Mets OF Chris Young failed in three RBI situations Wednesday afternoon, striking out with runners on base in the first inning and grounding out with a runner on third two innings later. In the eighth, he lined out with a runner on second base.
He drew a walk in the sixth inning, but was thrown out trying to advance to third on a wild pitch.
In his talk with ESPN 98.7 FM in New York on Tuesday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he signed Young in hopes that he could hit at least .240 with 15 home runs. Young is on pace to hit 13 HR, drive in 50 runs and bat around .200, which is on par with what he delivered for the A’s last season.
Meanwhile, O’s OF Nelson Cruz has already hit 19 home runs, which leads all of baseball. Alderson was criticized by some fans and media for signing Young to one-year, $7.5 million so early in the off-season, while Cruz remained a free agent and eventually signed for one year and $8 million in Baltimore days before Spring Training.
“We were looking for a guy who could play center field, first of all, who could back us up if Juan Lagares didn’t improve offensively, and also had the ability to play all three outfield positions,” Alderson said on air. “We wanted someone who could help improve our power and somebody who could give a .240, .250 batting average.”
Alderson said he had not been considering Cruz because – at the time he signed Young – Cruz was asking for $65 million to play only left field.
“The fact that Cruz ended up signing $8 million a few weeks, months later, is an unfair comparison,” he concluded.
Young has just three hits during his last 41 plate appearances and 14 games.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
It’s a shame, because, while Lagares has proven he’s an everyday player, the Red Sox are reportedly looking to trade for a center fielder and Young would have been perfect for them. However, I can’t see them giving up anything of value to get a .200 hitter that may crack 10 home runs. I don’t doubt Young was signed as a safety net, but I also believe he was acquired knowing he could make for Marlon Byrd-like trade bait, who was swapped with John Buck for Vic Black and a second base prospect last season. To do that, though, Young has a lot of hitting to make up…