Thursday, January 3, 2013

Yankees Thankfully Not Interested In Delmon Young

The Yankees are still very much in the market for some right-handed pop to balance out their lineup and strengthen their bench, but according to Joel Sherman that interest does not include former Tiger, recent Yankee killer, and all-around dick Delmon Young.  Young is just 27 years old, has put his power on display against the Yankees many a time before, and in the "beggars can't be choosers" mode the Yanks are in this offseason according to Cash seems like an ideal matchup at first glance.  A quick look just a level or 2 deeper, however, shows a match that isn't made anywhere near heaven.

For starters, Young just isn't that good a hitter.  He's got a .321 career wOBA, 96 wRC+, and a .307/.341/.483 career slash against LHP, but in his last 2 seasons Young's output has been closer to the .300 wOBA/<90 wRC+ range and he doesn't draw walks at all (4.1% career).  For a guy who supposedly has some pop, there's never been anything impressive about Young's ISO or SLG, and his lack of speed makes him all but useless on the basepaths and in the outfield.  Flawed as they may be, there isn't a defensive metric out there today that rates Young as anything other than an awful defender, and the last thing the Yankees need is another inflexible guy clogging up the DH spot and giving back runs in the field.

Beyond just his crummy stats, Young's personality and makeup are definitely not things that would mesh well in the Yankee clubhouse or with the Yankee crowd.  After being billed as a top prospect, Young has earned the reputation as a loafer and an underachiever, and has spent time with 3 teams in his still short career.  He was also arrested and charged with a hate crime for shouting anti-Semitic remarks at a Jewish person while drunk during Detroit's first road trip to New York this past season and would be a target for constant scorn from the fans who haven't forgotten that.  The Yankees have a reputation of being able to turn guys around with the professional nature of their clubhouse, but they also value character a ton and Young seems to have little of it.

The Yankees got their fill of good offense/bad defense from the Ibanez/Jones outfield pairing in 2012, and while the offense was pretty good I think they're looking to add a more well-rounded player this year.  Young barely offers an upgrade in the offensive category, is a downgrade on defense, and would bring the wrong kind of media and fan attention to a clubhouse that doesn't need that kind of trouble from a bench player.  He's a last ditch option if things get hairy, but I'm almost certain that even in an extreme pinch the Yankees would stear clear of Young.

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