Tag: Delmon Young

Delmon Young Arrested: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Veteran MLB outfielder Delmon Young was arrested Sunday night in Miami and charged with one count of battery after allegedly choking and threatening to kill a valet employee at the Viceroy hotel.

Peter Burke of Local10.com reported the news Monday, noting Young also allegedly used derogatory slurs in addition to physical violence.

“Stupid Cuban. Open the (expletive) door. I’m here. Now what?” Young said during the altercation, according to the police report. He later reportedly said to the valet attendant, “I’m gonna (expletive) kill you, you Latin piece of (expletive).”

The police report also indicated Young was slurring his speech and was unsteady on his feet when police arrived at his condominium after the incident. Per the police report, Young told one of the officers, “I’ll slap you in the face with money, you (expletive) Cuban.”

Per Burke, Young was booked at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Andy Slater of SlaterScoops.com reported Young bonded out Monday afternoon.

Young played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 and 2015 and is now a free agent. The 30-year-old was arraigned on a hate crime harassment charge in 2012 after reportedly using anti-Semitic slurs during a fight in New York City.

In the minor leagues in 2006, Young was ejected from a game for protesting a third-strike call by staying in the batter’s box. He flung his bat at the umpire as he headed to the dugout.

The most notable accomplishment of Young’s playing career came in 2012, when he played for the Detroit Tigers. Young was named the American League Championship Series MVP after a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees during which he hit .353 with two home runs and six RBI. He’s otherwise struggled to fulfill his promise as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 MLB draft.

Young appeared in only 52 games for Baltimore in 2015, batting .270 with two home runs and 16 RBI.

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Delmon Young to Orioles: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

After a consistent season in a limited role during the 2014 season, free-agent outfielder Delmon Young signed a one-year deal to remain with the Baltimore Orioles.

Roch Kubatko of MASN reported the news on Young’s decision:

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman added financial details:

Young, 29, has been a journeyman throughout his career, playing with five different teams over the last nine seasons. Last season was one of his best, batting .302/.337/.442 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in just 83 games with the Baltimore Orioles.

Following that season, Young made it known that he wanted at least a two-year deal, per Orioles on MASN:

During his career, Young has been a formidable player but comes with some baggage. Most recently, Young was charged with a hate crime in 2012 after a few minor league incidents when he was 19 and 20 years old.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke about taking the risk on Young last season, via John Lott of the National Post:

If you look at Delmon, he would be the first to tell you that some of his challenges have been self-inflicted. But you look at him just purely statistically, and you go, ‘Why is this guy available? … What are we missing here?’

We’re always one bad decision away from something, you know? Like I told him, none of us like to have our lives judged by our worst decision. And the big thing is, if you get an opportunity, you better run through that door, and he has. I’m proud of him.

His talent overshadowed the question marks during the 2014 season, as he came up clutch again in the postseason. Now, the Orioles have him in the lineup for late-game at-bats and potential playoff heroics.

ESPN Stats & Info points out how well Young has performed as a pinch-hitter and in the postseason:

Luckily for Baltimore, the team gets back a critical player to the lineup. After already losing both Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz this offseason, Young will be an integral part of the team.

It should be interesting to see whether or not he gets more at-bats next season. Regardless of his role, Young is another asset for the defending American League East champions.


Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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Baltimore Orioles: 3 Players Who Will Not Be Back in 2015

Now that the MLB season has hit the post-trading deadline stretch, all eyes are on division races, wild-card spots and the excitement of marching toward the postseason.

The Baltimore Orioles are one of the teams that are positioned nicely, currently holding the largest division lead in the league at six games. If the O’s just keep doing what they’re doing, they shouldn’t have to worry about losing their spot atop the AL East.

And while most thoughts are on the postseason, some people are beginning to wonder about players who will become free agents at the end of the season and what will happen to them on the open market.

Of course, the Orioles have players that are due to hit the market this winter, many of which are bigger-name players (Nelson Cruz) and key cogs that have been on the team forever (Nick Markakis).

