Do the Devil Rays have a reputation for being cheap? Yes. Do they deserve it? Yes. Is the Delmon Young flap a prime example? No.
Rays’ outfield prospect Delmon Young, who still needs a lot of work in the field, has been adjudged the minor leagues’ best player and a can’t-miss future major leaguer. He expected to be called up to the big club once his minor league season was over.
He wasn’t. That’s because the Rays, with the smallest payroll in Major League Baseball, don’t want to accelerate his service time – which has salary and free-agency implications.
The 19-year-old Young was outraged and called out the parent team for being cheap and inconsiderate. He also intimated his loyalty to the organization was likely negligible at best. It was a prime topic of interest on ESPN.
A footnote: In 2003, the Rays paid the then 17-year-old a bonus of $5.8 million.
By early next season, Young should be in the Bigs to stay. He has the tools to make it big. But nothing is guaranteed. Including growing up.