Friday, November 29, 2013

The Other Chris Young Comes to Flushing

On Tuesday, the Mets officially signed outfielder Chris Young. My first thought was: "Oh dear God...not the other Chris Young." You know, the pitcher who, as I described before, but can't find: gives you six innings of one hit ball, and it out for the next two months. When he was on the Mets in 2012, he lived up to that description pretty well.

So, I looked again and found that it was the outfielder. Unfortunately, my reaction wasn't much different. As much as I have hated on Eric Young Jr., I'd rather he start in the outfield over Chris Young. Young was touted as a five-tool prospect, but that was a different time. That was back before he debuted in 2006. He's now 30 years old, and hasn't lived up to that potential throughout his career. Generally, he has been decent at best, with a career .746 OPS. His OBP isn't too inspiring, at .315 for his career, but it's alright because his power has seemed to make up for it generally.

He's coming off of the worst year of his career, with a really bad .280/.379/.659 OBP/SLG/OPS slash line. Of course, that OPS is 14 points higher than that of Eric Young. After Chris Young's bad season, he somehow parlayed that into $7.25 million from the Mets. And that may be my biggest problem with this deal. The way the market is in the MLB, it's hard to predict any contract anymore when Ricky Nolasco signed for 4 years/$49 million, but I still think that this is too much money to give a fourth outfielder who was pretty much worthless this year.

I don't know exactly what the Mets are trying to do in 2014. I personally feel that they should tank, as I wrote about back in August. If that is in fact the organization's plan, then this move makes sense, I guess. He's not very good, so starting him in the outfield will help the team lose.

If they are trying to win in 2014, well then, this is a confusing one. They already have a fourth outfielder named Young on their roster, and getting another doesn't make any sense. They still need to go out and get two more outfielders to start on either side of Juan Lagares, so Chris Young hasn't affected anything. He's just going to sit and be maybe the third guy off the bench after Satin/Davis/Duda pinch hits and Eric Young pinch runs. Sure that's a pretty valuable position, but it certainly isn't a priority.

And in either scenario, the cost is too much. When tanking, much like the Astros, the point is to pay as little money as possible to a bunch of players who shouldn't be in the lineup. We've got the bad player part down, but he's making too much money. If the plan is to win now, well, a backup outfielder should not be making this much money.

Overall, this move is pretty confusing due to the amount of money that he's making, and it makes it even harder to tell what the goal of this season is for the Mets.

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