The Houston Astros have already highlighted their target areas going into free agency: bullpen, veteran starter and outfield bat. The first name to pop up in the rumors list to fill the outfield vacancy is Chris Young. However, the only thing that Young has going for him is that he is a Houston native.
Sometimes, playing for a hometown club can rejuvenate a guy’s career. Aside from that, Young does not fit the needs of what the Astros are looking for. He has only hit over .250 once in his career; he strikes out just about once every four at-bats, he rarely walks and his home run totals rarely pass the low 20s.
The Astros have been known to take some gambles on free agents as they did in 2013, but most of their experiments failed (ie. Rick Ankiel, Carlos Pena). Those two examples have two things in common: they both hit for low averages and strikes out in excess. Those are two things that the Astros have in surplus.
Maybe playing in Houston could spark Young to produce better. Or maybe he ends up like Ankiel or Pena and gets cut before the All-Star break. Either way, if the Astros do decide to pursue Young, it should not be as the solution to their outfield hole, but rather as an audition.
The Astros’ main area of concern — and maybe even their only area of concern — should be their bullpen, so Young should not be considered anywhere near being a priority signing right now.