Delgado probably not coming back to Toronto

Originally, I was a little disappointed on Christmas morning to discover that one of the requests on my free agent wish list, Carlos Delgado, was not fulfilled. On the contrary, it turns out that Alex Anthopoulos is saving up for an even bigger gift – a winning baseball team.

Not that adding Carlos Delgado to the Blue Jays lineup would automatically make them a contender next year. In fact, I don’t think there’s one sole player who could propel the 2010 Blue Jays into the playoffs. And if there was, they just traded him to Philadelphia.

Yes, bringing back Delgado would rekindle the fires of the nostalgia era. Fans would love to see King Carlos reclaim his throne once again. If he were still around, I could totally see J.P. Ricciardi signing Carlos Delgado to a one year contact, and year it would be great to have him back for a while.


Unfortunately, just as with any flame, it eventually flickers out.

It’s a strategy that’s been used by General Managers in the past and it has worked to an extent – distract the fans from the on-field product by bringing back a fan favourite. The problem is that fans can only be distracted so many times before the front office realizes that the villagers are ready to burn them at the stake.

The Alex Anthopolous strategy could argue that a signing like this would be counter-productive. Signing Carlos Delgado to an incentive-laden contract would be a short-term gain and frankly Alex Anthopoloulos has a solid long-term plan that almost certainly doesn’t involve any 37 year old sluggers.

The way that AA has talked about “young, controllable players”, I’m sure he would much rather use $5 million dollars to pay a portion of the reported $16 million dollar 2010 draft costs or pump the money into the scouting system, rather than giving it to Delgado.

In this business, sometimes you have to think with your brain rather than your heart. Appealing to the fan’s emotions only keeps them happy for a little while. In the long run, fans would much rather have a winning franchise instead of pinning all their hopes on one small piece of a former winning franchise.

And that’s why we won’t see Carlos Delgado back in Toronto any time soon.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

8 thoughts on “Delgado probably not coming back to Toronto

  • December 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Delgado could always make a nice late season addition if we're pretending to contend.

  • December 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I refuse to believe he's not coming back.

  • December 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Except Delgado wouldn't merely be a "nostalgia signing" like, for instance, Ken Griffey Jr. because Delgado was still a very good hitter the last time he was healthy, and he could be again in 2010. Additionally, if healthy and hitting well, he provides value by being tradeable at the deadline to acquire even more "young, controllable players".

  • December 29, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Scott, the possibility is always there. I'm sure some team will be in need of his services at the trade deadline.

    eyeB, I'm sorry if I got your hopes up a couple of months ago, but I don't think Carlos is coming back to the T-Dot.

    Peter, I don't doubt that Delgado could mash again if he were healthy again – but that's a very big "if". I'm very surprised that Delgado hasn't signed with a team already. Maybe he's holding out to see if he can make more money?

  • December 29, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Apparently he's not healthy yet. Teams are waiting to see him in action before offering him a contract.

    He won't command more than a couple million base.

    If Overbay gets traded, I expect to see the Jays show interest. I'd bet Beeston and Delgado are friends and share a stogie every once and a while.

  • December 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Whatever AA decides, I'll agree with. He's got a plan and is following it to the letter, so why question the results he expects.

    It doesn't make sense to throw money at any free agent unless they're cheap. Maybe Carlos signs a 'hometown' discount, but I doubt it.

  • December 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Anon, I was wondering why nobody had talked of Delgado – he must still be rehabbing. I imagine he won't command more than say 3-4 million per year.

    Mattt, it makes sense for Delgado to move back to the American League and DH somewhere. I can't really see him going back to the Mets, but anything can happen I guess. It would be cool to see Delgado back in a Jays jersey though.

  • December 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    It would be awesome, no doubt. I just don't see it happening unless it's a very team friendly deal.

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