Monday, December 06, 2004

Rangers in on Delgado? 

In the first good news in quite a while on the Rangers this offseason, Evant Grant is reporting that the Rangers have had discussions with the agent for Carlos Delgado, and are apparently looking at him as a possible DH for 2005.

Delgado has been a monster for several years in Toronto, posting an OPS of no lower than 948 from 1998 through 2003. He hasn't had overwhelming, Jim Thome-type power, but he's consistently posted OBPs at the .400 mark, and his lefty swing would be an ideal fit in TBIA with the short right field porch.

The market for Delgado soured considerably last year, as he struggled with injuries early and posted a 746 OPS in the first half. But he caught fire in August and September, apparently returning to health, posting an OPS well over 1000 in each month and showing signs that his early season problems were injury-related and now behind him.

He's going to be a bit of a gamble, and as Grant points out, he'll have to take a paycut wherever he goes, since he made $17 million last season. But BP's PECOTA projections coming into 2004 showed Delgado's 50% projection each of the next four years as being above a .300 EQA, which would make him a production DH.

Delgado turns 33 in June, so he's not someone you want to make a real long-term commitment to, nor is he someone you are going to expect to see improvement out of...his best days are likely behind him.

However, if the Rangers could bring him in on a 2 year, $16 million deal, with a third year option at $10 million with a $2 million buyout, I think that would be a worthwhile move to make. You get a power hitter with a great OBP to plug in the middle of your lineup -- I'd love to see him hit third, ahead of Mark Teixeira -- and you get an immense upgrade in one of your biggest weaknesses for 2005.

The Rangers may have to go three years guaranteed to get him, which I'd prefer not to do, and there's no way I'd go more than three years...but Delgado is someone I've thought that the Rangers needed to target this offseason, and the fact that they are apparently interested in him is definitely encouraging.

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