One Carlos or Two in 2010?


Carlos Beltran recently told reporters that he’d like to see Carlos Delgado return to the Mets in 2010.

At a Harlem RBI event, Beltran said:

“Before I came to New York, I was at (Delgado’s) house (in Puerto Rico). I was talking to him. He’s planning to play winter ball, in Puerto Rico. He wants to show that he’s going to be back. Honestly, I would love to (have Mets bring him back). At the same time, that depends on the team, what kind of direction they’re going to take, what kind of player they’re planning to play at first base. But Delgado’s a guy, if he’s healthy, you’re going to get a lot of contribution – 30 home runs, 100 RBI. You’re going to get that from Delgado. He’s one of the guys – it’s safe to invest the money because he (takes) care of himself.”

We’ll excuse Beltran from that last odd comment, since we know it’s not safe to invest in a 37-going-on-38 year-old who has had chronic hip problems for the past three years.

There is no question that when Delgado is healthy — and hitting — the Mets have their best chance of winning. His presence in the lineup immediately raises the levels of those around him, and Beltran in particular. But, we don’t know if he’s going to be healthy, and we don’t know if he’s going to hit.

Maybe more importantly, Mets fans are clamoring for change. The ones who weren’t screaming to clean house after consecutive late-season collapses have jumped on that bandwagon after 2009’s full-season disaster. That said, Delgado has been a mainstay, a “core” member, and therefore one of the carriers of the disappointment of the past three years.

If we had a crystal ball that told us Delgado would be the monster he once was, and hit 35-40 HR, drive in 120+, and post a .375+ OBP, it’s a no-brainer to bring him back. But if the best he can do is something closer to an average of what he did in 2007-2008 — meaning, about 25-30 HR / 95 RBI / .340 OBP — is that enough for you, as a Mets fan, to warrant his return? Or do you think it’s time to “turn the page” and bring in a new, fresh face to the middle of the lineup?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Paul November 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm
    I don’t have a problem with the idea of bringing Delgado back on a one-year incentive-based contract. If he could put up a season like he did in 2007 and 2008, that would be better than what we can reasonably expect from Daniel Murphy.

    I do have a problem with any thought of a multi-year commitment or the idea that he could be the big “power” acquisition that the team needs this winter.

  2. isuzudude November 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm
    I agree with Paul. As long as the Mets don’t go guarenteeing Delgado a multi-year contract, or go offering him anything more than a $5 or $6M deal, I have no problem giving Delgado one last hoorah. The page will turn soon enough between the Mets and Delgado, but there’s no need to turn it now if there’s still some worthwhile returns left on that page.
  3. Tommy2cat November 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm
    I’m in favor of bringing Delgado back to an incentive-laden contract that acknowledges his value historically, but also insulates the Mets from draining their financial resources in the event he is re-injured.

    Here are the reasons:

    1. Delgado is a man of principle, if anything. He saw his teammates suffer last year. I firmly believe that if he is physically capable of producing on the field and redressing the deficits from last year’s debacle, he will give us everything he has – both on the field and in the clubhouse. I trust him.

    2. In the event that Delgado succumbs to another injury, Daniel Murphy is well-groomed to replace Delgado. If Murphy produces as he did after last year’s AllStar break, the drop-off won’t be quite as steep as many assume.

    3. If Delgado remains healthy, perhaps Murphy can re-tool as a supersub of sorts, spelling Wright at third and whomever (Hudson/Castillo) at second base. I do believe that with some training, over time Daniel Murphy can handle 3 of the 4 infield positions.

    4. The results of Delgado’s return will become apparent soon enough. If he’s healthy, its a good thing to bring him back and restore him to the position he lost due to injury. His teammates like him, and its an internal solution engineered by the Met front office, who didn’t turn its back on one of its key players in his effort to regain his status as a top run producer. It speaks well of the front office.

    5. In the worst case scenario, Delgado reinjures himself and Murphy gets a clear shot at first base, while Ike Davis continues his torrid pace toward major league readiness.

  4. gary s. November 16, 2009 at 1:26 am
    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!He is too old and injury prone.He has no range at first base, no speed, doesn’t hustle on the bases and he is a bad influence on the team.I make a direct connection to Wright’s glaring lack of hustle on the bases to his good buddy delgado’s influence.Most of the posters on this blog disagree with my point that citicavern is too big a park, by saying u win with speed and pitching and defense in a big park.Than u want to add guys like molina and delgado to the lineup..I’m starting to get nauseous at the thought.I could live with molina because we it’s hard to get a catcher with pop.There has to be a better 1b option than a fading, injury prone delgado
  5. Harry Chiti November 16, 2009 at 10:07 am
    Can you explain how Carlos Delgado is the guy that gets David Wright to loaf? Serious accusation to throw at a ball player. If you’re right I’d really like toknow how you know this so I can be against bringing back a power hitter next year.
  6. gary s. November 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm
    harry, i’ve read in a number of different articles that wright and delgado are very close.when i go to games, they always do a ball toss warmup together before every home game in front of the met dugout.Wright definitely looks up to delgado.Delgado never hustles.even willie randolph pointed it out b4 he was removed.Now we see david not running hard on the bases.I call this a bad influence.very limited upside plus we can lose without delgado and save money for a pitcher..Again this is just my feel for the situation, but u did ask for a reason..