JUPITER, Fla. - It's not much of a surprise, but Chris Young is now a free agent.
The Nationals have granted Young his unconditional release, this after the veteran right-hander chose to opt out of his minor league deal following his start last night in Kissimmee.
The Nats had 24 hours to place Young on their 25-man roster after the 33-year-old opted out, but they chose not to do so. As a result, Young is now free to sign with whatever team he chooses.
Young had said that he hoped to work out a deal that would allow him to remain with the Nationals, but with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler firmly established as members of the Nats rotation, there isn't a spot for Young.
In order to stay with the Nationals, Young would almost certainly have to accept another minor league deal with a new opt-out date. But after posting a 2.25 ERA in four starts this spring, including a current stretch in which he has gone 12 straight innings without allowing an earned run, he's likely to land a big league deal.
The Nats now have 30 players in big league camp.