The Phillies announced that they have signed Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 contract.
Here's why the move makes some sense for the Phillies.
1) He is a career .307/.341/.483 hitter against left-handed pitching, including .308/.333/.500 last year.
2) He is better against righties than John Mayberry Jr. (.232/.302/.379 career line for Mayberry, .275/.307/.401 career line for Young).
3) While he is three years removed from his best campaign as a big leaguer, when he hit .298/.333/.493 with 21 home runs for the Twins in 2010, he will be just 27 years old this season.
4) The Phillies sure could use more right-handed power, and Young would provide an option, presumably at a cheap price.
That being said, Young is obviously an imperfect solution to an imperfect situation. He has had two straight below-major-league-average seasons, posting a .707 OPS and 89 OPS+ in 2012 and a .695 OPS and 90 OPS+ in 2011. He has played exclusively in left field since 2008, and we use the word "played" loosely, because Young is a notoriously bad defender. Which, of course, means that the Phillies could enter the season with three corner outfielders who have serious question marks on defense in Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown and Youg. It also gives the Phillies two right-handed bats in left field, and John Mayberry Jr. as the likely right-handed counterpart to balance out Domonic Brown in right field and back-up center fielder Ben Revere.
I haven't thought this through too deeply, but my initial thought is that this means Freddy Galvis likely starts the season in the minors, since Kevin Frandsen would fill the utility role, joining Mayberry, Young, Laynce Nix and Erik Kratz on the bench.