Early Saturday, it was reported that the Yankees and Chris Young were "mutually interested" in the outfielder returning to the team next season, and they certainly didn't waste any time. According to Sweeny Murti, the Yankees have reached a deal to bring back Young for 2015, pending a physical. It's reportedly a one-year contract worth $2.5 million, plus incentives.
Young struggled for most of the season, and was ultimately released by the Mets after hitting just .205/.283/.346 with eight home runs through 88 games. The Yankees decided to sign him to a minor league deal in August, and it actually worked out really well for them. For whatever reason, he was fantastic after being called up in September. He hit .282/.354/.521 for the month, with three home runs. Those home runs were hit on three consecutive days, and one of them even gave the Yankees a walk-off win over Tampa Bay.
Considering the state of right field last season, this move makes a lot of sense. Carlos Beltran was tapped as the everyday right fielder, then ended up missing quite a bit of time to deal with bone spurs in his elbow. He eventually returned on the basis that he wasn't allowed to do any throwing. Beltran already underwent surgery to fix his elbow and it should be fine next season, but it probably would not be wise for the 38-year-old to be considered the everyday right fielder. Ichiro Suzuki also saw a lot of playing time in right last season, but his contract is up and it's very unlikely that he returns to the Yankees. Finally, the team traded for Martin Prado and he also spent a few games in right field. While he does have outfield experience, the majority of it has been in left field. Plus, as the roster currently stands, Prado looks like he'll be the starting second baseman unless Rob Refsnyder has an incredible spring training. Depending on what happens with Chase Headley, Prado may even need to back up third.
At the very least, Young makes a good fourth outfielder and could readily back up any of those three positions. He also has the added bonus of hitting right-handed, which helps to balance out the fact that fellow outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner both hit left-handed. If Young is able to swing the bat like he did in September, then this contact could be a steal.
Do you agree with the Yankees decision to bring back Chris Young and what do you think of the contract?