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Mets sign Chris Young for outfield
Outfielder Chris Young has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mets pending a physical, Newsday has confirmed.
The deal is for $7.25 million. That would be a slight pay cut from the $8.5 million Young made last season with the Athletics, but it's in line with what similar outfielders have earned so far this winter: David Murphy signed with the Indians for two years and $12 million while Marlon Byrd inked a two-year, $16 million deal with the Phillies. Jon Heyman first reported news of the signing.
Young, 30, has batted .235 with a .315 on-base percentage and .746 on-base plus slugging percentage during an eight-year career with Arizona and Oakland.
He hit .200 with 12 home runs for the Athletics in a down year last season, but is known as a strong outfield defender and can play center or either corner. The majority of his experience has come in center.
Young has hit double-digit home runs in each of the past seven seasons and he's stolen double-digit bases in six of the past seven seasons. His best year came with the Diamondbacks in 2010 when Young hit .257 with a .341 OBP, 27 home runs and a career-high 28 stolen bases. His career-high in home runs came in 2007, when he hit 32.
Advanced defensive metrics -- like Ultimate Zone Rating, which measures a player's ability to get to balls hit in their zone, and Defensive Runs Saved, the primary defensive component in the all-encompassing Wins Above Replacement stat -- are generally kind to Young, though he has seen some slippage of late. Young has a career 3.0 UZR/150 in the outfield and 32 DRS. But his UZR dropped from 18.7 in 2012 to 0.3 in 2013 and his DRS from 7 to -6. It's also worth noting he played in two different home parks those seasons, as he was traded to the Athletics last winter.
The Mets were known to be looking to add multiple outfielders and Ken Rosenthal reports they could still be in the market for another right-handed hitting outfielder, specifically mentioning Nelson Cruz.
As an odd historical note, this will be the second time the Mets have signed a player named Chris Young. The other, a pitcher, played for the team from 2011-2012.