond farewell: With the Mariners saying goodbye to the retiring Edgar Martinez this weekend, Showalter is among those offering warms kudos for Martinez as he makes his grand exit.
"As a manager, if you asked how Edgar is swinging the bat and they tell you he's swinging good, you just say 'OK, he's gong to get his.' He's as professional of a hitter as they come," Showalter said.
Frustrating times: The past couple of weeks have been tough on Rangers' second baseman Alfonso Soriano, who could only sit and watch as the AL West was being decided. Soriano has been out since suffering a left hamstring injury on Sept. 16 in Oakland.
"It's not easy for me, because this was the first time I've been out like this at a key time in the season," Soriano said. "The last two weeks were very important and I felt like I could have been out there helping my team. It leaves me with a little frustration. But all the players got a feel for what it's like to be in a race for the playoffs and I think we could build on that next year."
Around the horn: Catcher Gerald Laird, who missed two months this season with a torn ligament in his left thumb, is now slated to play the second half of a winter ball schedule. ... Chan Ho Park is a candidate to start on Sunday in the season finale. Park has struggled of late after two encouraging performances against Minnesota after he came off the disabled list. "His stuff is better," Showalter said. "Command has been the problem."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.