Although the Minnesota Twins have been in full out seller mode over the past month and some change, is it possible that the team could be considering a reunion with a former outfielder? On August 9th, the Philadelphia Phillies designated outfielder Delmon Young for assignment; today, the team announced that Young had refused an outright assignment to Triple-A and had officially been released. With Young now a free-agent, available to sign wherever he chooses, could the Twins be a possible suitor for their former outfielder?
Young had been having an alright season in 2013 by batting .261 with eight HR and 31 RBI over 80 games this season and possessed a .302 OBP, .397 slugging percentage and .699 OPS on the year. While those aren’t the most eye-popping stats, they represent production that the Twins certainly aren’t getting, on a regular basis, from their current combination of outfielders; however, with the team gravitating towards playing younger players, the likelihood of the Twins and Young reuniting is very slim. If the team were to deal a player like Josh Willingham in a waiver deal, however, the chances of bringing back Young could increase; but again, the likelihood of the Twins inquiring about Young remains miniscule.
The Twins and Young parted ways in 2011 following Young’s best season of his career in 2010 when he hit 21 HR and drove in 112 RBI. Many analysts clamored for the Twins to deal the outfielder while his value was at its highest after the 2010 season, but the team opted to hang on to their young slugger in the hopes that he could replicate the type of production that he had in 2010 on a yearly basis; unfortunately for all parties involved, that hope never came to fruition. Due to decreased production, continued lackluster defense and an apparent poor attitude, Young was dealt to Detroit where he had a great post-season and helped the team immensely down the stretch. The Twins never received much in return for Young and have struggled to replace his offensive ability over the last few years; however, that doesn’t mean the team is willing to deal for Young at the present time.
While I still believe that Young could be a serviceable addition to the Twins’ lineup, at a cheap price, he doesn’t fit the rebuilding plan and youth movement that the team has been implementing over the past few seasons. Where will Young ultimately land? I’m not really sure; but one thing is certain, if he finds his way onto a playoff roster, he could be a valuable piece for many contenders. Which teams are willing to take a chance on the high-maintenance outfielder, however, remains a mystery.