Mets Sign Chris Young, Release Minor Leaguers
According to ESPN-NY, the Mets have signed pitcher Chris Young to a minor league contract. Why? No one knows. Perhaps the recent Picard settlement has resulted in a sudden flush of cash that ownership couldn’t wait to spend, and Kelvim Escobar was out of the country.
As you know, Young underwent a similar surgery that Johan Santana experienced — repair of a torn anterior capsule in the pitching shoulder. The possibility of full recovery from such an operation is bleak, and usually takes a minimum of one year. Young had this procedure done last May; you do the math.
However, Young “feels good” and the Mets have money to burn now so what’s the harm in signing him to a minor-league, non-guaranteed deal, right? Better to have him taking up space on a AAA disabled list than hire an extra scout or two. And if the Mets didn’t roll the dice now, some other MLB team may have swooped in and stolen Young from right under their noses — and then who would the Mets have to pitch in four or five games at some point in late August or early September?
Young is due to fly to New York on Tuesday, where he will be examined by team doctor David Altchek, who performed the procedure last May 16. The GM expects Young will be in Port St. Lucie by Tuesday evening and report to work the following morning.
“At that point, or shortly thereafter, he’ll throw and we’ll see where he is,” said Alderson, who met with Young in late December in San Diego and remained in periodic contact. “Right now we don’t have an expectation other than a general one — that he’ll be able to pitch at some point. Until he’s seen by the doctor, and we actually see him throw, we really can’t make an estimate as to when he might be ready.
“He wanted to wait to make a decision until he had progressed to a certain point, at least in his mind. He got to this stage and felt he was ready to go in a more structured environment, so we’ll see what happens.”
See? The Mets are being very responsible about this signing — they’re going the extra mile and having Young’s shoulder examined (never mind that this is happening AFTER the ink is dry on the contract). This is a breath of fresh air coming from a team that has been struck with so much bad luck in regard to injuries over the past few years. Perhaps finally they’re learning a few things.
In other news, the Mets have released a bunch of minor leaguers: Tobi Stoner, Eric Niesen, Nicholas Carr, Roy Merritt, Chris Hilliard, Ronny Morla, Steve Winnick, Lucas Stewart and Chase Greene. This news isn’t exactly stunning, but it’s mildly interesting. At one point a few years ago, Merritt looked like he might have a shot to be a LOOGY; he reminded me of a “lefthanded Cecilio Guante.” He never progressed, however, from that peak. You may remember Stoner as the kid from Germany whose cockiness ticked off his Mets teammates. If nothing else, his was a missed opportunity for enormous jersey sales to the drug-taking crowd.
Nick Carr and Eric Niesen also jump out of that group; both were highly touted early in their pro careers but never quite made necessary progress. Niesen flat-out didn’t put up numbers, and he’s now 26 — too old for AA. Carr, though, is a different story; he pitched fairly well but had elbow issues that eventually required Tommy John surgery in June 2009. He appears to be fully recovered and still throws fairly hard — 93-94 MPH according to reports I’ve seen — but apparently he hasn’t progressed enough to warrant further investment of time and resources. After all, Carr turns 25 in mid-April, and the Mets need space for other oft-injured pitchers such as Chris Young.
So that’s the scoop for today — what’s your thought on these moves? Speak out in the comments.
The whole thing just continues to disgust me. And this is with the Brain Trust in place. Who knows? Maybe they have a plan, but I’d sure love to ask Sandy that question over a beer and get his honest response.
Keep up the great work, Joe!
Bottom line, how much (article didn’t say) and since he can’t pitch now anyways, are they not going to pick someone up in the five day window (didn’t say)? Till then, unlike say Jon Rauch which was about some real money that could have been used for someone else, this doesn’t really thrill me much.
Young’s rehap could be a case study for the Met’s medical team.
I understand your take and agree that the likelihood of Young contributing is remote, but let’s not confuse this with the Ollie Perez signing. As Jerseymet said, this deal is basically for him to rehab at the Met facilities, throw some minor league rehabs if and when he gets that far, and go from there. I don’t think they released anyone to provide him a spot, and they give up nothing. So long as he doesn’t block anyone with a potential future should he actually recover enough to pitch in the majors, it is a non-story.
Nick Carr, for example, is a similarly injury-riddled pitcher — except, he’s 25 years old and throws 95 MPH. To add Chris Young to the organization meant someone had to go. Maybe if they don’t sign Young, they keep Carr or one of the other youngsters. To me, looking at an organization that is going nowhere for at least 2-3 years, I’m more inclined to give a spot to a 25-year-old flamethrower with injury problems than a 35-year-old who has proven time and time again that he can’t remain healthy for more than 15-20 starts a season. But, that’s just me.