Braves trade Eric Young Jr. to Mets for cash

CHICAGO – The Braves traded outfielder Eric Young Jr. to the Mets on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations.

Young was the Braves’ opening-day center fielder, but struggled early and was sent to Triple-A after resurgent veteran Cameron Maybin took over as the regular center fielder.

Young, 30, signed a minor league contract with the Braves in February and had a strong performance in spring training to earn the opening-day center field job after Melvin Upton Jr. was injured on the first day of full-squad workouts.

Upton was traded along with closer Craig Kimbrel to San Diego on the eve of opening day, and the Braves got Maybin from the Padres in that six-player trade.

Young hit .169 (13-for-77) in 35 games for the Braves with four doubles, two triples, a .229 OBP and three stolen bases in 35 games, then hit .248 with 10 extra-base hits, a .349 OBP and 23 stolen bases (26 attempts) in 67 games for Triple-A Gwinnett.

He returns to the Mets organization, where he batted .242 with 39 extra-base hits and 68 stolen bases in 191 games during part of the 2013 season and all of 2014, before becoming a non-tendered free agent.

Young will be assigned to the Mets’ Triple-A team and likely give the big-league team a speedy pinch-hit and pinch-run option in September. He’s a .248 career hitter with a .316 OBP and 141 stolen bases in 539 games in parts of seven major league seasons, and led the National League in stolen bases with 46 in 2013 with the Rockies and Mets.

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