The team won’t be able to retain every player, and frankly, it may not want to. So let’s take a stab a who won’t be returning to Baltimore for the 2015 season.

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2013 MLB Postseason Stock Watch for Upcoming Free Agents, Week 1

How a player performs when the games matter most could have an affect on his overall value, which is of greater importance to those who are eligible for free agency at season’s end. 

While a majority of these players will not stand out in a good or bad way, there are a handful of them who will. As a result, the price tag could rise or fall, at least slightly. A pair of 2012 postseason stars, Marco Scutaro and Anibal Sanchez, each cashed in after boosting their value greatly with strong playoff performances. 

Here are six players off to either a great start or a very poor start, or in one case, already done for the season after a wild-card loss. 


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Why Rays Acquiring Delmon Young, David DeJesus Should Scare AL Contending Teams

Those sneaky Tampa Bay Rays have been anything but complacent this week as they aim for their fourth playoff berth in six seasons.

They signed former farmhand Delmon Young to a minor league deal. On Friday, they completed a trade for outfielder David DeJesus after claiming him off waivers the day before, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Although neither addition is particularly sexy, they cumulatively have the potential to help the Rays distance themselves from other contending teams in the American League.

He’s been notorious for years now, so it may come as a shock to you that Young hasn’t yet reached his 28th birthday. The designated hitter still possesses the bat speed and power to help Tampa Bay score even more runs.

He’ll presumably spend the rest of August taking cuts for the Double-A squad before rejoining the Rays when rosters expand. The team recently placed Luke Scott on the disabled list with back spasms, so Young can take some of his at-bats in the meantime.

It’s not far-fetched to believe that he can make a positive impact in a platoon role. Although Young is three years removed from his only “great” season, he has posted at least a .750 OPS against left-handed pitching every summer since then.

Wearing a fielder’s mitt makes him a sabermetric disaster, but Tampa Bay isn’t relying on him to do that.

DeJesus, of course, is the more significant member of this newly acquired pair. Topkin tweets that the Washington Nationals will choose a player from the Rays farm system as compensation for his services.

There’s no doubt that the 33-year-old is a greater offensive threat than Sam Fuld.

Skeptical of his declining range? Don’t be, courtesy of MLB.com.

DeJesus’ stats have never looked particularly impressive. He seldom homers or steal bases, and his batting average has slipped in the past several summers.

He’s guaranteed to improve the Rays, however, with his knack for getting on base—.346 OBP since 2010—and steady glove work.

During a trading season in which there wasn’t a whole lot available for contenders, Tampa Bay quietly added legitimate depth.


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MLB Trade Rumors: Updating All the Hottest Waiver-Trade Buzz

The first big move of August was made today with the Rangers acquiring outfielder Alex Rios from the White Sox, as was first reported by Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. After the two teams failed to agree on a deal at the trade deadline, the Rangers were awarded a waiver claim on Rios yesterday, and the deal came together shortly after Jim Bowden of ESPN and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported that a deal was unlikely to happen. 

But the White Sox’s asking price appears to have dropped. While they were interested in top prospects such as infielder Rougned Odor and pitchers Luke Jackson and Martin Perez last month, according to Sullivan, they are reportedly settling for Leury Garcia as the player to be named later, along with $1 million. They’ll also save an estimated $18 million in salary (approximately $4 million remaining in 2013, $13 million in 2014, $1 million buyout on 2015 club option).

Garcia, 22, has plus speed and strong defensive skills but he’s nowhere near the aforementioned players in potential. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted a report he received from a scout, saying Garcia had Rafael Furcal potential but was most likely to become a solid regular. At worst, he’d be a utilityman in the majors.  

Ironically, the trade opens up the door for another Garcia recently acquired by the White Sox. Avisail Garcia, acquired from Detroit in the Jake Peavy trade, has been called up to take Rios’ starting spot in right field. 

