Delmon Young May Be Insurance For Rays Pursuit of David DeJesus

By David Hill

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.