Acquiring another outfielder has long been on the to-do list for the Philadelphia Phillies, despite already adding Ben Rever earlier this offseason. GM Ruben Amaro has seemingly insisted on the team’s need to add another corner option to the mix, ideally one with some power who bats right-handed. Few expected that Delmon Young could end up filling that need, but according to multiple reports the two sides agreed to a one year, $750,000 deal yesterday that will bring the 27 year old to Philadelphia. There are performance bonuses in the deal which could bring the total value as high as $3.25 Million.
With the Detroit Tigers this past season, Young batted .267/.296/.411 with 18 HR over 574 plate appearances, though most of them came as the team’s DH rather than with Young playing the outfield.
Young has had a tumultuous career, including being traded twice since being the 1st overall pick in the 2003 Draft. Across seven seasons his career marks aren’t bad – .284/.317/.425 with an average of 16 HR and 89 RBI a year – but he brings inconsistency, subpar defense and enough off-field baggage that many don’t think he was worth a serious look this winter. The faithful fans in Philadelphia, including our staff over at That Ball’s Outta Here, don’t appear overly impressed with the signing.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment to the move, with Young in the fold and likely getting at bats in right field, there will be fewer opportunities for some of the team’s younger outfielders – a group that includes Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. The three were expected to work into a platoon covering the outfield corners, but now it appears that one (i.e. Ruf) will likely be asked to begin the season back at Triple-A. Of course, some of that decision will depend on how healthy Young is when he arrives to Spring Training. He underwent ankle surgery early in the offseason and is not believed to be fully healthy just yet, which could cost him the first few weeks of the regular season.