Carlos Delgado, The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Carlos Delgado will definitely be an asset to any team that he is on, but if the Mets add him, they will need to add another bat as well. Carlos had one of the most tremendous offensive seasons in my lifetime in 2000 when he hit .344/.470/.664, which is just silly. He also knocked an unreal 57 doubles with 41 homeruns and 137 RBIs. In 2003 he hit .302/.426/.593 with 42 homeruns and 145 RBIs. That 2000 year is something he will never get close to again, but his 2003 numbers are certainly within he reach in terms average and OBP. I do not think he'll knock 40 homeruns in Shea but he can certainly top 30 homers.
I know I'm kind of cherry picking numbers here, but if you take out his two best seasons in 2000 and 2003 while averaging the rest of his seasons that he's been a starter out, I think you'll get a picture of the player you'll see at Shea. In seven seasons including the '96-'99 seasons, the '01-'02 seasons, and the 2004 season he hit .275/.380/.545 with 34 homers, 35 doubles, 106 RBIs, 80 BBs, and 133 K's. Basically, he looks like and slighty better and older version of Richie Sexson that bats left handed. In Richie's years that he started and was healthy the entire season, he hit .270/.350/.523 with 88 runs, 27 doubles, 36 homers, 112 RBIs, 64 BBs, and 148 K's. Carlos will knock in some runs, he'll hit his homers and extra base hits, and he'll also K bunch on team that already has it's K issues. In Delgado's two monster years, he hit an average of .323/.448/.629 with 42 homers, 48 doubles, and a 141 RBIs. It is safe to assume he will not be putting numbers like that up since it looks like those were career years for the most part judging by his career averages. He's only topped .280 three times in the nine seasons he's been a regular. The guy can mash, but he is not the only piece the Mets need to add.
If the Mets bring in Delgado, he needs to occupy the #4 spot in the order with the Mets finding someone for the #3 spot. I just would rather see a contact guy in that spot of the order who can also knock a few out and it tougher to strike out. Yeah, I'm asking for a lot, but Omar Minaya has me feeling somewhat greedy lately and I'm looking for him to continue to try and make an upgrade. So who are the options out there? David Wright is a guy that's had a very good OBP% throughout the minor leagues, can hit for a good average, hit for some power, and was on track to K under 100 times when averaged out over the first season, but that would seem like a pretty bold move on Randolph's part and something they really don't seem likely to do just yet. Carlos Beltran is an obvious choice for this spot as well. He's cut his strikeouts down from a career high of 135 in 2002 to 81 in 2001 and 101 in 2004. His walks have been rising from 52 to 71 to 72 to 92 in consecutive years and is becoming a pretty good contact hitter with good plate discipline, but would certainly be a long shot if they bring in Delgado. Everyday that Magglio is keeping under the radar raises more questions on his knee and makes the idea of him take a one year deal to prove his health more and more likely. He's never K'd over 77 times in a season and although he does not walk a ton, he has a career .364 OBP% with a career .525 SLG%. If his price keeps going down and our shiny new doctors look at his medical records and deem him fit to play, he could be a bargain and half. JD Drew is another guy who can fit in here with some pop and will get a base a lot w/o striking out a ton but he seems less and less likely as the Dodgers seem to be waiting on signing him before the Randy Johnson deal is done. So he'll do there. Another choice is the Manny Ramirez. The mets have interest, but this thing is not getting done due to money disputes.
The bottom line is, as much as I like Carlos Delgado's bat and how great he'd look in the Mets lineup, he's not the answer to the #3 hole. I think he K's too much for the #3 spot and his numbers look more like a cleanup hitter. While he would not be the worst thing to have in the #3 hole, he's not ideal in my mind. The Mets would still have work to do if they locked him up in shoring up this lineup and filling in their needs.
Should negotiations fall apart with Delgado and Beltran, there is a backup plan. The Mets are attempting to acquire the medical report on Chicago White Sox outfielder Magglio Ordóñez, who had knee surgery last season, and they could pursue him if team doctors give their approval. Otherwise, the Mets may settle for outfielder Moises Alou, who is 38 and hit .293 with 39 home runs and 106 runs batted in for the Chicago Cubs last season.
??? Is Alou signed or what?
Scott, Rod, Todd...who cares. Just be healthy for 2005.