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Phillies Will Pay Delmon Young Not To Get Fat (Updated)

Delmon Young
Gregory Shamus, Getty Images

Plate discipline is often a problem for Delmon Young. If he can show more restraint at the dinner table than he does in the batter’s box, Young can earn another $600,000 in 2013.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed Young to a $750,000, one-year contract on Tuesday. The 27-year-old outfielder, who was named MVP of the American League Championship Series last October, can earn another $2.75 million in bonuses, including $100,000 each of the six times the Phillies are contractually allowed to weigh him during the regular season. To collect all of his weight-control bonuses, Young must be under 230 pounds the first three times he gets on the scale, and under 235 pounds during his last three weigh-ins.

Young can nearly double his salary if he doesn’t turn into Jabba at the Bat. Talk about playing hungry? In a city known for cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and a chicken wing-eating contest that’s held in an arena, Young might already be doomed. His most recent listed weight was 240 pounds, meaning he’s probably ordering a Total Gym from Chuck Norris right now.

The No. 1-overall pick of the 2003 MLB Draft, Young has played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers, with whom he spent the last two seasons. He lost 30 pounds between the 2009 and 2010 seasons while with the Twins, and then proceeded to set career highs in nearly every offensive category.

Young will receive a $250,000 bonus for being on the active roster for one day, and $100,000 each at the 40-, 80-, 120- and 160-day marks. His salary with the Tigers last season was $6.75 million.

UPDATE: Here’s Young talking about how he let himself go. He mentions eating ‘good luck cakes,’ which could certainly become his nickname in Philly (h/t: The 700 Level):

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