Carlos Delgado is looking to make a comeback to the majors after having undergone three hip surgeries. As has been reported by Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, Delgado has been training and working out in his home country of Puerto Rico attempting to regain game shape.
At the ripe age of 38, it will be quite a challenge for Delgado to return to the form he once had as an everyday all-star-calibre first baseman.
Delgado and his agent have yet to approach any team announcing his intention to return. The reason, he says is, "It’s sort of a sensitive issue because you don’t want to call a bunch of teams and tell them, ‘Oh, I have a client that wants to play, blah-blah-blah.’
"You don’t want to say, ‘Well, we’re going to be ready in six weeks, eight weeks.’ It’s a fine line, because you don’t want to tell people ‘I’m ready,’ then go out and embarrass yourself and don’t get a job, anyway. We’re getting closer.”
It's hard to say whether the seasoned veteran will be able to make such a comeback. Reports say he is 10 lbs. lighter than his normal game fitness weight. What is possibly the most intriguing aspect of the whole situation is the fact that the vet is looking to be in a state of fitness to not just hit but capable of playing first base.
"My plan is I’m going to be ready to play as much as I can both on the field and at the plate.”
One begins to wonder if such a high-profile player as Delgado, who for nearly a decade was the face of the Jays, might possibly be considering returning to the team who gave him his start in the bigs.
It is true that the regime in charge of the Jays at the time he parted ways with the team did so in a most uncalled for fashion, tossing an insulting contract offer to a man who, at the time, was nearly all the Jays had in the matter of offense.
The regime has completely changed, though, since he has left. Anthopoulos and his staff have an upfront gentleman's agreement approach of going about dealings with players under contract as well as those he attempts to bring in.
Given the great reputation Anthopoulos has built and has clearly shown, the Jays are no longer the organization they once were—unafraid to deal anyone, but treating each player fairly. One can't help but think Delgado would be open to returning to a fan base that still loves him.
Telling players what they expect of them, and what how the team intends to use them is something Anthopoulos and his staff does with each player. That is something all players desire, and is especially the type of thing a veteran in the situation Delgado is in wants to deal with.
There is no question the Jays could benefit from the presence of Delgado and his experience, not counting the home run power he would add to a strong hitting lineup.
The benefits of having Delgado in the Jays lineup are endless. He adds another left-handed bat to a predominantly right-hitting order. He adds a sure dependable glove at first, replacing a Gold Glove-calibre first baseman in the parting Lyle Overbay. He is able to give the Jays an option of slowly bringing in Adam Lind into that position.
Where the situation could prove to be tricky is the fact Anthopoulos promised regular at-bats to Encarnacion. The Toronto GM is a stickler to his word, thereby he would be forced to somehow swing things to either ensure the at bats or arrange for a trade.
Delgado remains only 27 home runs shy of joining the 500 club. How special would it be for him to attain that goal in a Jays uniform, where he enjoyed his best offensive years of his career?