Young's Problems Come At A Bad Time

Dmitri Young could have been a key trading chip for the Nationals, but now, he's going to need some time off to get himself healthy. His battle with diabetes hasn't gone very well of late.

Dmitri Young has put up respectable numbers this season, which is interesting since he hadn't been in the best of shape physically. His weight has ballooned to very close to 300 pounds, complicating his diabetes issues. While in Atlanta, Young experienced blurred vision and light-headedness, both definite signs of high blood sugar.

After hoping that they could quickly correct the situation, the Nationals decided to go back to square one with Young, not just for his baseball life, but for his life in general. Young was placed on the DL and returned to Washington for help with getting his diabetes under control and getting his blood sugar down to a controlled level. From there, Young will head to the Nationals complex in Florida where he will work on his diet and conditioning to drop about 20 pounds before returning to the Nationals. There is no direct timetable for just when Young will return to the Nationals, but it's very likely that it will be after the July 31 trade deadline.

The timing is unfortunate, since Young could have been a trade chip to put out there, especially to American League teams looking to add a bat to the lineup. The Nationals have never said that Young was a key piece of bait, but with him signed through next season with a team option for 2010 (and at a reasonable price) teams could have been very tempted to talk to the Nationals about acquiring Young. Washington would have hoped to have received at least one pretty high level prospect in exchange and likely at least another mid-level prospect as part of a package for Young.

Instead, the Nationals have to take a longer term approach to dealing with Young, hoping to get him physically to a point where he can be healthy enough to play out the remaining time on his contract.

It's still possible that if Young returns to the shape he was in last season and returns fairly quickly, the Nationals could deal him in August, but they would have to sneak him through waivers to do that, which may or may not be easy to do, depending on where they were trying to send him. Competing teams will often block a deal by putting in a waiver claim on a player.

With Young out of the lineup, the Nationals will likely give Paul LoDuca the majority of the playing time at first, with others rotating in where needed. On the up side, the added playing time for LoDuca could increase his playing time as the trade deadline approaches.

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