Where might Delmon Young land now that he’s been released by the Phillies? How about back where it all started for him in Tampa Bay? Seriously.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports “mutual interest and conversations” between the Rays and Young, who was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in 2003 and made his MLB debut there in 2006 before later being traded to Minnesota for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett.
As the Phillies learned Young drags a team down offensively and defensively as an everyday player, but if used as a part-timer versus left-handed pitching he might be sort of useful. He’s a career .306 hitter with an .820 OPS versus lefties, compared to .273 with a .706 OPS versus righties, and the Rays could also stick him at designated hitter to alleviate Young’s massive defensive issues.
Jon Heyman reports that 11 MLB umpires have opted out of the 2020 season or have otherwise declined to participate. He says “some are said to have family members who are ill.” The umpires’ identities are not yet known.
Umpires, like players, have the right to opt-out with full pay if they are in a high risk group due to preexisting health conditions. Umpires can, obviously, be older as well, so age factors into it for some as well. Also like players, umpires who are themselves not high risk can opt-out if they have concern for the health of family members, though they will forego paychecks.
Recently, one umpire who is high risk — Joe West — made headlines for not only choosing not to opt-out but for also giving voice to COVID-19 denialism, questioning official statistics about infections and deaths.
The latest on West: