Mets Non-tender Eric Young, Jr.
This is not huge news, and not entirely unexpected. Young made $1.85M last year and was expected to “earn” a raise to around $2.25M after hitting .229 with one homer, 17 RBI, 30 steals in 36 attempts and a .299 on-base percentage in 100 games and 316 plate appearances.
On the one hand, Young has great speed and an ability to steal bases, almost at will. On the other hand, he didn’t have any other significant offensive skill, and despite the folly of the Mets’ PR machine pushing him for a Gold Glove in 2013, his defense in the outfield is average at best, and maybe below average considering his weak arm. Terry Collins will miss him, Eric Young, Sr. will miss the easy ride from New Brunswick to see his son play in Flushing, and maybe a handful of fans will miss him. But in the end, it’s probably best for both the Mets and Eric Young, Jr. to part ways — there simply wasn’t a job available for him to win in 2015.
Instead, and unless a trade is made prior to Opening Day involving them, some combination of Matt den Dekker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Eric Campbell, Cesar Puello, Alex Castellanos, and perhaps a few other minor leaguers and/or non-roster invites will back up the projected starting outfield of Juan Lagares, Curtis Granderson, and Michael Cuddyer. Who knows, maybe Kevin Plawecki, Cory Vaughn, or Brandon Allen will be in the mix. Maybe Puello will also be non-tendered before tonight’s midnight deadline (if you’re curious, per Mets.com, Ruben Tejada WAS tendered a contract). All we know is that the Eric Young, Jr., Era appears to be over. I wish him luck and hope he finds a job somewhere in baseball, as he played with plenty of energy and enthusiasm, played hard, was a good guy, and by all accounts, appeared to work hard, had a great attitude, was a team player, and seemed to be a good teammate. He just didn’t show enough talent with the bat to vie for a spot on the 2015 Mets.
What’s your thought? Did Eric Young, Jr., have a role to fill on the 2015 Mets? Post your notes in the comments.