Adam Dunn Clears Waivers

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported earlier today that Adam Dunn (pictured) cleared waivers, which is no surprise considering his $15 million salary in 2014 and his decline in overall production over the past few seasons. And after dealing away Rios, the White Sox might not want to subtract any more firepower from their lineup. 

But the 33-year-old has a .946 OPS over his past 55 games with 14 homers and 39 runs batted in and his value could be on the rise with a few contenders still in need of some power. He has started just nine games in the outfield since 2009 so he is likely limited to first base and the designated hitter spot and will fit best on an American League club. 

I recently named the Orioles as a possible fit, and the Rangers might not be done adding to their offense if Lance Berkman cannot return soon from hip and knee injuries. The Indians, who designated Mark Reynolds for assignment yesterday, could be an interesting match, although the Sox would likely have to pick up a good portion of Dunn’s remaining contract. 


Marlon Byrd Could Draw Interest

While the Mets surprisingly held on to outfielder Marlon Byrd (pictured) at the trade deadline, interest could pick up again if he’s placed on waivers. Heyman tweeted that the Orioles, Royals, A’s and Rangers all had interest last month.  

The 35-year-old, who is having a terrific season with an .821 OPS and 17 homers, isn’t likely to clear waivers since he’ll be owed just a couple hundred thousand dollars in salary. Most contenders would put in a claim at that price. Thus, any deal would likely happen with the first National League team to put in a claim.

The Diamondbacks and Reds might be the first contenders in line on the waiver wire, although there isn’t a desperate need for a starting outfielder on either club. For such little risk, though, it’s worth blocking him or even trying to strike a deal to bring him on as a backup. 


Dan Haren a Trade Candidate? 

Nationals right-hander Dan Haren (pictured) is on waivers, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, and he has a decent chance of passing through unclaimed because of the estimated $3.6 million he’s due for the remainder of the season. 

Interest would’ve been mild a month ago when he had an ERA over 6.00 and was on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness. But he appears to be back to his old form since his return, posting a 2.40 ERA with eight walks and 32 strikeouts in 30 innings over five starts. 

After four consecutive losses, the Nats are nine back in the wild-card race, and they’ll likely be open to moving the 32-year-old Haren. The Braves, Indians and A’s, who were among the teams in the mix for starting pitching help at the deadline, could have interest.


Could Mark Reynolds or Delmon Young Help a Contender?

Two players recently designated for assignment, Mark Reynolds of the Indians and Delmon Young (pictured) of the Phillies, are a bit more interesting than most names that usually pop up on the DFA list, which removes a player from the 40-man roster and allows a team 10 days to either trade, place on waivers, outright to the minors or release that player. 

Both players deserved to be cut—Reynolds had a .551 OPS over his last 73 games; Young had an overall .699 OPS in 80 games—but they’re also capable of putting up big numbers over the course of several weeks. 

Contending teams looking to catch lightning in a bottle don’t have to look further than Reynolds’ first 31 games of the season, when he hit .291 with 11 homers and 29 runs batted in. The 27-year-old Young had a strong month of June (.830 OPS), but it’s his success in the postseason (.859 OPS, 8 HR, 15 RBI in 28 games) that should land him a job late in the season. 

The duo’s ability to succeed against left-handed pitching (Reynolds has a career .843 OPS vs LHP; Young has a career .820 OPS vs LHP) should also ensure that there will be interest, although it’s a long shot that any team would trade for either player while taking on much salary and/or giving up any prospect of value. Don’t expect either to be out of a job very long, though. 


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Philadelphia Phillies: Mismanagement Has Rendered the Club Insignificant

Such a Herculean task it is to dissect the Philadelphia Phillies nowadays. 

Nearly two months into the season, the Phillies continue to hug a sub-.500 record. Meanwhile, the front office continues to debate on whether or not their supposed plan is being implemented appropriately. 

Whatever plan general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has for this club is not working. Simply put, he is at the forefront of the blame while skipper Charlie Manuel should be ousted for his debilitated decision-making.

