Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Agent Wish List: Carlos Delgado

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It seems like every hero gets a second chance at glory.

Rocky got another kick at the can, John McClain came out of retirement to kick some ass, and even good old Ma$e decided to return to the rap game. So why not have one of the most prolific Blue Jays return to claim his rightful throne? King Carlos - consider this your invitation back to Toronto.

Despite any bad blood there may have been in the past, it's all water under the bridge when it comes to Carlos Delgado. The city of Toronto and Blue Jays fans alike will always have place in their heart for Carlos, and I'm sure he feels the same way.

After spending the last five seasons with the Mets and the last six in the National League, it's time for him to come back to where he belongs - in the American League and most importantly with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The situation almost creates a perfect storm that would allow the Blue Jays to sign Delgado at a reasonable price, yet gain the most value. Carlos is coming off an injury-shortened season, but prior to that he put up MVP-calibre numbers (38 HR, 115 RBI, .271 AVG) so he definitely still has some pop left in his bat.

It's unsure whether the Mets will re-sign Carlos because it looks like they're perfectly content keeping Daniel Murphy at first base. Also, Delgado could benefit playing DH for the Blue Jays and not having to field at first base. At 37 years old, Carlos is approaching the cut-off point for aging sluggers who are more of a liability on the field than they are a benefit.

The current economy works in the Blue Jays favour to sign Delgado at a short-term contract for less than what he was paid with the Mets. It would be a far cry from the $16 million a year he previously made with the Mets. I would venture a guess that Delgado might even sign for as low as $10 million (maybe even $5 million) for the opportunity to play with the club that brought him into the majors.

If I were Alex Anthopolous though, I would be weary of signing Delgado longer than two years. Although it's been a while, the Frank Thomas debacle is still fresh in people's minds and I would hate to see money flushed down the drain once again.

With a DH-heavy free agent market, the time is now for the Blue Jays to lock in a designated hitter for the next couple of seasons. Next year's crop doesn't look too much better, and the team would be better served to moved Adam Lind out of the DH spot and try to develop his skills in the outfield.

Even if Carlos Delgado doesn't reclaim his throne with the Blue Jays, it will always be sitting there waiting for him to come back. And when he does, the kingdom will bow down in his presence.

19 comments:

  1. I fear my logic is uncertain where Delgado is concerned.

    But I would suggest that given the Burrell-Abreu market from last year, $10 mil is far too generous. I'll bet you could sign him for $5 million per year easy enough.

    And yes, I'd certainly tolerate one year (at least) of Lind/Wells/Snider in the outfield to do it.

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  2. He might even take a "hometown discount" to play for the Blue Jays. I would say that $10 million is the max amount the Blue Jays should fork out to get Delgado - given the shape of the market they can certainly afford him for a few years.

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  3. No thanks, Carlos had is time to shine in T.O. Also, why on earth would you bring in a 37 yro coming off injury when you have 3 young dh candidates in Lind, Snider and Ruiz? If he was a good enough fielder to replace Overbay (not by a long shot), than maybe.

    Forget signing Delgado and spend the money on some pitching help.

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  4. Well since the Jays won't be very competitive next year, it would be nice to have something to cheer for.

    However bringing Delgado back sounds a lot like something the Maple Leafs would do rather than buiding a winning team.

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  5. Pass. Just because he he hit 35+ Hr a couple years ago doesn't mean he definitely has pop in his bat. And $10M for a DH? In a DH-heavy market? Seems like a poor allocation of resources. $5M, maybe, but we have a bunch of slow slugger/poor fielder types as it. Unless you can trade Lind for a quality CF, which would free up a spot for Delgado and improve the team.

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  6. Dana, I know it seems like a bad idea but this team not only needs an offensive boost as well as a morale boost to bring back Delgado. When they signed Frank Thomas to a 2 year deal, he was 39 years old - Carlos is only 37. I would keep Ruiz as a backup DH just in case things don't pan out. Lind and Snider are too young and talented to just be limited to hitting.

    Peter D, I love nostalgia as much as the next person, but I assure you that this is not just a "feel good" move. Delgado still has the power the Jays needed so desperately this past year to turn those one-run losses into wins.

    eyeB, glad to see you're on board. Now that makes two of us!

