At 35 years old, many believed that the “end of the line” had already arrived for starting pitcher Chris Young as a Major Leaguer, but apparently, at least one team still believes that he has something left in the tank.
The #Nats re-signed RHP Chris Young to a Minor League deal.
— William Ladson (@washingnats) November 19, 2013
The Washington Nationals have reportedly inked Young to a minor league contract, and since Young last pitched in their system during the 2013 season, it isn’t a huge surprise. The 6-foot-10 (yes, he’s that tall) right-hander scuffled to a 7.88 ERA in limited time in AAA Syracuse last season, but he was reasonably effective just over 12 months ago.
When Young was last seen at the Major League level, he produced nearly a full win (0.9 fWAR) of value as a member of the Mets rotation in 2012, when he made 20 starts with a 4.15 ERA in 115 innings. However, it was mostly smoke and mirrors for Young, who has never been a high strikeout guy (7.63 K/9 career, less than 7.00 K/9 since 2009) and who’s stuff is seriously diminishing with age.
This is a sensible gamble for the Nats, as they aren’t in desperate need of MLB-ready pitching depth (Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmerman, etc.), but he would be a nice option (if healthy) in a pinch. Dan Haren is on the market, and if you strain your eyes hard enough, you could see a scenario where a healthy young opens the season as the #5 starter in Washington.
Just don’t count on it.