BALTIMORE --- In order to get a seven-man bullpen, the Orioles decided that they had a surplus of outfielders, and they’ve designated Delmon Young for assignment.
Young, who was in his second year with the Orioles, is batting .270 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. He’s gone just 2-for-19 in his last eight games.
Ever since the Orioles added Chris Parmelee on June 16, they’ve gone with 11 pitchers.
Young played 82 games in 2015, batting .302 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs. He had a bases-clearing double in the Orioles win over Detroit in the second game of the American League Division Series.
He was re-signed to a one-year, $2.25 million contract.
The Orioles have 10 days to trade or release Young, who was the overall No. 1 draft pick of Tampa Bay in 2003. He’s played for the Rays, Tigers, Twins and Phillies. Each of his last six teams have reached the postseason.
“Delmon is a qualified Major League hitter. And hopefully we will be able to find a spot for him in a few days,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
The Orioles didn’t have a great desire to unload Young. Other players were just more versatile, and Duquette had a hard choice.
“They're all difficult. We wrestle with these decisions and hash them out and go back and forth. And we try to develop more options for the team to keep all the players in the organization. But we couldn't come up with a solution to this roster move because we don't have the flexibility on our roster that we've had in the past,” Duquette said.
Before the move was announced, manager Buck Showalter hinted that it would be a position player.
“We’ve got a lot of good players, and somebody will end up in the big leagues,” Showalter said. “Somebody will end up in the big leagues that’s in the big leagues with us.”
Tyler Wilson was recalled from Norfolk for the fourth time this season to beef up the bullpen. He’s 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA in five games.
“Buck likes to go with the extra pitcher and there's a lot of good reasons to have an extra pitcher on your roster, particularly if you have stress on your starting pitching, you get in an extra inning game, so you have a fresh bullpen every night. And we do have some other options on the bench. Delmon Young did a nice job for the team. He had a really good year last year and he's contributed to this year's ballclub,” Duquette said.
“We looked for as many solutions as we could find to keep everyone, but we weren't able to do that in this case.”
Another move will have to be made on Thursday to make room for their starter, Kevin Gausman, who’ll be recalled from Norfolk.
The trading deadline is July 31, and Duquette expects the Orioles to be in the mix.
“We’re working on a number of different conversations. We’ll see how that develops. I’m glad we’re back in the race, and we’ve got a good roster at Triple-A, and we’ve got a good roster in the big leagues. We’re going to try to keep it going. We’ll be active on the trade front. We’ve had active discussions with a number of teams already,” Duquette said.