Chris Young told the Nationals he planned to opt out of his minor-league contract if they didn’t add him to the MLB roster and today the two sides officially parted ways, as Washington released the veteran right-hander.
Washington has one of the best, deepest rotations in baseball, so it was never a particularly great fit for a 34-year-old starter trying to win a job during spring training. He should be able to help quite a few other teams as a back-of-the-rotation addition, although given his injury history and mid-80s velocity it may be on another minor-league contract.
Young started 20 games for the Mets last season, throwing 115 innings with a 4.15 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio.
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.