BALTIMORE — Delmon Young was designated for assignment Wednesday by the Baltimore Orioles, who needed the roster spot to fortify their thin bullpen.
Young signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal during the offseason after batting .302 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 83 games in 2014. He also delivered a clutch three-run double to give the Orioles a win over Detroit in the postseason.
Within 10 days, the Orioles must place Young on waivers, trade him, release him or outright him to the minor leagues.
Young was batting .270 with two homers and 16 RBIs this season after being crowded out of the outfield by Chris Davis, Chris Parmelee, Travis Snider and Nolan Reimold.
Most of all, Orioles manager Buck Showalter required an addition to his six-man bullpen. Right-hander Tyler Wilson was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
"Buck likes to go with the extra pitcher," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. "There are a lot of good reasons to have an extra pitcher on the roster, particularly if you have stress on the starting pitching or we have an extra-inning game."
Young, 29, started only 19 games this season. But he was 3 for 9 as a pinch-hitter after going 10 for 20 in that role last year.
"I like having the extra bats on the bench," Duquette said. "There's a value to that, but it's a constant balancing act with the roster. We look at it every day and every night."
Saying farewell to Young was not an easy call.
"We wrestle with these decisions and go back-and-forth to develop more options for the team," Duquette said. "We couldn't come up with a solution with this roster move. We don't have the flexibility with the roster that we've had in the past."
The Orioles will seek to get a measure of a return on their offseason investment by working a trade for the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft. Over nine-plus season, Young has a .283 batting average with 109 home runs and 566 RBIs.
"Delmon is a qualified major league hitter," Duquette said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to find a spot for him here in a few days."
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