When 33-year-old, nine-year veteran Chris Young signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals in late February, the right-hander, who said he was finally healthy two years after surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, had a clause in the deal that allowed him to opt out after March 24th if it looked like he wasn't going to make the Nats' Opening Day roster. The possibility of Young doing so was a longshot from the start, and after his fourth Grapefruit League outing tonight, with the rotation seemingly set and a role in the bullpen not something that's been discussed, Young opted out of the deal, telling reporters he had interest from other teams around the league.
Young spoke to reporters after a 4.0 inning outing against the Houston Astros in which he gave up two hits, a walk and one unearned run while throwing 62 pitches overall. In 16.0 innings this Spring, Young's now allowed 11 hits and seven walks while striking out nine and allowing five runs, four earned. Young told reporters his agent had discussed a deal that would keep him in the Nationals' organization, and as CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman wrote on Twitter tonight, there is still time for the Nats to add him to their roster, though it's unlikely:
Chris Young has filed paperwork to opt out, but #Nats have 24 hours to put him on roster. Hopeful they might work something out.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) March 26, 2013
Barring any injuries, setbacks or hiccups before Opening Day, the defending NL East Champs from the nation's capital are set to start the 2013 campaign with Stephen Strasburg pitching on Opening Day and Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler filling out the rotation. No word tonight on which other teams might be interested in the veteran starter.