Craig Heist, wtop.com
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals announced late Thursday afternoon they have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed pitcher Chris Young on a minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League camp.
Young is 53-43 with a 3.79 ERA in 159 career starts with the Mets, Padres and Rangers. The 33-year-old has posted winning seasons in seven of his nine big-league campaigns.
Young stands 6-foot-10 and went 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA in 20 starts for the Mets last season.
Lerner talks location, location, location
With all of the talk in the last couple of years that the Nationals are in search of a new spring training facility, it appears the Nationals will remain in Viera at least one more year.
"We're working on it," said principal owner Mark Lerner. "We still have a number of options and we'll continue to negotiate with different cities and see what happens."
The team has been in negotiations with Ft. Myers and Kissimmee but have to receive the financial backing from either town to renovate or build a new facility.
The organization has been determined to find a new location because while the Viera facility has been a good facility, the problem is the travel.
No other team trains within 55 miles of Viera. The closest site is south at Port St. Lucie, which is the home of the Mets, and Kissimmee to the west, which is the current spring home of the Astros.
Lerner said it is unlikely the Nationals will move in 2014. "I would doubt it," he said. "Just with the timing, it would be too tight. I would think next year we'll still be in Viera. You never know what's going to happen, though."
The Nationals have a lease with Brevard County that expires in 2017 and the financial penalty for breaking the lease becomes less expensive after this season.
"We have an obligation here," Lerner said. "We are honoring it. But there is nothing I can do and nothing they can do about fixing the geography problem, unfortunately. We have said many times they've been a great host to us and we love the people in the area. But it's just something that we can't fix, most likely, without moving. But we'll continue to look at all options and we'll see what shakes out for us."
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