01/13/10 3:10 PM EST
Jays not making run at Delgado
Slugger unlikely to return to club where it all started
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
"Delgado doesn't fit into the Blue Jays' plans," a Major League source told MLB.com
Anthopoulos has emphasized having strong player development, with the goal of creating a model for long-term success for the Blue Jays in the American League East. Along the way, the young general manager has focused his efforts on acquiring young, controllable players to strengthen the future core of the roster.
Bringing Delgado to Toronto -- a move that might boost attendance some for a club in a transitional period -- would likely take at-bats away from younger players who are important to the team's future. Given his recent health history, Delgado would be viewed as a designated hitter -- the role Adam Lind thrived in last year.
Earlier this week, Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reported that the Mets and Blue Jays have both watched Delgado in Puerto Rico, noting that Toronto was a "more likely landing spot" for the free agent. MLB.com's source said that while the Blue Jays might not rule Delgado out completely, the move simply does not make sense right now for the organization.
Delgado's agent, David Sloane, declined to comment on the Blue Jays' potential interest. Sloane did note that Delgado, who is currently playing for the Carolina Giants in Puerto Rico, is doing well in his recovery from right hip surgery. While with the Mets in May, Delgado underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum and remove a bone spur.
Sloane said Delgado -- likely in line for an incentive-laden contract -- is not limited to looking for a job as a designated hitter.
"So far, his health is fine and he would have no problems playing first base on an everyday basis," Sloane wrote in an e-mail.
In Toronto, where Delgado would also be faced with playing on an artificial surface, Lyle Overbay is in line to be the Blue Jays' starting first baseman. First-base prospect Brett Wallace -- acquired in the trade that sent former ace Roy Halladay to the Phillies in December -- is also close to being ready for the big leagues.
Lind, who hit .305 with 35 homers and 114 RBIs last year, is poised to be the Blue Jays' regular DH and part-time left fielder. Moving Lind out of the DH role would also affect playing time for young outfielder Travis Snider -- considered to be an important part of the club's future.
Another reason Delgado does not seem to be a match for the Jays is the fact that he hits left-handed. That would seemingly rule out a platoon-type situation with Lind at DH or with Overbay at first base, considering they both also bat from the left side. Wallace and Snider are also left-handed hitters.
Through seven games with Carolina in Puerto Rico, Delgado has hit .304 (7-for-23) with one home run and two RBIs. In 26 games last season with the Mets, prior to undergoing the hip procedure, Delgado hit .298 with four homers and 23 RBIs.
Delgado, who will turn 38 in June, originally signed with the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent in 1988 and suited up for Toronto from 1993-2004. He currently owns numerous franchise records, including the benchmarks for most career doubles (343), home runs (336), RBIs (1,058), runs scored (889), slugging percentage (.556) and total plate appearances (6,018).
Delgado may someday have a place on the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence with the club's all-time greats, but he's unlikely to be back in the batter's box with Toronto for the upcoming season.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.