News came through last night that the Minnesota Twins have signed Jim Thome, with the intention of making him their full-time DH. With this move they will be moving last year's DH, Jason Kubel, to the outfield, leaving no room for ex-super-duper-next-coming-of-Christ prospect Delmon Young without a position.
The Yankees have been picking up scraps for AAA outfield depth and/or a shot at the big league roster throughout the offseason, but have failed to secure what would be termed an "every day" option (if I get one more Brett Gardner email I am going to dickslap somebody - just STOP). With a player like Young being tossed by the wayside, this could be a perfect opportunity for the Yankees to pick up a potential long-term option without the long-term commitment. Hell, if it doesn't work out, they sign Carl Crawford at the end of the 2010 season. But if it does, maybe that money could be better spent in other areas (like re-signing Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, or even signing Cliff Lee to fill the spot vacated by Andy Pettitte).
To call Young a disappointment may well be an understatement, but the potential is still there. He's far from the 30/30 superstar that we were all promised, but he is still a solid, bottom of the order type. His .733 OPS last year was nothing short of abysmal, but it seems as though he had a sharp drop in AVG that should recover. Young's problem is , and has always been, patience. He NEVER fucking walks. The same had been said about Robinson Cano in past years, but he has gradually (or to some, PAINFULLY) raised his walk totals under Kevin Long.
Another knock on Young has been the slow, if not non-existent, development of his power. He has remained the same gap hitter that we saw as an eighteen year old. The fact remains, though, that Young is still yet to turn 25 years old. He's been a jerkoff for his entire career, and now he is left with a choice: go somewhere and prove your worth, or fade into AAAA obscurity. At a minimal price, the Yankees could do worse than to add a potentially highly motivated 24 year old with an infinite ceiling. Classic case of low-risk, high reward. Plus there is always the potential to watch him go bat-shit crazy, Milton Bradley style. And that's never not fun.