Buster Olney of ESPN.com 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 MLB.com 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.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.