Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and Chris Young held a conference call this evening to officially announce that Young has signed with the team. Here's some of what they said to the team's beat reporters on the call.
- The Mets believe Young will regain his "all-star caliber performance" with regular playing time.
- Young is in a competition to play center field, but the Mets told him he could play elsewhere.
- Alderson sees Young batting between the 5th and 7th spots in the Mets' lineup.
- The Mets have reached out to teams about shortstops, but it's "conceivable" that Ruben Tejada could be the Opening Day shortstop.
- The opportunity to play center field helped Young choose to sign with the Mets.
- The Royals, Cubs, Giants, and Red Sox all reached out to him this offseason.
- David Wright spoke to Young multiple times and helped recruit him.
- Young is looking forward to hitting the ball into the outfield gaps at Citi Field.
Although Juan Lagares looked great in center field in 2013, it makes sense that the Mets are at least giving Young a chance to win the position. He's played there longer, and he's been a better hitter than Lagares was in his rookie campaign. Both players derive a lot of their value from their defensive ability, but Young has a track record of hitting for power in the big leagues and could put up a better year than Lagares in center.
Of course, there are two other outfield positions on a baseball team, and the Mets don't have obvious everyday players at either of them. That means Young and Lagares could both have starting roles next year.