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 Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Use a pun, go to jail. But at least while incarcerated, I’ll rest in the comfort of knowing that starting pitcher Chris Young is also locked up — to a Padres contract, that is. Through 2010, with an option for 2011.

 Rotoworld.com reports:

Young gets a $500,000 signing bonus and a $150,000 raise to $750,000 this season. He’s due to earn $2.5 million in 2008, $4.5 million in 2009 and $6.25 million in 2010. The club option for 2011 will cover his first year of free agency. It’s worth $8.5 million, an amount that could increase based on performance.

It’s a great signing for Kevin Towers. It’s nice for Young too (that’s a lot of bread, either in sliced or loaf form), but signing a player who is nearly the staff ace Jake Peavy is, is a serious coup for the GM. Look at it this way. The Atlanta Braves are paying the once again out-for-the-year Mike Hampton $15.5 million not to pitch for them this season. The New York Mets are shelling out $14 million for what they hope will be three months of Pedro Martinez in 2007. And up in Anaheim, the Angels will take whatever part of Bartolo Colon’s $16 million salary he actually earns while not on the disabled list. Meanwhile, Chris Young gets $14.5 million for four years.

While Towers may balk at a blockbuster All-Star break trade more times than he’d like to admit, a deal like Young’s makes up for it a bit. And you gotta love how Towers can play hardball with a player like Todd Walker, then take the money he saved by releasing an unneeded player, and spend it on pitching.

— HOWARD COLE

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