Phils Sign OF Delmon Young To 1 Year Deal

Phillies sign Delmon Young to deal for one year

Right-handed slugging outfielder was ALCS MVP last year, had 108 RBIs in 2010

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com | 01/22/2013 2:56 PM ET

Delmon Young comes up clutch for the Tigers during the ALCS with four go-ahead hits against the Yankees

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies found a right-handed-hitting corner outfielder with power.

But this one comes with baggage.

The Phillies and free agent Delmon Young agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract worth $750,000 plus potential performance bonuses. The signing screams low-risk, high-reward for the Phillies. Young, who is 27, earned 2012 American League Championship Series MVP honors with the Detroit Tigers and hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs in the regular season. He also had a career-high 112 RBIs in 2010 with the Minnesota Twins and has a career .824 OPS against left-handed pitchers.

But Young also has battled consistency issues on the field and has had several notable off-the-field problems, including an April arrest in New York on a second-degree aggravated harassment charge. Police said an intoxicated Young hurled anti-Semitic slurs at four men, and Major League Baseball suspended him for seven days as a result.

He was suspended twice in his Minor League career, for three games in 2005 for making contact with an umpire and for 50 games in 2006 for flinging a bat at an umpire.

However, the Phillies are comfortable with the risks, especially considering they made only a one-year commitment to him.

If Young plays well, the Phillies could have a productive corner outfielder at a remarkable bargain.

If he causes problems, well, the Phillies always can cut him loose without taking a significant payroll hit.

“Delmon is an experienced Major League bat who will add some depth to our relatively inexperienced outfield and another layer of competition for playing time there as well,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The Phillies had been looking for a corner outfielder since the beginning of the offseason. But how much outfield can Young play? And how effectively? He played just 31 games in the outfield last season, appearing in 113 games as Detroit’s designated hitter.

Young, listed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, has had conditioning issues in the past, and last season he played with bone spurs in his ankle. He had surgery to remove the spurs in November and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Young’s arrival creates an interesting outfield situation for the Phillies. Ben Revere will be the team’s everyday center fielder. Young presumably will take one of the corner outfield spots, potentially as an everyday player. That could result in Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. sharing time in the other corner spot with Laynce Nix a reserve and Darin Ruf possibly opening the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get more seasoning.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.\

Delmon Damarcus Young

Position: Leftfielder
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 3″, Weight: 240 lb.

Born: September 141985 in Birmingham, AL (Age 27)
High School: Adolfo Camarillo HS (Camarillo, CA)
Drafted
 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1st round (1st pick) of the 2003 amateur draft.
Signed September 8, 2003. (All Transactions)
Debut: August 29, 2006 (Age 20)
Teams (by GP): Twins/DevilRays/Tigers 2006-2012
2013 Contract Status: Free Agent (details) [*]
Service Time (01/2013): 6.034, Free Agent: 2013 [*], Agents: Arn Tellem [*]
Relatives: Brother of Dmitri Young

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2006 TBD 30 126 16 40 9 1 3 10 1 24 .317 .336 .476
2007 TBD 162 645 65 186 38 0 13 93 26 127 .288 .316 .408
2008 MIN 152 575 80 167 28 4 10 69 35 105 .290 .336 .405
2009 MIN 108 395 50 112 16 2 12 60 12 92 .284 .308 .425
2010 MIN 153 570 77 170 46 1 21 112 28 81 .298 .333 .493
2011 TOT 124 473 54 127 21 1 12 64 23 85 .268 .302 .393
2011 MIN 84 305 26 81 16 0 4 32 18 55 .266 .305 .357
2011 DET 40 168 28 46 5 1 8 32 5 30 .274 .298 .458
2012 DET 151 574 54 153 27 1 18 74 20 112 .267 .296 .411
7 Yrs 880 3358 396 955 185 10 89 482 145 626 .284 .317 .425
162 Game Avg. 162 618 73 176 34 2 16 89 27 115 .284 .317 .425
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2013.

 

Pierre Can Still Steal Bases- Phils Add Speed To Power Bench

Phillies ink Pierre to Minor League deal

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com

In a small but potentially significant move, the Phillies signed speedy Juan Pierre to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Friday.

Juan Pierre

Pierre, 34, batted .279 as the everyday leadoff hitter and left fielder for the White Sox last season. He stole 27 bases and was thrown out 17 times, but he did steal 68 bags for Chicago in 2010.

The Phils allowed Raul Ibanez to depart as a free agent this offseason, and it appeared at the outset that John Mayberry Jr. would inherit that spot in left field based on the fact that he batted .309 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs in his last 149 at-bats of the regular season.

English: White Sox 3rd base coach with player .

Mayberry still has the inside track, but he also faces significant competition for playing time.

While talented-but-raw 24-year-old Domonic Brown may well get a full season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley to polish his skills, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently that he could still play his way onto the big league roster with an impressive spring.

Domonic Brown

Amaro also signed veteran Laynce Nix, who has been used primarily against right-handed pitching throughout his career.

The addition of Pierre adds another wrinkle to the situation and potentially gives manager Charlie Manuel another option in left.

