Today, the Washington Nationals announced that they signed right-handed
giant pitcher Chris Young to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Young is a serviceable veteran that the Nationals have been trying to attract all winter and now with job offers at a premium, Young decided to sign with the Nationals. Not to discount Young wanting to come to Washington as his roots with the area – he went to Princeton, and his the son-in-law of the president of the Washington Capitals- are well documented.
Young is now the defacto sixth starter in the organization, slotting behind Ross Detwiler and ahead of the group of Christian Garcia, Ross Ohlendorf, Zach Duke and Yunesky Maya. Young, with his Major League experience may have an out clause that says he must make the major league roster by a certain date or be granted his release, but his injury history may mean that he’s willing to stick it out and stay in professional baseball even if it is in Syracuse.
Young has value to this Nationals team because lets face it. Should injuries hit, contending teams don’t trot out guys like Ohlendorf or Maya. The fact that Washington has Young as well as the possibility of Garcia or Duke ahead of those guys gives Washington enough starting depth that they can get by in the case of short term injuries to their current rotation and if they need long-term replacements, then they can start looking outside the organization.