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.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.