Delmon Young has had some off the field issues that made him less than desirable on the free agent market, but the Philadelphia Phillies chose to overlook those issues. Yesterday, the Phillies and Young agreed to a one-year contract worth $750,000.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, the Phillies were able to sign Young for so little because of his off the field issues. Young was suspended last year and arrested when after harassing a man on the street and shouting anti-Semitic comments. Young was ordered to undergo alcohol treatment and anger management. Young was also suspending a couple times in the minors including one time for throwing a bat at an umpire.
"You live and you learn," Young said. "I put myself in a bad situation. Nothing good comes out when you're out that late by yourself. I have to put myself in better situations. You think before you go out and do stuff now. You think, 'I have a game and I don't need to be doing any of this stuff.'"Young made $3.5 million last season, so his contract with the Phillies represents a significant pay cut. However, he has not been productive enough to be worth $3.5 million anyway. Young hit .267/.296/.411 last season. In his career, he has an OPS less than league average at .742.
The Phillies are hoping Young can overcome his issues off the field and get back to hitting like he did in 2010 when he finished 10th in MVP voting. Young will stay on the field if he is not suspended. He has been generally healthy through his career.