The Nationals granted Chris Young his unconditional release this morning, making the veteran right-hander a free agent and allowing him to sign a big-league contract with another club. Young had filed paperwork to opt out of his minor-league deal last night after pitching against the Astros in Kissimmee. The Nationals then had 24 hours to either put the 33-year-old on their 25-man roster, pay him a $100,000 retention bonus or release him. Though the Nationals were hoping to keep Young in the organization as an emergency starter at Class AAA, and though he expressed a desire to stay last night, the two sides couldn't find common ground to make something work. Young said all along he preferred to pitch for a big-league club, and he said there was interest from several teams. With Young out of the picture, the Nationals figure to enter the season with long relieves Zach Duke and Craig Stammen, plus Syracuse pitchers Ross Ohlendorf, Danny Rosenbaum and Yunesky Maya as potential No. 6 starters should something happen to one of the members of their major-league rotation.