Delmon Young refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and was released by the Phillies today. Young hit .261/.332/.397 for the Phillies with just eight homers in 291 plate appearances. Young’s release comes just nine plate appearances shy of him achieving an additional $150 K bonus.
Analysis: Casper Wells, who was added to replace Young, will make less than $150 K to finish the season as a Phillie. But make no mistake: this was by no means a cost-cutting move. Young, in under half of the plate appearances he had in 2012, managed to be even more detrimental to his team in 2013 according to FanGraph’s version of WAR. Extrapolated across 600 PA, Young would have cost the Phillies two full games. Young posted a career high in K% and had nearly an identical season to that of which he had last season in terms of wOBA and wRC+ while playing worse defense in right field.
Young may now sign with any team but I’m not sure he will have many suitors lined up. Among the 40 players who have 250 or more PA in right field, Young ranks 38th in WAR, ahead of only Endy Chavez and Jeff Franceour, 28th in wOBA, 28th in wRC+, and was the 36th best defender, just ahead of John Mayberry.