0

Young signs free agent deal with Detroit

Matt Young didn't stay on the open market for long.

The former Gwinnett Braves sparkplug signed with Detroit shortly after becoming a minor league free agent and will receive an invitation to major league spring training with the Tigers.

The 5-foot-8 outfielder-second baseman was one of the most popular players with fans at Coolray Field and hit .300 for the G-Braves in 2010.

Young made the Atlanta roster for the first time to open this season, but ended up spending most of the year back in Class AAA.

The left-handed hitter got into 20 games with Atlanta, batting .208 in 48 at-bats. In 99 games with Gwinnett, he hit .277 with an on-base percentage of .372 thanks to 57 walks. He stole 17 bases.

Young, who turned 29 in October, wasn't promoted back to Atlanta in September and was dropped from the 40-man roster shortly before the end of the season to clear a spot for pitcher Kris Medlen to come off the 60-day disabled list.

Undrafted out of college, Young spent seven seasons in the Braves organization and had his best season with the G-Braves in 2010. In addition to batting .300, he led the International League with 39 stolen bases and had a .380 on-base percentage.

The Gwinnett roster will definitely have a new look in 2012.

Other G-Braves players from 2011 who became free agents include infielders Mauro Gomez, Diory Hernandez, Ruben Gotay, Dan Nelson, Shawn Bowman and Ed Lucas, outfielders Wilkin Ramirez, Chris Carter, Jeff Fiorentino and Antoan Richardson, catchers J.C. Boscan, Wilkin Castillo and Wil Nieves, and pitchers Stephen Marek and Steven Shell.

Atlanta did re-sign left-handed pitchers Yohan Flande and Jose Lugo, and signed outfielder Jordan Parraz, who played in the New York Yankees organization with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season.

To become a minor league free agent, a player must have spent at least six years in the minors and not be on a major league 40-man roster.

Players shop themselves with hopes of getting an opportunity with another organization during major league spring training. They remain free to re-sign with their old organization if that ends up working out best.

Gomez, 27, signed with Atlanta after the 2009 season as a minor league free agent and hit .304 with 24 homers and 90 RBIs for the G-Braves in 2011 while making the International League all-star team. But the first baseman wasn't promoted to Atlanta in September or added to the 40-man roster afterwards.