Mets ink righty Young to Minor League deal
Right-hander 10 months removed from similar surgery to Santana
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Mets' best pitcher last April is back in the organization. The club has signed right-hander Chris Young to a Minor League contract, the club announced Monday.
Young, 32, is attempting a comeback from right anterior shoulder capsule surgery, the same type of operation that currently has Johan Santana, who underwent the procedure in September 2010, on the comeback trail. Before re-tearing his shoulder capsule last May, Young was 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts for the Mets.
Currently in New York to undergo an orthopedic physical examination, Young will fly to Florida late Tuesday or early Wednesday, at which point he will throw in front of Mets officials.
"Right now, we don't have an expectation," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said, "other than the general one that he'll be able to pitch at some point. Until he's seen by the doctor, and we actually see him throw, we really can't make an estimate as to when he might be ready."
Young was reportedly seeking a Major League deal this winter, though teams were wary of his injury history and daunting rehabilitation. Considering that Nationals starter Chien-Ming Wang needed two full years to return from capsule surgery, and that Santana is only now returning to action after 18 months, Young is hardly guaranteed to pitch this season. Currently 10 months removed from his own surgery, the right-hander has been throwing off a mound at his home in California.
"I think that he wanted to wait to make a decision until he had progressed to a certain point, at least in his mind," Alderson said. "He got to this stage, and he felt he was ready to go in a more structured environment, so we'll see what happens."
Battling a host of shoulder injuries prior to his most recent operation, Young has pitched just 120 Major League innings over the past three seasons. He last pitched a full season five years ago, when he went 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA in 30 starts for the Padres.
"Chris was a real positive for us in Spring Training last year," Alderson said. "He pitched well for us early in the year. Unfortunately, he reinjured his shoulder. We'd like to see him get back to the point where he was with us early last year, and go from there. He's been an All-Star, a quality guy to have on a team."