The New York Mets have gotten involved with the free agent market, signing former Diamondbacks and Athletics outfielder Chris Young to a one-year deal worth $7.25 million.
When you see $7.25 million, the phrase "buy low" doesn't seem like it will apply. But that salary at one year is less than what Young made in 2013 with the Athletics ($8.5 million), and much less than the $11 million option for 2014 that the A's declined on Young. In 2012 with the Diamondbacks, Young made $7 million and hit .231/.311/.434 with 14 homers and eight stolen bases in 101 games.
Even in 2013 when Young was terrible for the A's, he still managed to hit 12 homers, steal ten bases, and walk at a near double digit clip in 107 games. Playing at O.co Coliseum likely had a negative impact on both Young's offense and defense. His OPS was a good 100 points higher on the road than at home, and his defensive metrics in center field also took a step back in the cavernous Coliseum. He also missed time in May with a strained quad, an injury that also plagued him in September of 2012 with Arizona.
At worst, Young will be a nice lefty-masher for the Mets. For his career, Young is hitting .262/.363/.474 against southpaws compared to just .225/.295/.415 against right-handers. Considering how much Lucas Duda struggles against lefties, it looks like the Mets finally have a caddy for him in the outfield. A platoon of Young and Duda could increase the value of both players, and adding Young to an outfield that includes Eric Young Jr (who might also get some time at second base) and Juan Lagares could end up being one of the better defensive outfields in baseball as well.