A perfect example of the adverse decision-making on behalf of the Phillies skipper can be seen Tuesday night, when the Fightins square off against the Miami Marlins.

In 13 innings versus the Phils, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has yet to allow a run scored while giving up just three hits. Of those three hits Fernandez has permitted, two came off the bat of the switch-hitting utility man Freddy Galvis

Despite the small sample size, it is evident that Galvis has had the most success any Phillie has had against Fernandez to date. However, he will be on the bench in this affair.

Instead, outfielder Delmon Young will get the nod.

Young is baseball’s version of Napoleon Dynamite when it comes to defense. He is also struggling to stay above the Mendoza Line, batting-wise. 

It’s not like Amaro Jr. and Manuel have to be committed to Young. After all, Young is on a one-year contract worth a thrifty $750,000. 

So what gives? 

At the end of the day, the Phillies’ decision to sit Galvis against Fernandez in favor of D. Young is representative of the porous decision-making the club has made over the course of the last two seasons.

Naysayer’s with pie-in-the-sky attitudes will point out that the Phillies are a good series or two away from overtaking first place in the National League East.

Never mind their record against sub-.500 clubs as opposed to clubs with winning records.

Never mind the fact they have yet to take on the Washington Nationals.

Let’s get one thing clear: The Phillies are in decline. Anybody who says otherwise is likely to still believe in the Tooth Fairy.

The window of opportunity to repeat the feat from 2008 closed in 2011. The door slammed shut when the Phillies gave up a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis CardinalsThe nails were hammered in the coffin when the Phillies surged late last year only to have their postseason hopes dashed in a series sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros.

In-game mismanagement by Manuel coupled with questionable personnel decisions from Amaro Jr. have rendered the Phillies insignificant. 

The sad reality is that the organization continues to string its fanbase along in similar fashion to the Philadelphia 76ers. After trading for center Andrew Bynum (and his two bad knees), Sixers ownership led fans down a path, all season long, to think that Bynum could play at some point.

As everyone knows, Bynum never debuted. 

The Phillies will not make the playoffs, either.

The point is that the Phillies organization has made terrible decision after terrible decision. Sure, hindsight is always 20/20. Unfortunately, some of the moves the Phillies have made were called into question at the time they occurred.

For instance, the decision to trade Vance Worley and prospect Trevor May to Minnesota has turned out to be atrocious. Sure, Worley has been horrible for the Twins, but nobody could have forecast that at the time. So long as May develops into a serviceable No. 4 or 5 pitcher in the majors, the Twins soundly defeated the Phillies in this trade.

One has to wonder: Whose bright idea was it to trade arms for Major League Baseball’s leader in ground-ball rate?

Regardless, the doom and gloom in South Philly is real. Fans oblivious to the mismanagement of this club can continue to think the Phillies have a shot to contend. Those who understand reality will just sit back, elbows crossed, and watch everything unfold for the worst.

Prior to the start of the season, many with realistic expectations believed the Phillies were an above-.500 club with a decent chance at cracking the postseason, even in the NL East.

Those expectations have now been altered. More likely than not, one can expect the Phillies to finish with a losing record for the first time since 2002. That was the year when Nelly’s “Hot in Herre could be heard on every radio station in America, George W. Bush was still in his first term as president and the United States had not yet invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

As Charlie Chapman once said: “In the end, everything is a gag.” Words couldn’t speak truer for the current state of the Phillies.

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Philadelphia Phillies: Phillies Activate Delmon Young, Have Full Lineup Intact

For the first time all season, the Philadelphia Phillies will have their full lineup available when the team begins its series with the Cleveland Indians tonight.

No, the Phillies’ most recent roster additions are not the same as last season’s, when Chase Utley and Ryan Howard returned prior to the All-Star break.

However, the arrivals of two right-handed hitting lineup options this year can still boost an offense that is slowly heating up as the first month of the season concludes.

The first option, Carlos Ruiz, returned from a 25-game suspension last Sunday and picked up a double in the Phillies win.

