SUNDAY: The Yankees have officially announced the deal. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets Young can earn $6.325MM if he achieves all of his incentives.
SATURDAY: Pending a physical, the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $2.5MM deal with free agent outfielder Chris Young, tweets Sweeny Murti of WFAN. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish was the first to report the contract length, while Buster Olney of ESPN (Twitter) was the first with the value. The contract also contains incentives which are unknown at this time. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (also Twitter), the offer was originally extended by the Yankees nearly a month ago. Per Nightengale, he could earn nearly $5MM if he’s a regular in the lineup.
As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd wrote yesterday, Young struggled with the Mets to the tune of .205/.283/.346 over 287 plate appearances. After latching on with the Yankees, Young improved his production with a .282/.354/.521 in only 79 plate appearances. Beyond noting the small sample performance, Young’s time in the Bronx carries several warning signs related to his batted ball profile and swinging strike rate. It would be hasty to suggest he made lasting improvements with the Yankees.
It is presumed Young will serve in a backup capacity behind Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Carlos Beltran. That trio has quite the injury history, so it is possible he’ll see frequent action. The 31-year-old’s last successful season was in 2012 when he posted a .231/.311/.434 line with 10 UZR. Since then, he’s posted 0.4 WAR in two consecutive seasons, marking him as slightly better than replacement level.
Pending further moves, the right-handed Young can probably expect to see time against tough lefty pitchers since both Ellsbury and Gardner bat left-handed. Beltran could also spend considerable time as the designated hitter, especially if Alex Rodriguez is unable to contribute.