The Boston Red Sox have had outfielder Chris Young on their radar since free agency started, and according to published reports, they’ve gotten their man.
According to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, Young and the Red Sox have reached an agreement on a multi-year contract, pending a physical examination.
Team president Dave Dombrowski had said that Boston would be looking to add an outfielder in free agency, and it has been widely reported for the last three weeks that they were in discussions with Young. The 32-year-old hit .252/.320/.453 in 140 games last season for the Yankees, and can play all three outfield positions.
Mookie Betts, who posted an .820 OPS as a 22-year-old, is locked into one of Boston’s three outfield spots, but Young now joins Rusney Castillo and Jackie Bradley in a battle for the other two. Castillo didn’t hit last year as a 27-year-old rookie, posting a .647 OPS, but it isn’t likely that he will be headed to the bench. The Red Sox still owe him $60.4 million over the next five years, thanks to the giant deal he signed after defecting from Cuba.
Bradley, though, out-hit both Young and Castillo last year, and put up 2.2 WAR in just 74 games. That’s a great deal of value for a player who won’t even hit arbitration until 2017, and for a player that will still be 25 on Opening Day, it makes him very attractive as trade bait. Boston needs pitching, and with All-Star utility man Brock Holt also a capable outfielder, they certainly have the depth to make a move.
That, though, would probably be a move that Dombrowski would make near the trading deadline, once Castillo has shown he can hit at the major-league level. Until then, with Betts, Bradley, Young and Castillo all able to play multiple outfield positions, it is likely that all four will get significant playing time.