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Updated: August 15th, 2011 1:38pm
Delmon Young dealt to Tigers for LHP Cole Nelson, player to be named

Delmon Young dealt to Tigers for LHP Cole Nelson, player to be named

by Phil Mackey
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So much for the outfield logjam.

The Minnesota Twins have traded left fielder Delmon Young to the Detroit Tigers for left-hander Cole Nelson and a player to be named.

General manager Bill Smith confirmed to 1500 ESPN that the Tigers claimed Young off waivers and the two teams worked out a deal. The player to be named must be finalized by Oct. 15, but Smith said, "I don't think it will be that long. I think we will firm that up much sooner than that."

After driving in a career-high 112 runs last season, Young was hitting only .266/.305/.357 with only four home runs in 325 plate appearances this year. He also spent time on the disabled list on two separate occasions -- once with sore ribs and again with a sprained ankle.

Young's salary this season is just shy of $5.4 million, and he is under team control through 2012, but his lack of production and versatility combined with the Twins' depth in the outfield made him expendable.

"I called him on his cell phone," Smith said. "I thanked him for everything and wished him well. It's always a little awkward. ...

"It's been a frustrating year for him, it's been a frustrating year for a lot of us. He came to camp and it might have been that he was behind the curve a little bit with the turf toe problem and just never caught up."

Smith added, "I don't have the answer for why the fortunes have turned a little bit this year, but we've got to turn the page. We've got to move on."

Young, 25, had a reputation for being somewhat surly with reporters at times, but that edge softened over time, and he was regarded as one of the more popular guys in the Twins' clubhouse, according to many of his teammates, over the last two seasons.

"He was a decent teammate," Smith said. "We didn't have any problems there. We just reached this point today where it's time to move on and turn that page."

The Twins originally acquired Young on November 28, 2007 from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade for starter Matt Garza, shortstop Jason Bartlett and minor league reliever Eduardo Morlan. The Rays also sent over infielder Brendan Harris and outfielder Jason Pridie in the deal.

Young found out about Monday's trade while riding the team bus to Comerica Park in Detroit, where he was told he'd be heading to the Tigers' clubhouse, not the Twins'.

Nelson, an Edina native, owns a 4.87 ERA in 105 1/3 innings for High-A Lakeland this season (26 games, 17 starts), including 87 strikeouts, 50 walks and six home runs allowed.

But since moving to the bullpen in July, Nelson owns a 2.50 ERA with 17 hits allowed in 18 innings, including 19 strikeouts and four walks.

Outfielder Rene Tosoni was called up to replace Young on the 25-man roster.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Brendan Harris, Delmon Young