Delmon Young May Be Insurance For Rays Pursuit of David DeJesus

Yesterday, the Rays made news by signing Delmon Young to a minor league contract and claiming David DeJesus off waivers from the Washington Nationals. With the way that Young has been struggling since 2010, and his subsequent assignment to Montgomery, DeJesus would seem to be the obvious choice to provide an impact for the Rays.

However, there is one small problem – DeJesus has not yet been officially acquired. However, as the Nationals have until 1:00 pm today to either trade him, let the Rays take on his salary without compensation or pull DeJesus back from waivers, that may be a moot point in a little more than an hour from when this posts. Yet, there is still the chance that the Rays will miss out on their player.

That possibility may end up being a factor in the decision to bring back Young. Both players can play both corner outfield spots at roughly the same level, with similar range factor scores over their career, even though DeJesus has played a good amount of center as well. Young has a bit more power than DeJesus, but is not nearly as quick on the basepaths. While DeJesus has been better at drawing walks and getting on base over his career than Young, they have produced very similar batting lines. Over their respective careers, DeJesus has hit at a .279/.353/.417 clip, while Young has produced at a .283/.316/.423 rate.

Both players would slot in nicely for the Rays as a fourth outfielder, able to provide some offense off the bench and play sufficiently well if called upon in the lineup. Although players such as Sam Fuld and Jason Bourgeois have had their moments, either DeJesus or Young would seemingly be an upgrade. Add in Joe Maddon‘s ability to play matchups and get the most of his players, and it would seem as though either player would be set up well for success.

Even though Delmon Young may seem redundant with the acquisition of David DeJesus, it may truly serve a purpose, even if it is only as insurance should DeJesus be pulled back.

Topics: David DeJesus, Delmon Young, Tampa Bay Rays

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  • phattitudes

    This could create a logjam if the DeJesus acquisition goes through along with the acquisition of Young. The Rays current roster features 5 players who get shuffled in and out of the lineup when healthy. They are Matt Joyce, Kelly Johnson, Sam Fuld, Luke Scott and Sean Rodriguez. Four of those are left handed and have difficulty being in a lineup at the same time. Adding either Young or DeJesus would have to mean one of them goes. Who is it? Joyce and Johnson have both been fairly productive. Fuld is a fan favorite and Scott has his moments when healthy. Unless they can put off roster moves until Sept 1, somebody will have to go. Maybe even 2 will go. If Young can hit at all it would seem that adding a right handed bat is the biggest priority. What do the Rays do?

    • david egbert

      They already have designated Bourgeois for assignment. I suspect that Young won’t arrive until September 1 when they will have to make a 40 man roster move.