Rays re-sign Delmon Young, claim David DeJesus
UPDATE, 6:11: It doesn't appear there will be any resolution of the DeJesus situation until Friday, but the Rays seem likely to end up with him either via their claim, which has been confirmed, or a trade.
UPDATE, 4:12: Young said he has long thought of returning to the Rays, that he enjoyed playing at the Trop and for/with the Rays personnel. "I've always wanted to come back, it's not like it's something that just popped up,'' he said. ... Is excited by the opportunity, doesn't have a set amount of time until he will be ready, that it could be 10 at-bats or 30-40. ... He has been in Arizona working out the mechanics in his swing and feels good about it now.
UPDATE, 2:49: Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said they are comfortable with Young as a person and confident he can help them as a player. "There are no guarantees but we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think he could play a role for us in September,'' he said. .. As for Young's maturity, Friedman said: "27-year-old Delmon is very different than 22-year-old Delmon. He's grown and matured as a person.''
UPDATE, 2:11: Young's agent, Joel Wolfe, said they had several teams interested but the Rays were definitely their first choice. "He was excited,'' Young said. "We had several offers but he told me to wait. There was no question in his mind he wanted to come here and he wanted to play for Joe.'' ... Wolfe also spoke to Young's maturation since he left the Devil Rays, and the mentorship he received from veteran teammates along the way. "He's lived a thousand lives since he left Tampa,'' Wolfe said. "He'd a different guy now. He's a salty veteran.''
DEVELOPING: The mutual interest between the Rays and former No. 1 draft pick Delmon Young we told you about last week has been consummated as they agreed today on a minor-league deal, the Times has confirmed. The team has since announced the deal.
Young, 27, will work his way back into shape with the Rays Double-A team in Montgomery, Ala., and likely would join the big-league team sometime next week - and certainly before the Aug. 31 postseason roster deadline.
Additionally, there is an ESPN/Chicago report that the Rays have claimed OF David DeJesus, whom they have long admired, from Washington. The Rays and Nats have until Friday to work out a deal for DeJesus, a 33-year-old who has a .279 career average.
Young was said to have offers from several other contending teams, but really wanted to rejoin the Rays and play for executive VP Andrew Friedman, manager Joe Maddon, etc. Also, he still has a house in the St. Petersburg area.
Young passed his physical this morning and is already on his way to Montgomery; he is headed there because they had the most convenient travel schedule this week of the Rays minor-league affiliates.
Since being designated for assignment by the Phillies on Aug. 9, Young has been working out in Arizona with hitting coach Jeff Pentland and receiving treatment on his ankle.
Young won't cost the Rays much money, likely less than $100,000, as he was released by the Phillies, who signed him to a one-year deal incentive-laden deal with a base salary of $750,000. The Rays would pay only a pro-rated share of the $490,000 MLB minimum.
Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal first tweeted news of the agreement.
Young was released Aug. 14 by the Phillies, and hasn't played in a game since Aug. 8.
Young spent 3 3/4 seasons with the Twins and 1 1/4 with the Tigers, earning 2012 AL Championship Series MVP honors.
But he also had controversy, having been arrested in April in New York and pleading guilty in November to aggravated harassment charges for shouting an anti-Semetic slur and tackling a man to the ground outside a hotel.
That combined with off-season surgery on his right ankle led to him signing a one-year deal for just $750,000 guaranteed with the Phillies.
He hit .261 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 80 games for the Phillies, looking more like a DH than an outfielder but a positive influence in the clubhouse, and was released last week.
Young has a career slash line of .283 / .316 / .423 hitter in parts of eight seasons with the Rays, Twins, Tigers and Phillies.