The Mets sign Chris Young

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They were “closing in on a deal” late yesterday afternoon, but now the deal is reportedly done: Chris Young has agreed to a deal with the Mets. The deal is pending a physical, which is pretty key here given Young’s shoulder troubles last season.

Young is worth a gamble as long as he’s not pricey, which he shouldn’t be. If he pitches well he could hang around and solidify the rotation. Or he could be dealt at the deadline for some foundational pieces. No real downside here. And then there’s this from Adam Rubin’s column yesterday:

The 6-foot-10 Young played basketball and baseball at Princeton. Capuano was Phi Beta Kappa at Duke. Dickey was an English major at the University of Tennessee and is extremely well-read. Left-handed reliever Taylor Tankersley is also known as an intellectual, and his father is a nuclear physicist.

How much you want to bet that if the Mets start the season out poorly the talk radio and tabloid guys go on a big anti-intellectualism kick?  I bet they have interns combing Bill Plaschke’s old anti-Paul DePodesta columns for material as we speak. I just hope that they update the slide rule references to graphing calculators or something. You know, to keep it fresh.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.