KANSAS CITY -- One of the first offseason missions for Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff was to bring back right-hander Chris Young.
Young, 36, signed a two-year deal worth $11.5 million last week, a signing that helped solidify Moore's rotation.
Young, whom Moore contends likely was the MVP of the staff last season, went 11-6 with a 3.06 ERA in the regular season. And Young was outstanding in the postseason, pitching four games and posting a 2.87 ERA. His three scoreless innings of relief in Game 1 of the World Series helped the Royals win and set the tone for the Series.
MLB.com caught up with Young this week:
MLB.com: How confident were you when the season ended that you would wind up back with the Royals?
Young: Having been through free agency several times, I understand this is a business. While I was hopeful that I would end up back in Kansas City, I never approached it as a sure thing. It was certainly my first choice. But I've learned the hard way that you don't always get your first choice. Fortunately, it has worked out and I could not be happier to return.
MLB.com: What makes this organization so desirable that you would want to return?
Young: Simply put, it's the people. Starting with the fans of Kansas City, the Glass family, Dayton Moore, the front office, Ned [Yost], Dave [Eiland] and the coaching staff, the training staff, the clubhouse staff and, of course, the players. Top to bottom, this franchise represents everything I could ever hope to be a part of. I believe the organization recognizes the value of intangibles, character, chemistry, etc. It's always about the team first, which differs from some other places I have played.
MLB.com: Has the World Series championship sunk in yet, and what has been the coolest part of it all?
Young: I'm not sure the championship has sunk in yet. I have days where I say to myself, "I can't believe we won the World Series." That being said, I think about it non-stop. It has certainly motivated me and I constantly remind myself of how great a feeling it was to win the World Series. As I go through my workouts, it motivates me to push myself to get better and win another.
The coolest part of it all is seeing the pure joy and appreciation of the Kansas City fans. It has been so special to hear from so many people who have enjoyed this as much as we have. I am so happy for the fans who have waited a long time for this championship.
MLB.com: And what did you think of the parade?
Young: The parade was the most surreal aspect of the entire experience. To see so many people gathered peacefully, in one place, to celebrate was simply amazing. I try to describe it to people, but words can't do it justice. I'll never forget it.
MLB.com: This team will be without some guys from last year, but do you think the core is still good enough to make another run?
Young: I have no doubt this team will be prepared to defend the title. The character of the team is tremendous and the talent is there as well. The bar has been raised and the expectation for everyone is to be part of a championship club. Regardless of who is lost and who is added, this expectation will exist and that makes everyone better.
MLB.com: Moore described you as possibly the MVP of the staff. How flattering is that?
Young: The beauty of our team is that we had no one, true MVP. There was no one guy whose contribution was solely responsible for our success. Every player stepped up at some point during the season and postseason and helped contribute to our team success. It seemed to be somebody different every night. It's what helped make it the ultimate team, in my opinion. We had 25 selfless guys, all leaders, responsible and accountable to each other day in, day out. It was everything a team should be and I am so thankful I could be a part of it.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.