 

Pierre has 554 career stolen bases, the most of any active player, and ranks 26th on the all-time list, three behind Davey Lopes. In the last 11 years, Pierre has 1,958 hits, fifth most among all players.

“He’s not the same blazer he was with Florida and Los Angeles, but we think he can provide something we were grossly lacking on our bench last year — speed,” Amaro said. “We did not sign him to be our everyday left fielder. The bulk of the time will go to John Maybery and Laynce Nix, and, of course, Dom Bown is still in the picture.

“But we’ll put [Pierre] in the mix and see what happens. We view him as a guy who can give us another element. He can be a very useful guy.”

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: What are the club’s plans for Brown?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers Phils fans’ questions

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
What on earth are the Phillies going to do with Domonic Brown? They have John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in left field, Shane Victorino in center field and Hunter Pence in right field. Where’s the space for Brown? — Brett L., Broomall, Pa.
Domonic Brown

There is none, unless there is an injury or Mayberry and Nix don’t perform. Unless things change, Brown is expected to play the 2012 season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will be looking to regain confidence and learning to play left field.

Nothing really has gone smoothly with Brown the past couple of seasons. The Phillies admittedly erred in the way they have handled him (bringing him up in 2010, only to spend most of the second half of the season sitting on the bench).

Brown performed poorly in winter ball following that season and started slowly in Spring Training 2011 before breaking his hand. He was playing great with Lehigh Valley early last season, when the Phils called him up (after saying they didn’t think he was ready). He did OK, relatively speaking, but once the Phillies acquired Pence and optioned Brown to Lehigh Valley, he struggled.

The Phils are hoping a full season in the Minors will get Brown back on track. Maybe it will, but if Mayberry and Nix perform well in left, I would think Brown could be trade bait at some point.

If Ryan Madson does not come back, where do you think he will sign and why are the Phillies disinterested in him? — Daniel S., Pinellas Park, Fla.

Ryan Madson signing autographs before the Marc...

Who said they’re disinterested in Madson? I’m sure general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would love to have Madson as his setup man, but would Madson come back to set up for Jonathan Papelbon? If I’m Madson, I’m not sure I would. But if Madson can’t get a closer job at closer money, maybe he would come back to a place he’s familiar and set up before hitting the market again next offseason. But I’m betting Madson will take his services elsewhere before Spring Training.

Is Chase Utley healthy this year? — Janet X., Harrisburg, Pa.

Chase Utley

The Phillies said late last season that Utley, who had knee issues last year, will be on a different offseason training program that should allow him to strengthen his legs without causing the tendinitis that forced him to miss the first couple of months of the 2011 season. They said that lack of strength in his lower half contributed to his lack of pop at the plate. Will he be the old Utley in 2012, one of the best offensive performers in the game? I’m not sure, but they certainly need him to play much better than he did last season.

How can you argue the Phillies can only get younger at two positions when they have an aging and oft-injured third baseman? — Bob P., Renovo, Pa.

Got lots of questions over the past week about third base, the David Wright rumors, how much they can expect to get from Polanco. Those are good questions, but some of the questions are almost like, “What’s the Phillies’ problem? Why won’t they get David Wright?” Like it were easy. Like Amaro can get Wright (or another stud third baseman) by just snapping his fingers. The Phils would love Wright at third base, but it’s not going to happen right now. The club has said Polanco should be healthy entering the season. If he is, he’s a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman than hits better than .300. That’s not exactly chopped liver.

Do you think the Phillies will hit a wall and not win the National League East? — Steven B., Cheltenham, Pa.

English: John Mayberry, Jr. of the Philadelphi...

The NL East has improved, but I still think the Phils will] win their sixth straight division title. If everybody is healthy, of course. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will win their fair share of games. The offense, which has flopped the previous two postseasons, has been productive during the season. I just don’t see how anybody could catch them.

The bench seems to have gained some much needed depth this year. What impact will this have on the 2012 Phillies? — Zack K., Clarks Summit, Pa.

Laynce Nix

It gives manager Charlie Manuel more options. If Polanco misses time, Manuel can play Ty Wigginton at third instead of Michael Martinez. When Ryan Howard is out, the Phillies can play Mayberry, Nix, Wigginton or even Jim Thome. They should be able to handle injuries a little better than they have in the past, while not sacrificing as much offense in the process.

Do you see any offensive options the Phillies could pursue at the Trade Deadline, like David Wright or a left fielder? — Jim D., Tabernacle, N.J.

Whoa. We’re already looking at the Trade Deadline? It’s a long way from July 31. Like I mentioned above, I’ve gotten lots of questions about third base, left field, etc. There were similar questions last year at this time about right field, and how the Phillies were going to replace Jayson Werth. The Phils decided they would give Ben Francisco, Brown and Mayberry a shot. If it worked, great. If not, then they could always find somebody else.

I think the same holds true this year. Why not see if Polanco can stay healthy? Why not see if Mayberry and Nix can platoon in left field? If they can’t, they can always try to find somebody else. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be smart emptying the farm system for something that might not happen (Polanco staying healthy, etc.). It would be smarter to see how they do, then reassess midseason.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.