KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- After pitching four quality innings in a 6-4 loss to the Astros on Monday night, Nationals right-hander Chris Young announced that he filed the paperwork to opt out of his Minor League contract, which would make him a free agent.
The Nationals have 24 hours to let him know if he is going to make the 25-man roster. The Nationals' rotation is set, and the club and Young have not talked about working out of the bullpen as a long man.
"I'm realistic that the roster is full. I understand they talked about trying to work something out to where I can stay. We are not there right now," Young said. "There is interest from other clubs. I just have to weigh all the options and see what's best for me, my family and career."
Young signed a Minor League deal with the Nationals on Feb. 26 and allowed four runs in 16 innings. Manager Davey Johnson said he took Young out of the game after four innings on Monday because he wanted to see other pitchers like Henry Rodriguez and Craig Stammen. Young didn't have a problem with Johnson's decision.
"He had a great spring for us," Johnson said. "I'm sure he will probably get a job somewhere. The ball is in his court,"
Young reiterated that he loved his brief time with the Nationals.
"This has been just a terrific Spring Training, being around a great group of baseball people," Young said. "There's nothing negative I can say about this place except maybe they have 15 pitchers deep. But aside from that, I would like to work something out, but if not, I understand the circumstances. They have five great starters. I realize there is no spot at this point."
Young is on his way back to Viera, Fla. By Tuesday, he should know which team will acquire his services. If he stays with the Nationals, Young feels he could provide insurance and pitching depth to the club.
"I can help out a Major League team, but I'd also love to help out the Washington Nationals whenever and however that may be," Young said.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less