Eric Young, Jr. likely to be non-tendered
The non-tender deadline is Tuesday at midnight, and it appears that the Mets are preparing to cut Eric Young, Jr. loose. Writes Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
"Young would be projected to earn roughly $2.25 million through the arbitration process. According to sources, the Mets believe they can get comparable production from a fifth-outfielder type for a lower salary by either using a young player or by signing a free agent for a lower salary."
For the Mets in 2014, Young, who turns 30 this coming May, hit .229/.299/.311 in 316 plate appearances over 100 games.
Prior to 2014, there was some internal debate regarding who should get the bulk of the starts between Young and Juan Lagares, but that issue sorted itself out in April.
The Mets acquired Young from the Rockies in 2013 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh.
Simply put, Eric Young, Jr. is a player with one plus tool (speed) who can be easily replaced by a player already on the 40-man roster who will make a shred of what Young will earn this coming season.
With the Mets set to trot out a starting outfield of Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, and Michael Cuddyer, and in search of a right-handed outfield bat for the bench, that leaves one bench spot.
In Kirk Nieuwenhuis (who is out of options) and Matt den Dekker, the Mets have two players who are younger, less expensive, have more pop, and play a much better brand of defense than Young.
If Young got on base at a better clip, perhaps the club would keep him around in order to have him play and lead off in games when Michael Cuddyer plays first base and an extra outfielder is needed. However, with Young’s struggles reaching base and his almost non-existent home run potential, going with either Nieuwenhuis or den Dekker over him is an easy – and logical – choice.