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Chris Young takes a job under Joe Torre in the league office

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Chris Young — the pitcher — was released by the Padres at the end of spring training. That looked like the end of the baseball line for the 38-year-old. And it was, but only on the playing side. He just took a job in the league office.

Major League Baseball just announced that it has appointed Young as Vice President, On-Field Operations, Initiatives & Strategy.  Young will work under MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre and will report directly to Senior Vice President, On-Field Operations Peter Woodfork, this Monday.

Per the league’s news release, Young will work with MLB’s Baseball Operations and Umpiring Operations Departments on issues affecting play on the field, including the application of playing rules and regulations, on-field standards and discipline, pace of play and other special projects.  Among his duties: ensuring that ballpark and field alterations meet MLB standards; working on MLB’s pace of play and game presentation initiatives; advising on on-field disciplinary issues; assisting with negotiations with umpires, players and Minor League Baseball; participating in issues regarding player safety, on-field equipment and wearable technology; and having a role in official scoring reviews submitted to MLB.

In the short term, this announcement means that Young’s 13-year playing career is over. He finishes it with a record of 79-67, a 3.95 ERA (103 ERA+) and a K/BB ratio of 1,062/502 in 1,297.2 innings across 271 games, 221 of which were starts. He appeared with the Padres, Royals, Mets, Rangers and Mariners.

As far as the longer-term implications, Young, a Princeton graduate, is getting involved in league operations at a relatively young age as far as these things go, in what sounds like a more substantive job that a lot of ex-players land. If he finds this work to his liking, he could be a pretty important figure in the game someday.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.