Young, Yankees proving mutually good fit

Young, Yankees proving mutually good fit

ST. PETERSBURG -- Part of the appeal for Chris Young in last season's borough switch was that he was able to keep the same apartment, commuting to Yankee Stadium instead of Citi Field. The veteran outfielder has discovered that he is much more at home wearing pinstripes.

Young has picked up in 2015 where he left off last season, continuing to provide a power boost off the bench. Since joining the Yanks last September, 17 of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases -- including his third career grand slam in Saturday's 9-0 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

"It's been great. I love it here," Young said. "This team received me well. The clubhouse is amazing. The coaching staff is amazing. I've gotten an opportunity here, so I'm really grateful for that."

Young had a rough time with the Mets after signing a $7.25 million deal, batting just .205 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 88 games before being designated for assignment in August. The Yanks signed the 31-year-old to a Minor League contract and called him up in September, when he was able to provide several big hits.

"This guy has had productive years, and he's always shown that he has a lot of power and has been a very good outfielder," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We've always talked about [how] New York sometimes can be a tough place to get used to and adjust to. Sometimes it takes some players some time.

"The way he's played for us, I'm a little bit surprised that's what happened [with the Mets], but he's been really good for us."

Young enjoyed that experience so thoroughly that he quickly re-signed in November, inking a $2.5 million deal that includes several levels of incentives based upon plate appearances. As a backup at all three outfield spots, there is a good opportunity for Young to achieve those, especially if he swings the bat like he did on Saturday.

"Man, you're just trying to have a good at-bat," Young said. "A grand slam is great, but it's not what's in your mind when you're at the plate, especially the way my at-bats started. I had a couple of bad swings on sliders in the dirt, so I was just trying to grind, battle, try to work a walk, a base hit. He happened to leave one up on me."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.