Just two days later, the Phillies have now activated Delmon Young from the disabled list according to Paul Casella on the team’s official website.  

Young’s presence means that the Phillies’ lineup has picked up two right-handed hitting options in three days, and gives the team its full set of roster options for the first time this season.

Casella also notes that Ezequiel Carrera has been designated for assignment. 

While the Phillies know what they are getting with Ruiz, Young’s arrival is a bit more intriguing.

For one, following the brief series against the Indians, Young will have to play right field in order to remain in the lineup.  He has not played right field since 2007, and only played 31 games in the outfield last season while primarily serving as the designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers.

If Young’s defense in right field is not up to par or fails to remain consistent throughout the season, the Phillies could have an interesting decision to make going forward regarding his status.

Additionally, the Phillies have currently drawn the second fewest number of walks in the National League and have the fourth lowest team OBP.

Last season, Young had 112 strikeouts to 20 walks and finished with a .296 OBP.

In seven minor league appearances this season, Young struck out seven times and did not draw any walks.  However, he also batted .367 between High-A ball and Triple-A, picking up 11 hits in 30 at-bats.

Young’s arrival gives the Phillies another lineup option following Ryan Howard.  Ruiz batted fifth in his return, but Young also received 508 at-bats from the five spot last season.  With Domonic Brown also batting behind Howard, the Phillies’ lineup will have power potential, but question marks remain surrounding how often the team can get on base.

If the Phillies decide to keep Chase Utley and Michael Young batting second and third, respectively, Ben Revere’s next appearance in the lineup could come from the eighth spot.

A batting order that features two more right-handed batters with double-digit home run potential, followed by Revere, the pitcher’s spot and Jimmy Rollins, could make for a solid lineup. 

Combined with a starting rotation that is beginning to heat up, the Phillies are getting their full team together at a great time.

One player whose stock could take a hit if Young’s return is a success is Darin Ruf.  With Young, Brown, Revere, John Mayberry, Jr. and Laynce Nix currently set in the outfield, and Freddy Galvis also playing adequate outfield defense, Ruf has his work cut out for him to earn a call-up.

For now, however, the Phillies will have their full lineup together has they begin a stretch of six straight games against opponents with losing records.

Young’s arrival will not single-handedly push the Phillies into first place, but his presence combined with Ruiz’s, as well as continued success from Utley and Michael Young, gives the Phillies a potent lineup that should no longer be at a disadvantage against left-handed starters or relievers.

Furthermore, the Phillies have now exhausted their two remaining internal options for improving their offense, meaning that they could now look externally for other lineup options.

In the meantime, the Phillies’ activation of Young gives them another right-handed lineup option at a time when its pitching staff has the third lowest ERA in the NL in the last seven days.


*Young’s minor league statistics can be found on MiLB.com, while all other statistics can be found on ESPN.com.

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Philadelphia Phillies: Delmon Young Signing Shows Phils’ Fear of Closing Window

Delmon Young has been a Phillie for a very short time, and per Ruben Amaro Jr., already Young is being penned in as the Phillies‘ starting right fielder in 2013 (h/t hardballtalk.nbcsports.com).

Young hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 runs batted in for the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Young is a right-handed hitter, he is only 27 years old and he’s coming off ankle surgery.

For all of those reasons, and because Young is kind of a jerk, a guy who once drove in 112 runs in a single season and was the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player in 2012 took the Phillies’ low-ball offer of one year with a $750,000.00 base salary.

Incentives could push the deal’s value to $3.5 million, per mlb.com.

For weeks, Phillies fans were hearing that the Phillies were interested in signing right-handed outfielder Cody Ross, who instead went to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three years and $26 million.

Ross’ 2012 slash line of .267/22/81 is not much different from Young’s 2012 slash line of .267/18/74. And Ross is four years older. Is Ross really $25 million better than Young at this stage of their careers?

The clear and fair knock on Young is that he supposedly cannot play right field (or perhaps any position) adequately, and thus he is best suited for the American League.

But the 2008 Phillies won the World Series with a decomposing Pat Burrell chipping home runs into the short porch in left field. The 1993 Phillies won a pennant with Pete Incaviglia and Wes Chamberlain staggering around the AstroTurf at Veterans Stadium. None of them were ever confused with Garry Maddox in the outfield.

It didn’t matter, because they all hit.

Above all else, though, Young’s addition to the roster tells you that Amaro has seen all he needs to see out of John Mayberry Jr. and Domonic Brown—and not enough from Darin Ruf.

Amaro Jr. has concluded that none of them can hit in the middle of the lineup for a Phillies team that is trying to make one last playoff push with the core of the teams that won the National League East in 2008 and 2009.

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels have been with the Phillies through mostly thick and not much thin. But last season’s 81-81 season, marred by extended absences from Howard and Utley, could be seen as either a temporary setback or the beginning of a trend.

Amaro has seven players on the 2013 roster guaranteed to each make eight figures’ worth of the Phillies’ money in 2013 (Roy Halladay, Hamels, Howard, Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Rollins, Utley.) Michael Young is also going to make $16 million in 2013, but $10 million of that is coming from the Texas Rangers.

Every one of those players but Hamels is over 30 years of age.

If the 2013 team does not make the playoffs, significant changes are likely in the very near future. For that matter, if the team falls out of the 2013 race early, the likes of Halladay, Utley and Young (all of whom have contracts that will end after 2013) could be dealt to contenders.

And that means this is no time to be relying on “maybes” and “could-bes” in the outfield.

John Mayberry Jr. is 29 years old. He is a lifetime .254 hitter with a career on-base percentage of .313.

Domonic Brown is still a young player at 25 years of age. But his numbers are worse than Mayberry Jr.’s (.236 lifetime average, .315 career on-base percentage) and he is another left-handed hitter in a lineup loaded with them.

If either Mayberry Jr. or Brown had “it,” it stands to reason the Phillies would have seen it by now.

Fans clamor for 2012 minor league sensation Darin Ruf, who was his league’s Most Valuable Player at Double-A Reading in the Eastern League.

Ruf had a nice stint with the Phillies in September last year. But that is all it was: 12 games and 37 at-bats on a team playing out the string of a dead season.

To project Ruf as a No. 5 hitter on a team with a win-now-or-else imperative based on 37 at-bats would leap over “optimistic” and land on “foolish.”

Maybe Ruf can be a productive major league hitter, maybe he can’t. If Ruf was starting the season in Miami, or even with the New York Mets, plugging him into the starting lineup from the jump would make a ton of sense.

Not in Philadelphia, though. Not in 2013. Not with a team whose shelf life gets shorter with each passing day.

So the Phillies spent on Delmon Young’s 2013 season approximately what a single Cole Hamels start will cost in 2013. For that money, they secured a right-handed power bat who is not a “maybe” or a “could be.”

Young is a proven right-handed hitter at the major league level.

The Phillies could not afford to go into 2013 without one of them.

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How Signing Delmon Young Impacts the Philadelphia Phillies’ Roster

Getting a right-handed bat for the outfield was one of the offseason priorities for the Philadelphia Phillies.

General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. finally got his man by signing Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 contract on Tuesday (Jan. 22), as announced by the team and reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Matt Gelb.

Last year for the Detroit Tigers, Young hit .267 with a .707 OPS, 18 home runs and 74 RBI in 608 plate appearances. He was especially impressive in the postseason, however. As the Tigers made a run to the World Series, Young batted .313 with a .907 OPS, three homers and nine RBI. 

The initial guess is that Young will be a platoon outfielder with the Phillies. That role should suit him well since he hit .308 with an .833 OPS, seven homers and 26 RBI versus left-handed pitching last season. For his career, Young has a .307 average and .824 OPS against lefties. 

However, with the right-handed Darin Ruf originally slated to play left field, platooning Young there makes no sense. As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki tweeted, that could mean Ruf will begin the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. 

