The Nationals aren’t in on Chris Young

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Buster Olney of wrote earlier this week that the Nationals “may be in play” for free agent right-hander Chris Young, but a baseball source told Bill Ladson of today that the report was untrue.

This would seem to leave the Mets as the most logical destination, as the two sides have been connected in rumors countless times since the Winter Meetings.

To that end, Mets assistant general manager J.P. Ricciardi told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York today that Young “could be a nice fit” for the club. Though the Mets have repeatedly denied making an offer, Marchand writes that there is “strong interest” from both sides and that the 6-foot-10 right-hander “figures to sign soon.”

Young, 31, has been limited to just 36 starts over the past three seasons due to a series of injuries, including shoulder surgery in August of 2009. He posted an 0.90 ERA and 15/11 K/BB ratio over four starts down the stretch with the Padres last season, though he averaged just 84.7 mph on his fastball.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.