Mets Nearing Deal for Chris Young, Or Not

Baumbach covers New York sports for

Updated at 10:15 pm:

From what I can gather, the Mets and free-agent RHP Chris Young have been in contact and, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see them eventually work out a deal, nothing is imminent.

Updated at 9:50 pm:

Andy Martino of the Daily News agrees with Popper, writing on Twitter, “I’m told ‘nothing close at this time.'”

Updated at 8:30 pm by Michael Baron:

According to Steve Popper of the Bergen Record, the Mets are NOT close to a deal with Chris Young.

Original Post at 7:27 pm by Michael Baron:

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Mets are close to signing Young.

The 31 year old Young has made just 36 starts over the past three seasons as he’s battled shoulder problems. He made just four starts in 2010, going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings.

In 2007, his last full season, Young went 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA with 167 strikeouts in 173 innings in 30 starts for the Padres and made his first and only All-Star team.

In a post to Twitter, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says Young had been entertaining multiple one-year, incentive laden major league contract offers.

This past weekend, I wrote:

Brandon Webb, along with someone like Chris Young are pitchers I would expect the Mets to be interested in this winter – guys who will take short term commitments with high upside in order to not lock themselves into any high priced, long term contracts beyond 2011.

I’m not so surprised the Mets are interested Young – however, I am a little surprised the Mets are moving quickly to try to sign him. With their limited payroll flexibility this winter, the Mets are going to have to gamble on guys like Young or Webb – guys who have a lot of upside who have either been injured or under-performed recently.

The uncertainty surrounding Johan Santana complicates things even more, and they’re going to need to have faith in not just Young bouncing back, but that Mike Pelfrey can continue to mature, R.A. Dickey can resemble his 2010, and Jon Niese can take the next step in his career. IF all of that happens, and Santana can return, the rotation will be of little concern. Of course, that’s A LOT of IF’s…

I do like this move, and if he’s healthy, Young can be great pickup and slot nicely into their rotation. He’s historically been a fly ball pitcher which makes him a great fit at Citi Field. The biggest question, of course, is his health, and I’m sure his physical is no slam dunk right now given the arm problems he’s had over the last three seasons.

As Mack Ade from “Mack’s Mets” pointed out to me on Twitter, signing Young also allows Jenrry Mejia to remain in the minor leagues and continue to develop as a starting pitcher, again, assuming both can stay healthy.

For a complete bio on Young, check out ESPN New York here.