11:30 AM: Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke to a Mets official who said “no” when asked if the Mets were contemplating cutting Chris Young. That same official called any speculation about Young being cut “wrong.”
Juan Lagares, just about done rehabbing his strained intercostal, is expected to be activated on Thursday. When Lagares is activated, the Mets may do something most felt they’d be hesitant to do this soon: cut the badly struggling Chris Young.
Young, 30, hit .200/.280/.379 for the Athletics last year, but the Mets felt that a freakishly low BABIP was partly to blame for Young’s poor overall numbers.
They signed him early in the offseason expecting him to rebound, but Young has struggled again – hitting .201/.284/.313, with four home runs and 17 RBI.
Additionally, Young, who had the reputation of being a plus defender, has played mostly poor defense in the outfield.
As Adam Rubin wrote in his report, Young’s days with the Mets “are numbered,” and the club is serious about making a move sooner rather than later. Cutting Young would mean the Mets eating the remainder of his $7.25 million salary, which the club is comfortable with.
If the Mets opt to keep Young beyond Thursday, the players most likely to lose his roster spot when Lagares returns in Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Most felt that the Mets wouldn’t cut Young this quickly, but his poor play – on both sides of the ball – certainly merits it.
In past seasons, the Mets would allow more rope, but there are a few factors that may lead the Mets to give up on Young.
The first, is that upon Lagares’ return, Young would most likely become a bit player. Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares will play nearly every day, and both Bobby Abreu, Eric Young, Jr., and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are all much more deserving of playing time than Chris Young.
The second, is the fact that Young was only signed for 2014. Cutting him won’t lead to a sunk cost for the Mets in 2015 and beyond.
Cutting Young this early would be a bit of a departure for the Mets, but it would also be a sign that the club is serious about performance being the deciding factor.