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Rays bring back former first overall draft pick Delmon Young

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Five years after being traded to the Twins, Delmon Young is back with Tampa Bay.
Five years after being traded to the Twins, Delmon Young is back with Tampa Bay. (USATSI)

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More than five years after trading him away in a six-deal player, the Rays have signed outfielder Delmon Young, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the deal and says it's a minor-league contract.

Young, 27, was released by the Phillies last week after hitting .261/.302/.397 (91 OPS+) with eight home runs in 80 games. Offseason ankle surgery delayed the start of his year. The right-handed hitter put up a .286/.361/.397 (108 OPS+) against left-handed pitchers, so he can be useful if deployed properly.

The Rays drafted Young with the first overall pick in the 2003 draft. He finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 after hitting .288/.316/.408 (91 OPS+) with 13 home runs and 93 RBI, but the team flipped him to the Twins for Matt Garza and others that offseason.

The Phillies owe Young his entire $750,000 salary following the release, so if the Rays do call him up, they only owe him the pro-rated portion of the league minimum. They could be looking at him as an extra right-handed bat for the bench once rosters expand in September.

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