Young had offer from NBA's Kings
Young, approached recently by the Sacramento Kings about playing in the NBA, got a new three-year, $1.5 million contract Friday from the Rangers. The deal includes a team option for 2008.
The 25-year-old right-hander was traded from Montreal to the Rangers at the end of spring training, and made his major league debut Aug. 24. Young went 3-2 with a 4.71 ERA in seven starts. He got his first win Sept. 4 at Fenway Park when he ended a 10-game winning streak by eventual World Series champion Boston.
Those six weeks in the major leagues and his expected role in the starting rotation next season helped Young decide to stick with baseball.
"Being able to get the major league experience, seeing where I fit in, see how I could compete at this level was a big factor in that," Young said. "Had I been in the minor leagues, there's no doubt I would have had some questions about my future as a big league pitcher."
Young was a two-sport standout at Princeton, and led the Tigers basketball team with 13.5 points and 5.8 rebounds a game as a sophomore during the 1999-2000 season. That was the last time Young played basketball competitively.
The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the third round of the draft in the summer of 2000, and he started his pro baseball career.
But Young wasn't forgotten as a basketball player by two Sacramento officials with Princeton ties: assistant coach Pete Carril, his coach at Princeton, and general manager Geoff Petrie, an alumnus of the Ivy League school. When the Kings lost 7-1 center Vlade Divac in free agency this summer, they contacted Young.
"It was a surprise to me that Sacramento came to me and offered me to join their team," Young said. "It was a very tough dilemma."
Young told the Kings he would consider their offer only after the baseball season, and by then he was part of the Rangers rotation.
"I realized one of my goals in becoming a major league pitcher," Young said. "To get three wins down the stretch pitching in a pennant race was unbelievable. Pitching in my hometown, it was pretty much a dream come true. But that being said, I think there's a lot to build on."
The Rangers claimed INF Ruddy Yan off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. ... RHP John Wasdin, INF Manny Alexander and OFs Chad Allen and Jason Conti were among 13 players signed to minor league contracts and invited to spring training.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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