The Boston Red Sox today agreed with outfielder Chris Young on a two-year contract through the 2017 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Roman Mendez was designated for assignment.
President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski made the announcement.
A 2010 National League All-Star with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Young, 32, is one of only 16 major leaguers to hit at least 10 home runs in each of the last nine seasons (2007-15). The right-handed batter played in 140 games (77 starts) with the New York Yankees in 2015, hitting .252 (80-for-318) and slugging .453 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 53 runs scored, and 42 RBI. Young recorded four assists and a .994 fielding percentage, committing only one error in 171 total chances while making 46 starts in left field, 22 in right field, and nine in center field.
Young hit seven home runs against left-handed pitchers and seven versus right-handers in 2015. Among qualified American League batters, he ranked sixth against southpaws in slugging percentage (.575) and ninth in batting average (.327, 50-for-153) and on-base percentage (.397). His .972 OPS against lefties ranked 10th in the majors and was his highest single-season mark since 2006. For his career, Young has hit .263 (314-for-1,192) and slugged .475 with a .363 on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers.
Originally signed by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round of the 2001 June Draft, Young has played in 10 major league seasons with the Diamondbacks (2006-12), A's (2013), Mets (2014), and Yankees (2014-15), posting a career .235 batting average (977-for-4,151) and .429 slugging percentage with 256 doubles, 21 triples, 169 home runs, 528 RBI, 592 runs scored, and 133 stolen bases in 175 attempts (76 percent). He has recorded a career .990 fielding percentage with 45 assists and 17 double plays, making 895 starts in center field, 117 in left field, and 48 in right field.
A native of Houston, Texas, Young has appeared in 21 games at Fenway Park, where he has hit .344 (21-for-61) with eight doubles, three home runs, and a 1.054 OPS. In his career at the venue, he has made nine appearances in right field, seven in left field, and seven in center field.
In 13 career postseason games with the Diamondbacks (2007, 2011) and Yankees (2015), Young has hit .311 (14-for-45) with five home runs, 10 walks, a .446 on-base percentage, and .689 slugging percentage. He started in left field for the Yankees in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game, going 0-for-2 with a walk.
Mendez, 25, combined with the Texas Rangers and Red Sox in 2015 to go 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA (8 ER/13.2 IP) in 15 appearances, all in relief. The right-hander made his first career Opening Day roster with the Rangers and pitched in 12 major league games before being claimed off waivers by the Red Sox on September 11. Mendez spent the majority of his 2015 season with Triple-A Round Rock, where he recorded five saves and posted a 2.78 ERA (11 ER/35.2 IP) in 30 relief appearances. For his career, the San Pedro, Dominican Republic native is 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA (16 ER/46.2 IP) in 45 major league outings, all in relief, and 28-21 with 13 saves and a 3.56 ERA (182 ER/460.1 IP) in 163 minor league games (73 starts).