First Base a Question Mark for New York Mets in 2009

Eric SilvermanCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2008

Could Carlos Delgado be a Met in 2009?

If you asked any Met fan at the end of June if they wanted to see the former Toronto Blue Jays slugger in orange and blue for another season you would hear a definitive "No!" That was an easy answer at the time. Delgado was hitting .228, and looked like he was shot.

This was before Delgado's fantastic July and start of August, which saw him hit 10 home runs and raise his average to .264. Delgado has moved up to the cleanup role, has protected David Wright successfully, and has taken the pressure off of the struggling Carlos Beltran.

So if Delgado continues playing this way, and for the season hits about .265, with 30-plus home runs and 90-plus RBI, should the Mets pick up their team option on Delgado for 2009? Maybe even at 36, he still has a lot left in him.

I am not sure at the moment what the Mets should do. I believe it all depends on how Dan Murphy and Nick Evans play for the rest of the season. Unless the Mets want to shell out an insane amount of money on Mark Teixera or another free agent, Murphy and Evans are the only other options at first other than Mike Carp, who is currently hitting around .300 at Double-A Binghamton.

Evans is a natural first baseman, who has played very well in Double-A this year and has shown some signs with the Mets that he may be a major league player. Murphy, a natural third baseman who is obviously blocked by David Wright, can also play first  and second base, as well as the outfield. Known as one of the best hitters in the Mets farm system, he has been phenomenal in his first week in the big leagues.

If Delgado cannot keep his great play up for the rest of the season and the Mets would prefer to save money by not picking up his option so they could spend it on pitching, 2009's first basemen may be Murphy and Evans (Carp could even be in the mix).

This obviously all depends on Murphy and Evans' play for the rest of the year, and if the Mets are confident they are major league ready. They could platoon depending on who is pitching, with Evans playing against lefties, and Murphy plays against righties, with either of them getting occasional starts in the outfield, or Muphy spelling Wright on occasion at third.

This is all assuming the Mets, who are reluctant to trade top prospects Fernando Martinez, Eddie Kunz, and Jon Niese, don't trade Murphy and/or Evans during the winter.

Of course, they could always bring Todd Zeile out of retirement for Round 3 in Flushing.