O's add Wilson to bullpen, designate Young
BALTIMORE -- Working with a six-man bullpen, the Orioles added reliever Tyler Wilson from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Wednesday's game against the Rangers. The move came with a tough corresponding decision as Baltimore designated Delmon Young for assignment, making him the odd man out among a wealth of outfielders.
Young, best remembered for coming through as a pinch-hitter with a bases-clearing double in Game 2 of the 2014 American League Division Series against the Tigers, was a fantastic bat off the bench for Baltimore last season. He ended with a .302/.337/.442 slash line and signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Orioles in the offseason.
"They're all difficult," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of the move. "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.
"[Manager] Buck [Showalter] likes to go with the extra pitcher, and there's a lot of good reasons to have an extra pitcher on your roster. … 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. … It's always very difficult. We looked for as many solutions as we could find to keep everyone, but we weren't able to do that in this case."
The O's have explored trades for Young and can still do that while he's in limbo. By designating a player for assignment, the team has 10 days to trade, release or put the player on waivers, and Duquette is optimistic the club will work out a deal.
"Delmon is a qualified Major League hitter," Duquette said. "And hopefully we will be able to find a spot for him in a few days."
Expected to be more of a contributor this season -- particularly in the outfield -- Young got off to a poor start and found playing time hard to come by as the year progressed and Jimmy Paredes hit his way into a regular designated-hitter role. Young hit .270 (47-for-174) in 52 games, with two homers and 16 RBIs, and his playing time became even more scarce when the club recently purchased the contract of outfielder/first baseman Chris Parmelee.
To withstand the loss of Young's bat, Duquette referenced the organization's depth, using names like prospect Christian Walker and Dariel Alvarez. Still, Young is a seasoned hitter and had been to the postseason the last six consecutive years.
"That's a good point. We wrestled with that," Duquette said. "Delmon got a big hit for us in the playoffs last year. Who knows? Maybe we'll get him back."
Showalter broke the news to Young following batting practice.
"It's very tough," Showalter said. "There's not a right decision there. Nobody is trying to present it as such. We've got good quality people and you reach a point where you can't keep them all. Unfortunately, we're probably not done. It tugs at your chest."