WASHINGTON — Had Delmon Young batted nine more times, he would have earned a $150,000 bonus. The Phillies, a team headed to a certain bitter end in 2013, decided the time was right to jettison the underachieving Young.
Young was designated for assignment Friday to clear space for well-traveled outfielder Casper Wells, a man who will call the Phillies his fifth different team this season. It was the final ignominy for Young, who signed a $750,000 contract late last winter and was anointed the Phillies' starting right fielder despite not having played the position in six years.
He is just the latest mistake the Phillies have conceded in the form of a transaction. Earlier in the week, they designated Laynce Nix for assignment.
The hole in right field was glaring. The Phillies' .727 OPS by right fielders ranks 11th in the National League. They filled the position, at first, with John Mayberry Jr. while Young recovered from offseason ankle surgery.
Young batted .260 with eight home runs in 80 games. His .699 OPS would rank 116th among all major-league hitters if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.
The 27-year-old faced little playing time in the season's final seven weeks because the Phillies are dedicated to playing their "younger players," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. Darin Ruf, just 10 months younger than Young, replaced him in right.
The Phillies will pay Young $1.75 million for his services. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Young meet stipulations for four weight-based incentives.
Young was due another $150,000 bonus for reaching 300 plate appearances; he finished with 291. If he was on the active roster on Aug. 27, he would have received another $100,000.
Wells, 28, will earn slightly less than $150,000 for the remainder of the season.
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