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Mariners sign RHP Chris Young to fill rotation spot

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on March 27, 2014 at 9:52 am with 10 Comments »
March 27, 2014 9:52 am

PEORIA, Ariz. — Former All-Star Chris Young is the latest injury-reclamation candidate to get a look at filling the final opening in the Mariners’ rotation.

The club reached an agreement Thursday on a one-year deal with Young, a right-hander who missed much of last year while recovering from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, an ailment that affects the shoulder.

The Mariners cleared space on their 40-man roster by designating left-handed reliever Bobby LaFromboise for assignment.

Young, 34, opted out of a minor-league contract earlier this week with the Washington Nationals when informed he would not make their 25-man roster.

He made four spring appearances for the Nationals, including two starts. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 10 1/3 innings while striking out nine and walking four.

The Mariners released two other veteran pitchers earlier this week, Scott Baker and Randy Wolf, who were attempting to win a spot in the rotation after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery.

Baker sought his release when asked to accept an assignment to Triple-A Tacoma; Wolf was in line for the fifth spot in the rotation, but he was released after he declined to sign a 45-day probationary clause.

That left right-handers Blake Beavan and Hector Noesi as the top candidates for the final spot in the rotation. That job now, presumably, will go to Young.

Manager Lloyd McClendon has only confirmed two starters for his rotation: Felix Hernandez and Erasmo Ramirez. But the work schedule suggests rookies James Paxton and Roenis Elias will fill the next two spots.

The Mariners also anticipate All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma and right-hander Taijuan Walker, the organization’s top prospect, should be ready to rejoin the rotation by mid-to-late April.

Iwakuma began playing catch earlier this week in his recovery from a strained tendon in his middle finger, while Walker has made two minor-league starts in his recovery from bursitis in his shoulder.

Right-hander Brandon Maurer, another rotation candidate, is on a similar timetable in his recovery from a soreness in his lower back.

The Mariners had 10 days to reach a resolution — trade, release, etc. — on LaFromboise a 27-year-old who made his big-league debut last season by compiling a 5.91 ERA in 10 2/3 innings over 10 appearances.

LaFromboise was 6-0 with a 3.39 ERA in 45 games last season at Tacoma.

Young is a nine-year veteran who went 53-43 with a 3.79 ERA in 159 starts from 2004-12 with Rangers, Padres and Mets. He was picked to the All-Star team in 2007 while with the Padres.

All indications suggest Young is pain free from his surgery, which took place last June after he made seven minor-league starts in the Nationals’ system.

Young signed a minor-league deal prior to last season with Washington after going 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA in 2012 with the Mets.


Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. jcollyer53 says:

    Young has a guaranteed contract, but any idea of the $? Curious because the Ms won’t eat the 750K or so they would have saved by cutting Wolf but he was having a way better Spring than Young (and I think is a better SP). I think this is a scramble move to cover that gaffe. This organization is great at making their fans feel doomed before April.

  2. 1.25 mil. They saved nothing. Only got a soft-tossing RH pitcher that didn’t pitch in the majors in 2013 as opposed to a LH one. And someone who hasn’t been with the team. Don’t think he’s any worse than Wolf if healthy though.

    Young actually had a better ERA this Spring than Wolf. Although in 9 fewer innings. Anyone’s guess who’s better right now. I’m just thankful to not have to watch Noesi suck it up out there.

  3. from Shannon Drayer at espn:

    “Young had been throwing in minor-league games this spring with the Nationals so the 10 1/3 innings that are listed in the spring stats are not his only innings. According to Zduriencik, he is up to 75 pitches and he expects him to get the start on Saturday against the Rockies.”

    “We had a history with him and liked what we saw,” Zduriencik said. “The velocity is coming back a bit and he is very deceptive. He’s a veteran guy, terrific person. His pedigree was important coming into this rotation.”

  4. Glad to hear that he had pitched more than 10 innings. Could be a good pickup if healthy. Eat innings and keep you in a game.

    Still a CYA move. And Cue Ball was lucky he became available.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    I’m ambivalent about the move…kind of like how I feel about how your mom disciplines you. (She loves my form of discipline though. Turn your TV up tonight so that you won’t be disturbed.)

  6. Palerydr says:

    Have to agree Mate, this looks like a CYA move. They really thought Wolf would sign the 45 day deal with the thought Walker and Iwakuma are coming back in the next month then release Wolf. I also agree with jcollier53 the M’s can make you feel theres no hope before a pitch is thrown.

    Mate in response to an earlier post, no I don’t think Beaven or Noesi are capable ML pitchers better than a 37 year old Wolf. It infuriates me that both seem capable of getting 2 strikes on hitters but then can’t put them away…Grrr. You(Mate) might like to look up Drayers blog quite a few pleasant, knowledgeable people over there and I mean that in a good way

  7. No reason to be down on this guy. Nationals have a solid pitching staff. If chris young was perhaps the sixth best starter on the nationals, he may very well be the third or fourth best here until our youngsters grow up.

  8. Quinault says:

    I was/am worried about pitching, but I thought that Wolf shown enough to make the team. He just wants to stick around for the whole season, when that may not be in the cards with the returning starters we have. Perhaps Wolf overestimated the value of being left handed. I certainly do not.

    This move smacks of the dumpster diving we have grown accustomed to over the years. He might get 3 starts and gets sent to Tacoma, if the optimistic time table for ‘Kuma or Walker is correct. Or per the pre-waiver (45 day try out period) he could be released. Baseball is a business. I am surprised that Wolf did not see that.

  9. Young didn’t sign any 45 day waiver. You CANNOT before you sign your initial contract. They owe him 1.25 mil regardless. They had no choice after Wolf walked.

  10. wabubba67 says:

    I’ll let you know when I’m in town. One time. After that, I’ll be sure to run into you.

    See you soon.

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