It was thought Chris Young might not even pitch this season coming off serious shoulder surgery. Instead, he collected $350,000 in bonuses last night for reaching the 20 starts-110 innings milestone.
YOUNG: Where will he go? (AP)
That’s a lot of money for a supposedly cheap team out of contention to shell out the final week of the season. Other teams in similar situations have pulled the player so they wouldn’t have to pay the bonus.
Young, a free-agent this winter, logged 115 innings, his most since 2007, and there will be some contender in need of another arm that will be interested. There’s no shortage of teams that could use a reliable arm such as Young’s.
“All in all, there were some really good things,” Young said of his season last night after giving up two run in six innings in a very quality start. “It was a great year, to bounce back. … When I decided to have the surgery and rehab, I knew it would be a long process. I knew there would be some bumps in the road.
“But I really believed that if I dedicated myself to it that I could be a very competitive and successful major league pitcher. My record might not show it, but I feel like I proved that.”
Some team will be impressed, but what about the Mets?
Young is close to GM Sandy Alderson from their days in San Diego, so that could work in his favor, however, you really expect him at this stage of his career to explore all his options. Young outpitched his 4-9 record (4.19 ERA) and often fell victim to bullpen breakdowns and a lack of run support.
Young had the same surgery as Johan Santana, but the latter took substantially longer to recover. Coming off surgery, Young is more suited for the regular routine of a starter rather than the unpredictable, up-and-down regime of a long reliever, which at this time is apparently the most the Mets can offer.
Their projected rotation next year has Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee, along with Zack Wheeler, Collin McHugh and Jeremy Hefner in possible reserve. However, Santana has broke down several times since signing with the Mets, so why, another year older, should we expect anything different next season?
Gee is also coming off an injury, while Harvey, Wheeler, McHugh and Hefner are unproven over a full season on this level. Sometime next season, you know they’ll need a veteran stop-gap.
TODAY’S GAME: Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 4.91 ERA) goes against Kris Medlen (9-1, 1.64) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday.