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Delmon Young joining the Phillies: The pros and cons


Just a few weeks ago, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro stated how he was apparently in no rush to upgrade his outfield. Then last week, Amaro changed his tune, declaring he wasn’t so comfortable after all.
Something had to give, so on Tuesday, the Phillies signed troubled former Tigers outfielder Delmon Young to a one-year contract. Young, the former first overall pick of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and last year’s ALCS MVP with the American League Champion Detroit Tigers, has had his share of ups and downs before and after his arrival to the major leagues. While his talent is clearly evident at times, Young has never been able to completely put things together for extended periods of time.Photo: nbcphiladelphia.com

This is an absolute gamble for the Phillies, and here are some pros and cons of the deal:

Young is a potential low-risk, high reward player- Compared to the $6.75 million Young made in 2012 with the Tigers, a $750,000 deal could be a potential steal if Young works out the way the Phillies want him to.

He’s a right-handed power bat- With power hitters Ryan Howard and Chase Utley batting from the left side, the addition of Young (as well as new Phillie Michael Young) from the right side could compliment the two nicely if both Young’s perform the way they’re capable of playing.

He’s insurance for Domonic Brown and Darin Ruff- Despite Ruff being the only Phillie on a team of veterans with any semblance of plate discipline last September, the jury is still out on him being an everyday player at this juncture. If Brown’s confidence isn’t 100% completely shot by now, it’s a true testament to his character- or by now, possible indifference. The Phillies are trying to make a few more runs at another title, and Brown isn’t developing at the rate he should. I get that, but there comes a time when there comes a time, and Brown’s trade value is most likely lower than it’s ever been. If he’s down at Triple-A, Brown can’t really prove his worth to the big club. If he’s at least platooning in the major leagues, he’ll have a chance to show he belongs- but that time seems less and less likely as the years go by.  If either of these two players don’t step up when the opportunity is provided, Young will get more playing time.

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Young’s off-the-field behavior and attitude cost him a deal with the Tigers, and THAT’S one of the reasons why the Phillies got him for cheap- Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski claims a crowded outfield was one of the reasons the Tigers went against signing Young for 2013. However, there might be more to it than just that.  Young was arrested last season outside of a New York hotel and charged with a hate crime for fighting and using an anti-Semitic remark. Young has also had past issues with umpires while in the minor leagues, throwing a bat at an umpire and bumping another while in the minor leagues. Not exactly the type of player the Phillies normally covet, but Young appeared very contrite while speaking to the media Tuesday in regards to his past mistakes, so maybe he has indeed turned over a new leaf. For the Phillies’ and the fans’ sake, let’s hope so.

Young is coming off ankle surgery- Young had bone spurs removed in one of his ankles after the World Series in November, and there is a chance he might start the season on the disabled list. Not the ideal situation for your projected starting right fielder.

This could turn into a surplus of too many outfielders- With Ben Revere now manning centerfield and with proven major leaguers John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix almost virtual locks to make the roster, it’s highly unlikely Brown and Ruf will both make the team out of spring training. However, Young is coming off ankle surgery and might not be ready Opening Day. So despite Amaro’s intentions of wanting Young to start in right field everyday, Brown and Ruff could perform well in the spring, and Young could possibly see himself relegated to the bench.

Although Amaro wants Young to be the team's right fielder, he hasn’t played there since.....2007- Young is a terribly shaky defensive player who makes Domonic Brown look like Willie Mays. This could be a nightmare.

As you can see, some of these pros and cons could go either way.

What do YOU think?

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photo: nbcphiladelphia.com