Under the terms of his current deal, Young could choose to opt out of his contract with the Nats today and search for a big league deal on the free agent market, but instead, he’s planning on making his scheduled start with the team tomorrow in Kissimmee against the Astros.
“I’m going to pitch tomorrow and then we’ll evaluate at that point,” Young said.
The Nationals had until today to put Young on their 25-man roster, which they won’t do. At that point, the ball got put in Young’s court. He won’t be making the Nats’ opening day roster barring an injury to one of the team’s five starters, leaving him ticketed for Triple-A Syracuse should he decide to remain in the organization.
Young said he’s thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Nats and raved about the way the organization has dealt with his situation, saying, “there’s not a bad thing I can say about this place.”
But while the Nationals provide an opportunity to be a part of an organization with a legitimate shot at postseason success, Young clearly has his eyes set on a big league deal. That’s his priority.
“Syracuse doesn’t play in the World Series,” he said simply.
Young said he’s leaving the negotiation process to his agent, Jon Fetterolf, but did say that he’s heard there are other teams interested in his services. The question is if that interest includes the possibility of any major league deals.
“There’s interest, yeah, absolutely,” Young said. “I’m not going to get into the details of it, but there’s opportunities. I’m just trying to decide what is the best fit a lot of ways.”
The Nats would love for Young to remain in the organization, and manager Davey Johnson acknowledged that Young would be his top option to slide into the rotation if there was an injury. General manager Mike Rizzo indicated the Nats could re-negotiate Young’s contract to include a later opt-out, but all they can do now is wait and see how Young wants to play things.
“He can postpone (the opt-out), we can put a different opt-out date if we want to, there’s a lot of different options,” Rizzo said. “He’s in control of it.”
Young has made three Grapefruit League starts with the Nats, posting a 3.00 ERA and seven strikeouts in 12 innings.