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  7. mathesond, you're right - my valuation on Delgado was probably a little high. I still think anywhere between $5 and $8 million would be a steal for Delgado.

    I couldn't see the Blue Jays trading Lind away for anybody right now. He is one of the cornerstones of this team, and right now they should build around him and Hill.

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  8. Regarding the conundrum of having too many DH's, that's a one year thing and you can have Lind and Snider in the outfield for a year at least. Then shift Lind to 1B when O'bay leaves (or trade O before he leaves and save enough $$ to pay Delgado)

    As for Ruiz. If I had to put down money on whether Ruiz or Delgado would break 30 homers next year given an equal chance, I'd easily put my money on Delgado.

    And that doesn't mean I have tremendous faith in Delgado. There's just too many unanswered questions about Ruiz. I'd run him out there at DH if we were in full rebuild mode and hope i got lucky but I'm not sold on him if we're trying to at least pretend to be a winner.

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  9. Defensively, a Lind/Wells/Snider isn't the best combination, but I'm willing to concede that to create a better team offensively.

    Ruiz is a huge question mark - I don't know if the Jays are convinced he can keep it up, but if it comes Spring Training time and there are no other viable options, then definitely bring Ruiz up and see how he fares in the DH spot.

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  10. I think the best plan of action for the Jays is to wait out free agency, then close to the start of spring training try to add a couple of Bobby Abreu panic type contracts.

    In the meantime they should address their needs through trades, look at shortstop options JJ Hardy or Stephen Drew who are both available for young pitching. Target young studs such as Gamel, Brandon Wood, etc., as any deals should build a core for the long term. I'd also deal Halladay for the best package I could get, specifically targeting the Angels, Rangers, Giants, Brewers, Rockies, White Sox and Rays, who are all loaded with high ceiling prospects.

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  11. Peter D, I hope that there are some guys out there who are anxious to sign (possibly someone like Jim Thome or Hideki Matsui) and would be willing to sign for less money just so they have a team to play on.

    Basically, the entire Blue Jays offseason hinges on whether or not Halladay will be sticking around in 2010. If he is, they should go out and sign as many big name free agents as possible and hope for the best next year. If they are planning on trading him, then the Blue Jays should try and keep their costs down and use guys like Ruiz and Bautista next year and hope they develop into dependable full-time players.

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  12. Crazy talk. Ruiz will put up better numbers in 2010 than Carlos.

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  13. Given the current state of the Jays budget, and the fact that they have some depth at LF-1B-DH, I'm not sure that I can rationally get behind this move.

    I mean, if Carlos would take under $5 million, then maybe we can talk it out. But $10 million? That's really way too much, even if there is a marketing component.

    Having said all that, I'd be happy as a clam to welcome King Carlos back to the fold.

    And Randy Ruiz: I doubt he even plays in the Jays' system next year. Because they are silly men.

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  14. Anon, if given the chance I think that Randy Ruiz can do amazing things for the Blue Jays. But as Tao alludes to above, the Jays probably won't even give him a shot next year.

    Tao, I think someone in the comments at MLBTR suggested the Jays should sign Carlos to a low figure (like $1 or $2 million) with incentives. I can't see Delgado going from making $16 million to $2 million - his agent would probably scoff at the idea. But who the hell knows .. Bobby Abreu did go from making $18 million with the Yankees to $5 million with the Angels, so anything can happen.

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  15. Anyone who thinks the Jays should pay 10 million for Delgado has no business writing a baseball blog much less a Jays one.

    Idiocy.

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  16. I admit the price is a little high, but I was just venturing a guess. The Blue Jays did pay that kind of money to sign Frank Thomas back in 2006 - so why not Carlos Delgado?

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  17. ruiz is not an up and coming youngster with bonds-type power. dude is an overweight 30 year old career minor leaguer. he had his chance and couldnt cut it. he didnt have enough juice to stick with the twins last year, why does everyone think hes gonna bust into the majors belting 30 bombs in his rookie season?

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  18. Anon, I know a lot of people have written off but I think he should get a chance to prove he can make the team.

    The guy raked in the PCL and you can't argue against a 1.019 OPS in 33 games with the Jays this year.

    Randy Ruiz will not be the saviour of this team, but he will provide some nice pop at the bottom of the lineup.

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