SATURDAY: Young’s incentives begin at five games started and 30 innings pitched, and they can max out at approximately 30 starts and 120 innings, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (Twitter link).
FRIDAY, 8:58pm: Young can earn a $1MM base salary if he makes the team, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The deal also includes as much as $6MM in potential incentives, with games started and innings pitched providing the standard.
6:50pm: The Padres are adding another former starter on a minors deal after striking agreement with Chris Young, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). The 38-year-old will join a Spring Training rotation battle that now also includes Tyson Ross.
Young, 38, opened the 2017 campaign with the Royals but was released in late June. He has rested up since, with reports indicating that he intended to ramp back up for another attempt at what would be his 14th MLB campaign.
At this point, it’s difficult to expect much out of Young, who stumbled to a 6.52 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 118 2/3 frames in the majors since the start of 2016. Interestingly, that slippage has occurred even with Young sporting a swinging-strike rate of over 11% — levels he had maintained over a full season only once in his career — by drastically increasing his slider usage. Then again, he has also been touched for 2.7 home runs per nine over the past two seasons.
Perhaps, though, Young can still find a way to be effective, particularly after a lengthy layoff. Before boosting his whiff rate, he had actually managed two consecutive seasons with excellent results. In 288 1/3 frames between 2014 and 2015, he worked to a 3.40 ERA. And he has continued to post above-average infield fly rates even as the other tinkering has left him prone to the long ball.