It doesn’t appear that Delmon Young will be out of work for long. The troubled outfielder is expected to clear release waivers Saturday, at which point he’ll become a free agent and will be free to sign anywhere for just a pro-rated portion of the league minimum. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is hearing that Young and the Tampa Bay Rays have mutual interest in a reunion. The two sides have had some preliminary conversations and it’s been widely known that the Rays would like to add a right-handed batter to their roster.
Young was placed on release waivers earlier this week when he refused to accept an assignment to Triple-A following the team’s decision to DFA him a week prior. In 291 PA on the year he hit .261/.302/.397, with 69 strikeouts and just 21 extra base hits. Young’s been struggling through the worst offensive season of his career, but he isn’t yet 28 and once showed a great deal of potential.
Behavioral issues on and off the field have plagued Young ever since the Rays made him the 1st overall selection in the 2003 Draft but a homecoming would certainly make for an interesting story line. Young debuted during the 2006 season before spending all of 2007 in the Major Leagues. In 812 PA in a Tampa Bay uniform he hit .293/.319/.419 with 16 HR, 103 RBI, 226 H, and 151 strikeouts. His 2007 campaign was good enough to finish second in Rookie of the Year voting (behind Boston’s Dustin Pedroia). Young was traded following that 2007 season to the Minnesota Twins, the deal that first brought Matt Garza to Tampa Bay. He also played for the Detroit Tigers before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies this past offseason.