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Notes: Dellucci hopes to return10/01/2004 11:20 PM ET
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Veteran outfielder David Dellucci signed as a free agent with the Rangers last December with the idea of helping a predominantly young team get through the early growing pains and emerge as a playoff contender.
It all went pretty much according to plan for Dellucci, who made steady contributions and produced the last glorious moment in a season of shining moments. His two-out, two-run double on Sept. 23 capped a sweep of Oakland and brought the Rangers within two games of first place with 10 to play. Although Texas lost five of its next six to surrender its playoff dreams, it was a renaissance season that could provide a springboard for bigger and better things in 2005.
Dellucci, who has played a lot in left field against right-handed pitching, would love to come back for the encore. He entered the final regular-season series at Seattle with a career-high 17 home runs.
"Yeah, it would be nice to come back and do it all over again," Dellucci said. "Obviously, the club will make some moves in the offseason. I don't know anything at this point. All I know is that we have this last series to play and then we'll just have to see how it all plays out."
Dellucci has started 76 games in left field, four in center field, five in right field and seven as a DH. A late 7-for-57 slump dropped his average from .266 to .241.
Looking ahead: After going 3-2 with the Rangers in a late-season stint, right-hander Chris Young is anxious to challenge for a spot in the starting rotation next spring.
Young had two wins over the Angels in pressure situations and one over Boston at Fenway Park. If he continues to develop his offspeed pitches to go with an above-average fastball, he could be one to watch when the Rangers report to Surprize, Ariz., in February.
"I feel pretty good about the way it went overall," said Young, who had a 4.71 ERA in 36 1/3 innings. "There are always things you can refine with your mechanics and I'll be working on doing that. I'd like to improve my second and third pitches a little bit, but that's something that comes with time. I'm excited about where I am going into this offseason."
Mahay agrees: The Rangers announced Friday that left-handed reliever Ron Mahay has agreed to a two-year contract extension through 2006, with a club option for 2007.
Mahay has compiled a career-best 2.59 ERA this season while pitching in a career-high 59 games. He also has career bests in innings (66.0) and strikeouts (53).
Connor absent: The Rangers were without bullpen coach Mark Connor for the start of the Seattle series. Connor has returned to his Tennessee home because of a family health matter.
John Wetteland took Connor's place as the bullpen coach for Friday's game.
High on Jaramillo? With the Mets hiring Omar Minaya as their general manager, Rangers' hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo has been mentioned as a possible managerial candidate for New York.
Minaya and Jaramillo are longtime friends and Texas manager Buck Showalter said he could certainly understand why the Mets may be interested in Jaramillo.
"I would be interested in him, if I were them," Showalter said. "He brings so much to the table."
Jaramillo and the Rangers have tabled contract negotiations until the end of the season. While the Rangers want to retain Jaramillo, they would not stand in the way of a coach who has an opportunity for a managerial job.
Since Jaramillo is under contract with the Rangers through December, the Mets would have to request permission to talk to him.
"I spoke to John (Rangers general manager Hart) today and that did not come up," Showalter said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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