Why Rays Acquiring Delmon Young, David DeJesus Should Scare AL Contending Teams
Those sneaky Tampa Bay Rays have been anything but complacent this week as they aim for their fourth playoff berth in six seasons.
They signed former farmhand Delmon Young to a minor league deal. On Friday, they completed a trade for outfielder David DeJesus after claiming him off waivers the day before, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Although neither addition is particularly sexy, they cumulatively have the potential to help the Rays distance themselves from other contending teams in the American League.
He's been notorious for years now, so it may come as a shock to you that Young hasn't yet reached his 28th birthday. The designated hitter still possesses the bat speed and power to help Tampa Bay score even more runs.
He'll presumably spend the rest of August taking cuts for the Double-A squad before rejoining the Rays when rosters expand. The team recently placed Luke Scott on the disabled list with back spasms, so Young can take some of his at-bats in the meantime.
It's not far-fetched to believe that he can make a positive impact in a platoon role. Although Young is three years removed from his only "great" season, he has posted at least a .750 OPS against left-handed pitching every summer since then.
Wearing a fielder's mitt makes him a sabermetric disaster, but Tampa Bay isn't relying on him to do that.
DeJesus, of course, is the more significant member of this newly acquired pair. Topkin tweets that the Washington Nationals will choose a player from the Rays farm system as compensation for his services.
There's no doubt that the 33-year-old is a greater offensive threat than Sam Fuld.
Do the acquisitions of David DeJesus and Delmon Young make the Rays a better team for the stretch run?
DeJesus' stats have never looked particularly impressive. He seldom homers or steal bases, and his batting average has slipped in the past several summers.
He's guaranteed to improve the Rays, however, with his knack for getting on base—.346 OBP since 2010—and steady glove work.
During a trading season in which there wasn't a whole lot available for contenders, Tampa Bay quietly added legitimate depth.
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