SARASOTA, Fla. - Delmon Young hit in the indoor cage this morning, took a few rounds of batting practice outside and shagged fly balls in left field. He later met with Buck Showalter after passing by the manager’s office without a shirt and happily proclaiming that he weighed in at 223 pounds.
It was a full day for Young, who signed a minor league deal earlier this week and decided to stop by the complex to work out and meet his coaches and a few of his new teammates.
Young, 28, said he had a few offers from other teams that included spring training invites.
“My agent called and he said, ‘We’ve got a couple things, but this one is the best situation. If you play well, you have an opportunity to play every day here.’ And that’s always enticing,” Young said.
“As an athlete, you don’t mind competing, especially when this organization has always been pretty much brutally honest when they tell you something. So, it’s a great opportunity. The team’s built to win and it’s built to win right now. And with the AL East being up for grabs because every team is good, it’s always a great place to come and compete in. To me, it’s probably the best division in baseball.”
Young could play left field on occasion, but figures to be the primary right-handed designated hitter if he breaks camp with the club. He’s a career .303/.341/.471 hitter against southpaws.
“If I’m playing well anywhere, they’ll try to find you at-bats,” he said. “Everyone that’s coming into camp here is going to show what they can do, and they’ll make a decision that, ‘This guy is playing well here. We’re going to let him play here.’ We show what we can do and what we’re capable of doing, and if it’s a fit, then whoever is playing the best will play.”
Asked what he can offer the Orioles, Young replied, “I can drive in runs and help score runs, because in this division, there aren’t going to be many National League West Kershaw vs. Cain games where it’s 1-0. Over here, you’re going to have to score some runs on a consistent basis to compete with these teams over here because every team is loaded with pitching and every team is loaded with offense. This team has a lot of Gold Glovers here, so they’re not giving up runs on defense with the outfielders they have and the infielders. I’ll just try to provide a consistent at-bat in the lineup.”
Young said he wasn’t concerned about remaining on the market until the second week of January.
“No, not really, because you’ve still got guys out there right now with a better track record who are out there,” he said. “I’m not Prince Fielder, but he waited until what, February? I didn’t get that contract, but it doesn’t matter when you sign. Some guys are going to sign big deals before spring training. It doesn’t matter when you sign, it just matters where you go and if it’s a good fit for you and the team.
“Most teams were looking and didn’t know what they were going to get. The market set itself and there were some trades and everything. There was interest from a couple teams but it just depends on what happens from the Winter Meetings and stuff like that.”
Showalter noted that Young appears to be in good shape, “about as good as I’ve seen him look physically.”
“You see me in 2010?” Young asked reporters with a grin. “I was shredded.”
“In 2011, I was good,” he added. “Every year in spring training I was really good. It just depended on if I get hurt or not during the season and I couldn’t work out or anything really besides play baseball.”
Young is familiar with a few Orioles, having played with J.J. Hardy and Alexi Casilla in Minnesota.
“I also know Adam (Jones) because we were showcasing in high school because we were the same draft class,” Young said. “I’ve played against Chris Davis when he was in Texas and obviously talked to him in the weight room. It’s quite impressive to watch him lift.”