|Young, Nationals agree to 2-year extension|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:57|
Young and the Nationals announced Saturday they've reached agreement on a two-year contract extension, capping an amazing turnaround for the All-Star first baseman.
``We are very pleased that Dmitri Young has decided to remain with us in Washington,'' general manager Jim Bowden said in a statement. ``His infectious love for the game, and playing it the right way, has had a positive influence on this ballclub both in the clubhouse and on the field.''
Young, who turns 34 in October, is hitting .331 with nine homers and 53 RBIs this season after signing a non-guaranteed, minor league deal with Washington in February.
He was out of baseball altogether at the end of 2006 after being released by the Detroit Tigers with less than a month left in the regular season.
That was only one part of Young's troublesome year, which included an assault charge, treatment for alcoholism and depression, and being hospitalized for diabetes.
Bowden, who knew Young from their days together with the Cincinnati Reds, decided to give him an opportunity and it's paid off.
Young made the team as the starting first baseman in place of the injured Nick Johnson and has turned into the last-place Nationals' top hitter.
Young is with his fourth club in a major league career that began in 1996. He also was an All-Star in 2003 with Detroit.
He is the second veteran player recently given a two-year extension by the rebuilding Nationals. Infielder Ronnie Belliard - who like Young is in his 30s and joined the team in February with a minor league contract - agreed to a $3.5 million deal through 2009.
Belliard, now the starting second baseman, is batting .296 with 30 RBIs.
Young went 0-for-4 in the Nationals' 3-1 loss to the New York Mets in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.