Ruf actually jumped from Double-A Reading to the majors last season as a September call-up for the Phillies. He finished his minor league season with a .317 average, a 1.028 OPS, 38 home runs and 104 RBI.

In 12 games with Philadelphia, Ruf batted .333 with a 1.079 OPS, three home runs and 10 RBI. CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reported in late December that the Phillies wanted to give him a shot in left field and preferred to get a right fielder through free agency or trade.

Did the team change its mind, preferring to get Ruf more time in left field at Triple-A? He’s played most of his career in the minors at first base. 

But if the Phillies want to give Ruf a shot in left field, that means signing Young puts Domonic Brown’s spot on the active major league roster in jeopardy. 

Brown looked like the favorite to be Philadelphia’s starting right fielder, if for no other reason than the team didn’t have another true right fielder on the roster. He has played most of his career at that position.

FanGraphs‘ Ultimate Zone Rating measures Brown as a below-average defender. Over his career, he’s allowed 14 more runs than the average right fielder. But that might still be preferable to going with someone who hasn’t played much right field at all. 

The Phillies likely question whether Brown will hit well enough to justify a starting position. Last year, he batted .235 with a .712 OPS, five home runs and 26 RBI in 212 plate appearances with Philadelphia. Against lefties, he hit .196 with a .621 OPS, which pretty much demands a right-handed hitting-platoon partner.

However, according to the Philadelphia Daily News‘ Ryan Lawrence, Amaro and the Phillies may have already decided where Young will play before the team even reports to spring training in Clearwater, Fla. 



Well, then.

Young hasn’t played right field since 2007, since he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. He did play 133 games at the position that season, but only played left field or designated hitter while with the Minnesota Twins and Tigers. 

FanGraphsUZR says Young was actually a good defensive right fielder, saving eight runs more than the average defender at that position in the two seasons he played there. But 133 games isn’t really a representative sample size of a player’s ability in the field. 

Additionally, Young will also be working his way back from microfracture surgery performed on his ankle in mid-November. (Nov. 10, to be exact.)

According to a tweet by Gelb, the projected recovery for Young could be up to 16 weeks. That will likely keep him out for all of spring training and could put him on the disabled list when the Phillies open the season. That’s not ideal for a guy who’s moving to a new position. 

Under those circumstances, Brown should presumably still have a chance to win a job in spring training, whether it’s in right field or left. At the very least, he could earn a platoon. As a left-handed hitter, that would give him the majority of plate appearances at his position. 

Though Amaro surely didn’t sign Young to sit on the bench, his salary won’t be so high that he has to be in the lineup. As mentioned, he only signed for $750,000—nearly one-tenth of the $6.75 million he earned last year with Detroit. 

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, roster and performance bonuses in the contract could raise its value up to $3.25 million.

But if Ruf and Brown are playing well enough to warrant starting spots in the outfield, Young isn’t going to see enough playing time to trigger the incentive clauses in his deal. The financial risk is low for the Phillies. 

Young signing for such a low salary might indicate how poorly he was regarded as a hitter—as well as being a poor defensive player who didn’t appear to play in ideal physical condition. 

But signing in late January for under $1 million could also show that Young became a relatively toxic player around MLB after his arrest for hate-crime harassment in New York last April. The incident resulted in a seven-game suspension by MLB.

Young also had to eventually perform community service. As Young shared with the Philadelphia media, according to Lawrence, that included picking up dog poop in New York dog parks (h/t Sulia.com). 

Amaro has been criticized for being too patient—or put more harshly, dragging his feet—this offseason, watching B.J. Upton sign with the Atlanta Braves and Nick Swisher go to the Cleveland Indians. Some believed the Phillies would make a run at Josh Hamilton or trade for Justin Upton as well. 

But staying under 2013’s $178 million luxury tax threshold was a concern for Amaro dating back to last season. Taking that into consideration, waiting for prices to come down and signing a risky player like Young makes sense.

The question now is whether Young will make Amaro look smart or foolish. 


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