The Angels have signed outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, major league contract, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports (Twitter links). The deal comes with a $2MM base salary plus incentives for the CAA Sports client.
The 34-year-old Young brings experience at all three outfield spots and has been a plus defender in his career (19 Defensive Runs Saved, 8.5 Ultimate Zone Rating). He hasn’t seen much action lately in center field, though, and that’ll be the case again this year if Mike Trout stays healthy. Playing time could be hard to come by in the corners, too, given that the Angels also feature established starters in left field (Justin Upton) and right field (Kole Calhoun). Young logged 363 innings in the corners with the Red Sox in 2017 and accounted for minus-4 DRS and a minus-3.4 UZR.
Young is known more for his work on the offensive side, where he has produced a .237/.316/.430 line with 185 home runs and 140 stolen bases across 5,188 plate appearances with several teams. Given that the righty-swinging Young has become a southpaw-hitting platoon player as his career has progressed, the former 30-home run hasn’t racked up great counting stats in recent years. However, he tends to make his playing time count, evidenced by a .262/.361/.466 slash in 1,366 PAs versus left-handers. Young was uncharacteristically poor against lefties last year, though, en route to a .235/.322/.387 overall line and a minus-0.2 fWAR in 276 trips to the plate.
The Angels are obviously betting on a bounce-back showing from Young, who was a terrific bench option for the Yankees in 2015 and the Red Sox in ’16. If he returns to his lefty-mashing ways in 2018, it’d be a boon for an Angels offense that scuffled versus southpaws last season (.240/.332/.356).