chris youngThe wait for pitching help was short one now that the Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign starter Chris Young to a one-year, major league deal with a base salary of $1.25 million and another $3.475 million available in performance based incentives. The move comes a day after the M’s officially cut Scott Baker and Randy Wolf from the team. Seattle was reportedly looking to acquire another pitcher yesterday, and Young is expected to fill the No.4 spot in the rotation to start the year.

Young, 34, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2012 when he started 20 games as a member of the New York Mets. His numbers were nothing special: 4.15 ERA, 4.50 FIP, and 5.36 xFIP, but he still managed to produce 0.9 fWAR in 115 innings. The right hander made four appearances for the Washington Nationals in Spring Training in which he pitched 10 1/3 innings and struck out nine batters before being cut by the club.

While Young has never been much of a power guy, there was concern when he was barely registering 80 miles per hour on his fastball a year ago. However, Jason A. Churchill reports that his velocity is has found a consistent home in the 85-86 range the last several years and even touched as high as 88 this spring.

Obviously Young carries plenty of risk and nobody’s quite ready to buy the “I haven’t felt this good in years” talk just yet, but there’s reasonable upside on the deal. As it stands the plan is to have him pitch out of the rotation until Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma are back to full health, and then use him out of the bullpen. Curiously, the plan with Wolf was similar had he stayed with the club, and the lefty was only going to get a $1 million guaranteed salary for the year.

As of now, the M’s rotation will start the year approximately as follows: Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, Young, and Roenis Elias. It was confirmed by manager Lloyd McLendon yesterday that Ramirez will start the year in the No. 2 spot after a solid performance this spring.

In 159 career starts, Young has managed a 3.79 ERA and a 4.26 FIP so he’s a perfectly capable starter as long as he’s healthy. The 6’10” hurler has been a member of the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres organizations previously.

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    That’s a sorry and extremely weak excuse. The whole point is the M’s never improved the pitching staff while they had plenty of opportunity. JZ even said during the off season the M’s needed another quality starter. Come on Wolf/Baker/Young are window dressing that one can only hope will provide at least league average performance to say nothing about being healthy enough to pitch. The M’s continue to wallow in the mud and the fans suffer – year after year. Cano is a pretty flower on the old table. The M’s really didn’t improve much this offseason. Cano plus Hart minus Morales. Woo hoo. Maybe being duped doesn’t bother you, but I find it offensive.

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    Ripperlv, you have any better moves with what’s left out there? No? Enough said.

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    I’m okay with this deal. It’s a little expensive but Young sounds like he has at least a little but of upside. Wolf had zero. I’d much rather have Young out there. If he had made the Nationals team, he would have gotten 1.5 million guaranteed with up to an additional 4.5 million in incentives. He signed that before he even had a good spring and proved to people that his surgery was a success. So I guess the contract with us wasn’t too bad.

    The Washington Post said Young was touching 88 this spring. That could mean a lot of things. I wouldn’t go into this year expecting him to average 87 or 88 like he was back in 2007 but I think this means he’s back to the 85 mph average he had the last 3 or 4 years. I’m expecting the Mets version from 2012. Not good but adequate and worth the money.

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    LOL! The M’s lose two broken down pitchers rescued from the Red Cross because they wouldn’t part with a $100,000. Now they sign another walking wounded for a guaranteed contract. Impressive maneuver there front office. JZ just doesn’t quit with his wishing well signings. Next joke please.

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    Good move for Seattle, hopefully he can hold up for a month or two until Walker and Iwakuma get healthy.

    BTW, two years from free agency and Detroit gives Cabrera 10/300??? The season hasn’t even started and the Cano deal doesn’t look so outrageous!

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    This beats Beaven or Noesi. Thank God!

    Now, here’s hoping E-Ram and Elias blow hitters away in April!!!

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