Sources: Phillies seriously considering signing Delmon Young


Sources: Phillies seriously considering signing Delmon Young

Three weeks before the start of spring training, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to look to add a corner outfielder to his team.

I think we can get one before spring training, Amaro said. We hope to do it.

Sources tell that the Phils are seriously considering signing free-agent Delmon Young.

Amaro, who typically keeps matters of free-agency close to his vest, did not deny that.

Weve kicked around a lot of stuff, he said. Hes among them.

Asked if hed spoken with Youngs representatives, Amaro said: Weve talked to everybody, everybody who is still out there, the whole gamut.

Young was a brilliant right-handed hitting prospect when he was selected first overall in the 2003 draft by Tampa Bay. He finished second in American League rookie of the year voting in 2007 and drove in 112 runs for Minnesota in 2010. Despite those high points, Youngs career has been marred by inconsistency on the field and controversy off it.

In April 2012, an intoxicated Young was arrested after shouting anti-Semitic slurs outside of a New York hotel. Major League Baseball suspended Young, then with the Detroit Tigers, for seven days. The player apologized for the incident and completed a counseling and community service program. He returned to the Tigers and hit .267 with 18 homers and 74 RBIs in 151 games. He was a postseason standout, hitting .359 (11 for 31) with three homers and seven RBIs in the ALCS and World Series.

Amaro would not discuss Youngs off-field history in specifics. He did discuss in general the idea of pursuing players who have baggage.

We have to keep our minds open on everything, Amaro said. Of course I have reservations about guys who have had some issues. But weve got to keep our minds open also.

In addition to Young, the Phillies have considered free agent Scott Hairston. They have talked about trading for Vernon Wells.

Amaro said the Phillies have to be cognizant of their payroll while looking for late-winter roster tweaks.

Were looking for low-risk, high-reward guys if we can, he said.

Young seems to fit that description. At this late stage of the winter, he probably would not require a big-money contract. At 27, he is still an extremely talented hitter and could be entering his prime years.

One downside on Young is that he was mostly a designated hitter last season. He started just 29 games in left field for Detroit. Youngs physical conditioning was questioned in some quarters last season, but he did play with bone spurs in his ankle. That problem was addressed with surgery in November and Young is expected to be ready for spring training.

The Phillies currently have four players Darin Ruf, John Mayberry Jr., Domonic Brown and Laynce Nix -- vying for two corner outfield jobs. Amaro is not necessarily looking to add an everyday player to the mix. A player like Young could come in as a complement to the existing group and earn more regular playing time if his bat and defense merit.

Young has some familiarity with Phillies personnel. Steve Henderson, the Phils new hitting coach, was Youngs hitting coach in Tampa Bay.

The Rays have been mentioned as another club that is pursuing Young as a designated hitter.

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Phillies Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning recovering from stroke

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Phillies Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning recovering from stroke

National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and Phillies great Jim Bunning is recovering from a stroke, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bunning, who suffered the stroke Tuesday night in his Southgate, Kentucky, home, was moved from intensive care to a transitional care unit on Thursday night, per the report.

Bunning "has been provided skilled care that is leading him on the road to recovery," the family said in a statement Friday.

"The Bunning family wants to thank the first responders and medical personnel who have been treating dad," the statement said. "We sincerely appreciate the thoughts and prayers of all who are concerned about our father’s health. However, so we can focus our efforts on dad’s recovery, we ask the press to respect our family’s privacy at this time. We will let everyone know as his health continues to improve."

The 84-year old is one of two Phillies pitchers to toss a perfect game in the organization’s history. He accomplished the feat on Father’s Day in 1964.

Along with the Phillies, Bunning played for the Tigers, Pirates and Dodgers in his 17-year career. The righthander, who was enshrined on the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1984, won 89 games and posted a 2.93 ERA in six seasons in Philadelphia. 

After his baseball days, Bunning started a career in politics. He served stints in Congress and the U.S. Senate before retiring in 2010.

MLB playoffs: Cubs advance to first World Series since 1945

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MLB playoffs: Cubs advance to first World Series since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.

Lineup shuffle
Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.

Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.