After working two scoreless innings in his spring-training debut on Monday, Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee questioned the Texas Rangers’ decision to trade third baseman Michael Young to the Phillies.

“He was the heart and soul of that team and I think they borderline took him for granted there,” Lee told reporters in Clearwater, Fla.

Lee, who spent the second half of the 2010 season with the Rangers, compared Young to Phillies’ All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.

“Definitely in Texas he was the leader on the team,” Lee said. “He was the guy. To have a personality or a player like that on our team just makes us that much better. I can’t say enough about him. He was the heart and soul of the Rangers for a while. And they are a pretty good team.”

Lee said he did not understand why the Rangers traded Young for a pair of right-handed relievers: Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. Lee added that he has not understood several moves by the Rangers since leaving the club, but he did not specify the transactions.

“You never know what they are thinking or their motives behind some of those things,” Lee said. “You don’t really have to understand it. They’ve got their reasons and they’ve got their theories on their team and they have a right to do whatever they want, really, as an organization.

“But in my opinion you want guys like Michael Young around and you want him to be happy and you want to let him go out there and do what he was.”