We probably won’t know if Delmon Young and the Tampa Bay Rays will continue their odd partnership when the 2014 season rolls around, but at least one member of the duo wants to double down for a second year.
In a piece published by Bill Chastain of MLB.com, Young was quoted as saying the following after being asked if he wanted to come back to Tampa Bay:
“Oh yeah, I don’t know what their offseason plans are, but with the starting pitching they have, from [David] Price through the fifth guy, it’s a very deep rotation. Evan [Longoria] will be back and Wil [Myers] has a chance to have 35 home runs next year, so it’s a place I’d like to come back to.”
Frankly, it’s no surprise that Young would want to come back to any team that would have him. In fact, he virtually said as much, as he was later quoted as saying that he had the “opportunity to pick a team that (I) think (I) can fit in well with and has a great opportunity to get to the World Series.”
At this stage, Young is one of the worst defensive outfielders in all of baseball, and his true calling at this stage is probably as a pure designated hitter in a platoon situation. However, it’s fairly clear that he believes that he’s a better player than that, and that could bring problems as he searches for a new home. Tampa Bay is the perfect situation for a platoon-only guy, simply because Joe Maddon knows how to utilize such a player (see Luke Scott, for example), but it’s not clear what their roster makeup will be in 2014.
The smart money may be on Young waiting out the duration of the off-season and attempting to lock down a position after an injury or two leaves a team short-handed coming out of Spring Training.