At the start of the season, it appeared that 2009 would most definitely be Carlos Delgado's last season in the Big Apple.
As we wrap up the final month of the season, Delgado appears to be as good as gone, especially after missing a majority of the 2009 season after undergoing hip surgery.
However, the idea of bringing back Delgado to the Mets organization has to at least be considered.
When looking at the upcoming free agent class, names like Jason Bay, Matt Holliday and Vladimir Guerrero stand out. Unfortunately, beyond those names and a few others, this class of free agents is relatively weak.
The Mets have been dropping hints all season long that they probably will not make a major splash in the free agent pool due to their tough financial constraints. This would most likely indicate that they don't intend to pursue the likes of Bay, Holliday, and Guerrero.
If healthy, Delgado could bring a great deal of power back to the Mets' lineup. He's the type of player that makes everyone around him better because he has such strong leadership skills. Also, Delgado being in the lineup means that David Wright and Carlos Beltran would see more hittable pitches.
Keep in mind that Delgado is only one year removed from a season in which he hit 38 home runs and drove in 115 runs. Also of note is that Delgado's career home run total currently sits at 473.
It would not be out of the question for Delgado to reach the 500 home run plateau next year, as he only needs 27 more homers to do it. For a team that is currently hurting in home attendance, having a milestone like that may help get people back into the ballpark.
Delgado has had mixed results since joining the Mets in 2006. In the three full seasons that he has spent with the Mets, two have been very good and one has been dreadful. In 2006 and 2008, Delgado hit 30-plus home runs and 110-plus RBI. In 2007, which was his down year, he hit only 24 homers and drove in only 87 runs.
Let me be clear, the Mets should only pursue Delgado in the offseason if he can be had for a reasonable one-year deal with incentives.
I am getting the sense he can be had for the right price. Take Bobby Abreu, who signed with the Angels this past offseason for only $5 million dollars. Prior to signing this deal, Abreu was coming off a year in which he hit 20 home runs and 100 RBI.
Now I understand the economy has improved somewhat since last offseason, but if a player of Abreu's caliber could be had at $5 million, then I’m guessing the Mets could get one more year of Delgado at a similar price.
Yesterday afternoon I asked Bart Hubbuch about the chances of Delgado returning to the Mets in 2010 during his weekly chat. Hubbuch replied saying that a return is "highly doubtful" and that there are "just too many health questions".
I, too, agree that it isn’t very likely that Delgado will wear a Mets uniform next season. However, I don't agree that his health is an issue because the Mets can setup a platoon where both Carlos and Daniel Murphy can share time playing first. In essence, this would allot Murphy more time to familiarize himself with the position, and allow Delgado the adequate amount of rest he needs to remain healthy.
So I ask management this, if you don't have the funds to acquire the top names on the free agent market, give Carlos Delgado a chance to restore some faith back into Flushing.