The St. Louis Cardinals are one of several teams reportedly interested in pitcher Chris young who on Monday opted out of his contract with the Washington Nationals.
Young, 33, is 53-43 with a 3.79 ERA in nine seasons. Last year he was 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA with the Mets after his return from shoulder surgery. He made a total of eight starts from 2010-11 because of health problems. He also missed a large chunk of the 2008 thanks to an incident that Redbirds fans might remember.
Albert Pujols lined a ball off of Young's face when he was with the San Diego Padres. Young, who walked off the field a bloody mess, was able to make only 18 starts that season. Fortunately, he recovered completely and seemed to have to adverse effects from the trauma.
Young is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA this spring with the Nationals. He's allowed nine hits in 12 innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. The Nationals wanted him to go the minors and continue to pitch while waiting for one of their top five starters to get hurt. But he wants to find a job in the big leagues.
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That's probably the reason he won't land with the Cardinals. I doubt the Birds would send Shelby Miller to the minors so that they could replace him on the big league roster with a borderline major league player. According to a story in the Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that may move to add Young to their major league mix.