The New York Mets made a move to bolster their questionable outfield on Friday, as they agreed to terms with free agent Chris B. Young, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Not to be confused with former Mets pitcher Chris R. Young, who signed a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals this offseason, Young is an eight-year veteran known for his combination of power at the plate and speed on the bases.

He was a part-time player for the Oakland Athletics this past season who contributed a .200 batting average, 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 335 at-bats. He spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Young’s tenure with the D-Backs was a roller-coaster ride as he experienced wild swings in play. At times he looked like he could be an elite player, as evidenced by his first and only All-Star nod in 2010. When the home runs and stolen bases weren’t coming, though, he was often a liability.

The 30-year-old native of Houston, Texas is capable of playing all three outfield positions, and he should serve as a fantastic fourth outfielder, if nothing else. 

Although the Mets will pay him $7.25 million in 2013, that doesn’t guarantee that manager Terry Collins will give him regular playing time. Youngsters such as Matt den Dekker, Juan Lagares and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are champing at the bit to earn a spot in the lineup, while holdovers like Eric Young and Lucas Duda will factor in as well.

Young has twice clubbed 27 or more homers in a season, and he has stolen 22 or more bags in a year three times. His biggest issue is an inability to get on base regularly. He set career highs in batting average (.257) and on-base percentage (.341) in 2010, but he hasn’t approached those numbers since.

The spacious Citi Field likely won’t help Young restore his power numbers in 2013, but there is no question that he adds some depth to what promises to be a muddled outfield situation.


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