FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was the first to report that the Boston Red Sox have signed outfielder Chris Young to a multi-year contract. Young last played for the New York Yankees last year after playing a majority of his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It is expected that the veteran Young will provide depth at the outfield position. The Red Sox had some success late last season with a youthful outfield alignment of Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley, Jr.
The Red Sox are hoping to learn from their mistakes, however. In 2014, the Red Sox handed the center field job to unproven youngster Jackie Bradley, Jr. following Jacoby Ellsbury’s departure in free agency. They never thought of investing in a viable insurance policy. Just prior to spring training, they did sign oft-injured veteran Grady Sizemore. Sizemore hadn’t played in the majors in over two years at the time of the signing. Bradley struggled and Sizemore was released after a few months.
While some skeptics are viewing the Young signing as an indication of the Red Sox willingness to deal one of their youthful outfielders, it is easy to see this signing as simply a way of the team covering their bases. Once a promising five-tool prospect, Young is merely a platoon player at this point. Last year with the Yankees, the right-handed hitting Young hit .182 with a .585 OPS against righties. He hit .327 against lefties with a .972 OPS. Those numbers are in line with his career splits (.224/.704 vs RHPs, .263/.837 vs LHPs).
Young once stole 28 bases in a season (in 2010 when he was an All-Star with Arizona). Those days are long gone. Young was released by the offensive-starved Mets in 2014 before latching on with the Yankees.