Nats sign right-hander Chris Young to minor league deal

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals have added some starting pitching depth to their organization, agreeing to terms with veteran right-hander Chris Young on a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training.

Young, 33, has spent the last two seasons with the Mets, but has also seen time with the Rangers and Padres. The 6-foot-10 righty made the All-Star team with San Diego in 2007.

Coming off 2011 shoulder surgery, Young went 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA in 20 starts for the Mets last season. He posted a 2.73 ERA in five September starts.

Young got three starts against the Nationals last season, and put up a 3.00 ERA over 18 innings.

Young isn’t the pitcher he once was, and his velocity has dropped significantly. His average fastball last season was 84.6 mph, according to Fangraphs.

Still, Young is a crafty veteran who could provide depth behind the Nationals’ starting five of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and Dan Haren.

One of the Nationals’ other options to provide rotation depth, Christian Garcia, has been battling forearm/wrist tightness the last couple days.

Over his career, Young is 53-43 with a 3.79 ERA in 159 career starts.

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