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Tigers acquire outfielder Delmon Young from Twins

Aug 15, 2011, 2:42 PM EDT

delmon-young-twins AP

Rarely do teams within the same division swing trades during the season, but the Twins are all but officially out of the AL Central race and … well, they probably figure sending Delmon Young to the Tigers might actually make Detroit worse anyway.

Minnesota once gave up Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett to get Young from Tampa Bay, but in trading him to Detroit they get left-hander Cole Nelson, who was a 10th-round pick in last year’s draft, and a player to be named later. In other words, the Twins basically just dumped Young now rather than non-tender him for nothing this offseason.

Young had a breakout 2010 season, but took several steps backward this year and finishes his three-plus seasons in Minnesota with a .324 on-base percentage and .429 slugging percentage that were underwhelming enough without factoring in his awful defense in left field.

Young is still just 25 years old and he hits left-handed pitching well enough to provide some value to the Tigers, but his numerous flaws have kept him from becoming an above-average regular, let alone the middle-of-the-order impact bat many projected from the former No. 1 overall pick. For all the talk of his supposed power potential, he’s a swing-at-everything singles hitter with horrendous baseball instincts.

It’s a low-risk move for the Tigers, but Young’s name recognition is bigger than his upside at this point and the Twins smartly realized he wasn’t worth keeping for $6-7 million in 2012. Since he joined the Twins in 2008 the only player in baseball with more plate appearances and a lower Wins Above Replacement is Yuniesky Betancourt.

  1. thekcubrats - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    What a great deal for DET, even if it doesn’t work out, seems to cost nothing and the upside… yikes.

    • thekcubrats - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      P.S.
      There’s a lot of bitter fanboy posing in this thread about this being a Trojan Horse brilliant stroke to doom Los Tigres… give it up, kids. If anything, the Twinks might be taking Pyrrhic satisfaction in that the clumsy, spasmodic resurrection going on in Chitown won’t amount to anything postseasonal. For nothing, Detroit gets a live bat, esp. v. LHP, to put into the DH/OF mix, for the stretch run. To call that downside…

      • Ari Collins - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:11 PM

        He’s batting 3rd against a RHP tonight. His career numbers versus RHPs are .283/.316/.407. At one of the easiest defensive positions in baseball. Which he plays terribly.

        He’d be a decent 4th OF to mostly use against lefties. But the Tigers are shooting themselves in the foot. And next year they’ll pay $7M for the privilege.

        I’d say they’ll DFA him this winter, but they apparently think he’s a 3-hole hitter, so who knows.

  2. kopy - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Baseball Reference says Cole Nelson was born in Edina, so there’s that. Twins probably just said, “Well, if we’re going to acquire a warm body, it might as well be a local.”

  3. Justin - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Tell me you get money from Best Buy for using that picture. Or maybe you just use it for the irony of having Young and Best being represented together.

    • kirkmack - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:15 PM

      It is probably more because it shows the amazing ineptitude that DY showed consistently on defense.

    • bloodysock - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Well, Delmon Young certainly wasn’t ‘optimized’ by the Geek Squad.

  4. sknut - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Makes sense, he never really got it back after last year and was a prime non-tender candidate. Its a shame because he has talent but not a lot of baseball IQ.

  5. Graves - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    It’s too bad they didn’t move him last offseason when he had some value.

    • Bryz - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      Probably because the FO thought Delmon had turned a corner.

      • Graves - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM

        I get that, but I feel like the mountain of evidence to the contrary in his history and the slew of outfielders in the system would have been reason enough to maximize his value while they could.

        *sigh*

      • nick5253 - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        Graves – if you saw the mountain of evidence to the contrary – I would guess the other 29 GMs saw it as well.

        I would guess there was little demand for DY this last offseason and even less up to the trading deadline.

        To get anything for DY was a big win for Twins. And to send him to a division rival was an even bigger win.

  6. gopher34 - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Will Detroit start him tonight vs. the Twins?

    • kopy - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM

      The rumblings are that he’s actually batting 3rd, per one of the Twins’ reporters.

      • kopy - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM
  7. The Common Man - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Seldom do you get a chance to make your own team better while simultaneously making a division rival worse. This is a deal that will have far reaching effects on this year’s and other pennant races in the AL Central. There’s nothing about this trade that’s not to love. Great job and congratulations to Bill Smith and the rest of the Twins organization on a job well done.

    • ThatGuy - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      The only thing not to love is that Bill Smith acquired him in the first place… I suppose its never to late to clean up your own mess.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      I can only hope this is sarcasm.

  8. trevorb06 - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    This is one of the smarter moves made by the twins! Solves some of that OF log-jam problem. Now we’ve just got Span, Revere, Kubel and Cuddy fighting for 3 spots. Makes it easier since Kubel and Thome switch off at DH and Cuddy can take time at 1st, 2nd or 3rd as well.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      How is trading for someone with talent to a division rival for next to nothing a good move? Especially when you add in the fact that Kubel, Cuddy and Thome are free agents next season.
      So Garza and Barlett for something called Cole Nelson. Oh boy.

      • trevorb06 - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:25 PM

        We traded Garza and Bartlett for what was a young guy in the rear end of the ‘prospect’ stage. Well guess what, he failed as a prospect. Now we traded Delmon Young, the platoon player with less than mediocre defense.

      • schrutebeetfarms - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        Well fortunately the Twins have a ton of right handed bats with power potential in the minors to call up. (That’s called sarcasm).

        We are only one season removed from Young carrying the team as he did with his bat last season. Terrible in the outfield yes. However, it would have been nice to get something more than a never will be in return.

  9. 25seasonsticketholder - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Can we trade Billy Smith the twins rotund (and useless) GM for some batting practice balls and a hot dog?

    This club owes everything to Billy, it’s piss poor rotation, horseshit bullpen, fucked-up minor league system and especially our hapless, AA, left side infield.

    Hopefully the Pohlads beg Terry Ryna to resume his GM role and fire Billy “Tub-O-Goo” Smith before next season.

    • kopy - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      I’d hold out for a Dome Dog. Schweigert has nothing on Hormel. NOTHING! I want the Row of Fame back.

    • Bryz - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      Fat jokes. Classy.

      Let me tell you something. This “piss poor rotation” would be basically identical with Terry Ryan. Ryan still works in the front office, it’s just as an adviser now instead of general manager. Oh, and Bill Smith doesn’t make all the decisions on his own.

      The Pohlads are baseball fans, and have never interfered with the front office. They trust what Smith, Ryan, et al. do.

  10. siouxyaya17 - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    So basically Garza for Single A trash, that a boy Bill Smith!

    • Graves - Aug 15, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      Garza AND Bartlett…get it together!

    • loganjpat - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Hey now, he made up for it by getting Jim Hoey (7.71 era) for JJ Hardy (.270 23 hr 58 RBI)…

    • trevorb06 - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM

      As I stated above:
      We traded Garza and Bartlett for what was a young guy in the rear end of the ‘prospect’ stage. Well guess what, he failed as a prospect. Now we traded Delmon Young, the platoon player with less than mediocre defense.

  11. Jack Marshall - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    What? But his stats over the 3 years with the Twins are better than superstar Carl Crawford’s this season! Should you tell the Red Sox, or do I have to?

  12. cusoman - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    That PTBNL better be DAMN good. Bill Smith… utter failure.

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