Delmon Young helped transform the Detroit Tigers, along with Doug Fister, upon their arrival in the second half of the 2011 season.
His performance in the playoffs was admirable, and for his services, Detroit fans will always be grateful. But, the arrival of Prince Fielder has an immediate effect on the value of the team's current left fielder.
Young belted 8 HRs and drove in 32 RBI for Detroit in only 40 regular-season games. He added 5 HRs in the postseason and was, perhaps, the biggest factor in the ALDS win over the New York Yankees.
But keep in mind, Delmon did all this while batting in front of one of baseball's best hitters, Miguel Cabrera.
Young hit third for the Tigers, and in that position was afforded the rare luxury of seeing a majority of fastballs. Pitchers did not want to pitch to the Vinous Venezuelan that is Miguel Cabrera on-deck, and would therefore be wary of walking Young.
Because of this, Young devoured those fastballs and his numbers may take a hit when not presented with those favorable scenarios this season.
Let's get one thing straight: you don't pay $214 million for someone to bat fifth in your lineup. Being buried that deep in the lineup could result in Fielder missing 20-25 at-bats during the season; that is a lapse the Tigers cannot afford to have.
Fielder will bat fourth, and Cabrera will bat third. That's just the way it's going to happen. No debating.
This leaves Young hitting fifth, or deeper. He won't see fastballs later in the order, and we all know Delmon is about as patient as fire. His numbers will drop.
Luckily for the Tigers, Delmon's trade value is currently about as high as it will get: he had a great postseason, is in a contract year, and is only 26.
I propose moving him for a player like Peter Bourjos, and to a team lacking power like the Los Angeles Angels. In adding Bourjos, the Tigers upgrade defensively at the position, and are able to plug the 24-year-old outfielder in as the everyday lead off hitter.
Bourjos is a kid with speed and that is one aspect of the game, even with the enormous power now doubled by Fielder, the Tigers completely lack and desperately need.