According to a report by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, former A’s outfielder Chris Young has agreed to terms with the New York Mets on a one-year contract, ESPN’s Buster Olney added that the deal is worth $7.25MM.
The surprising mid-October 2012 acquisition of Chris Young by the Oakland Athletics from the Arizona Diamondbacks was seen as a shrewd move by Billy Beane. He paid little for him, giving up shortstop Cliff Pennington and minor league shortstop Yordy Cabrera for the dynamic center fielder. It was the final nail in the coffin for Jonny Gomes‘ tenure in Oakland, as Young figured to occupy a large amount of the playing time Gomes would have received. Not only was he perceived as an upgrade, he added another layer of versatility to a roster that would ultimately be constructed on that very principle.
Safe to say it didn’t work out that way. Young played as little as he did in 2012, only this time he spent much of the season riding the pine rather than occupying the disabled list, and Gomes helped the Boston Red Sox win their third World Series since breaking the Curse of the Bambino. In 375 plate appearances, Young hit .200/.280/.379 with just 12 home runs as he filled in all over the outfield. His lack of playing time, and having to play both corner outfield positions likely were the main cause for his struggles in 2013. Baseball players are creatures of habit, and every habit Chris Young had established for himself was broken in Oakland.
Chances are he won’t be the everyday center fielder in New York either, but he figures to get more regular playing time and may return to some form of the All-Star the A’s had hoped they were getting. Chris Young is a better player than he showed in Oakland, he simply was never in a position to show his ability. It’s a good bet that he will rebound in 2014, and look to hit the market again next year as a sought after commodity.