NEW YORK — Speedy outfielder Eric Young Jr. is becoming a free agent after the New York Mets declined to offer him a contract for next season.
The team announced the move before Tuesday night's deadline.
Young, who had been eligible for arbitration, batted .229 with 30 stolen bases in 100 games this year, when his salary was $1.85 million.
He led the National League with 46 steals in 2013 and opened this season as New York's primary leadoff hitter but managed only a .299 on-base percentage and lost playing time in a crowded outfield. The switch-hitter finished with a homer and 17 RBIs in 316 plate appearances, scoring 48 runs.
The 29-year-old Young became expendable when the Mets signed free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a $21 million, two-year contract last month.
New York tendered contracts to its six other players who are eligible for arbitration: first baseman Lucas Duda, second baseman Daniel Murphy, shortstop Ruben Tejada and pitchers Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell.
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