Busted hip? Check.
Thirty-seven trips around the sun? Check.
Glove made of cast iron? Check.
On all accounts, the Mets should use these last few weeks to say thanks to Carlos Delgado for all the clutch hits, then quietly hold an exit interview with the aging slugger.
But I think we all know that this coming offseason isn’t going to be like recent years for the Mets. There will be no huge signings. They will not be trading the farm to obtain a “key missing piece.” Back page headlines will not be discussing the Mets’ pending dominance of the 2010 season.
It’s going to be a little more…resourceful.
Quietly, Delgado is making a push to see a little bit of action in the last few weeks of the season. Mostly to market himself to prospective employers, I’m sure. But Delgado is also a very proud, professional man — one who doesn’t like to sit on a bench when he could be on the field.
Which is just one more reason why the Mets should seriously reconsider its future relationship with Carlos. Right now, Delgado’s departure seems as sure as gravity, and there is a veritable boatload of reasons to let the man go back to the AL, so he can resume his rightful place as a DH-specialist.
Or maybe not.
Thanks to Bernie Madoff and the subsequent damage to the team’s finances, it’s all but inevitable that the team will drastically cut its NL-leading $149 million payroll this winter. So for those of you who have Jason Bay dreams and Matt Holliday fantasies, start preparing for disappointment once more. But the Mets will still need a power bat, and as luck would have it — Carlos Delgado has one.
Now, to make this happen, the Mets would have to convince this proud veteran to take a proud veteran’s minimum — a contract that is so laden with incentives that Carlos will have to wear hip-waders just to see where to sign. And even the most affable ballplayers take exception to contracts like these.
But Delgado isn’t just proud — he’s respectful. He could have just decided to relax and heal, knowing that the Mets’ season is over. Instead, he’s on the diamond, increasing his workouts and the intensity of his infield practice. In other words, he’s not just waiting for his contract to expire — he’s trying to earn a new one. And his efforts aren’t going unnoticed.