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Big League Stew

Delmon Young can earn an additional $600,000 if he loses eight pounds — and keeps them off

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(BLS Illustration)

The Philadelphia Phillies will weigh slugger Delmon Young on six occasions of their choice this season, the Associated Press and others have reported. If he makes the required weight each time, he'll be paid an extra $600,000 this season on top of the $750,000 for which he signed. Young weighed 238 pounds for his initial physical with the team, but he'll have to be eight pounds lighter the next time he steps on the scale.

Here are the details, as reported by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Each time he makes weight, Young receives $100,000. The first three times he must weigh 230 pounds or less. He must weigh 235 pounds or less for the last three weigh-ins.

Young said his opening-day weight in 2012 was 225 pounds. His conditioning, exacerbated by a bad ankle that required microfracture surgery, suffered during the season.

Young's salary can go as high as $3.5 million with various other incentives based on playing time and performance.

Losing eight pounds and keeping them off might sound easy enough to someone who's never struggled with their weight. And Young would seem to have a pretty good support system enabling him to accomplish such a goal, despite Philly being one of the best eating towns in the majors. But it's not like extra pounds have been the biggest thing holding him back.

[Related: Window closing on aging, fragile Phillies]

As The Stew reported on Tuesday, the Phillies signed Young based on the hope that he somehow becomes the player scouts thought he would be when the (Devil) Rays made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2003. Young's shape has been but a small factor contributing to his arrested development in the major leagues. Being leaner would help. It did for Young in 2010, when he had his best season with Minnesota.

But is there a weigh-in for Young that will help him reach a goal of not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone? Or playing competent defense? Or to remind him to not say anti-semitic slurs? If the Phillies help him with these issues too then they'll have a productive ballplayer/person on their hands.

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