Marlins sign Delgado

Dave · January 25, 2005 at 3:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Marlins gave Carlos Delgado a 4 year, $52 million contract with a vesting option that could push it to 5 years, $64 million. Overall, this is a similar contract to the one the Mariners gave Richie Sexson. And, yes, like the Sexson contract, it’s a great way to waste resources for a franchise that can’t afford to do so.

Spending big money on aging first baseman almost never works. The Marlins will get good production and value from Delgado in 2005, when his salary is only $4 million, but as soon as November rolls around, he’ll be virtually untradeable. The Marlins just gave themselves one year of production for a three year albatross. Bad idea, bad move.


28 Responses to “Marlins sign Delgado”

  1. Jim Thomsen on January 25th, 2005 3:26 pm

    I have the sick feeling that Delgado is about to get in touch with his inner Orestes Destrade. Or Todd Benzinger. Or Eric Karros. Or Pete O’Brien. Or Paul Sorrento … Pat Putnam … Jim Maler … Dan Meyer ….


    Sorry … lost my mind, just for a moment.

  2. Dash on January 25th, 2005 3:30 pm

    In light of the 5th year vesting option, I think I like the Sexson contract better than the Delgado contract. At least Sexson will only be 34 at the end of it, as opposed to Delgado who’ll be 36. I can see a sharper, faster decline for Carlos by that age.

  3. Evan on January 25th, 2005 3:35 pm

    As I mentioned in another thread (where I wasn’t on-topic), while I think Carlos is the better player now, and has a smaller risk of catastrophic injury, given the length of the contracts I’m happier with Sexson’s.

  4. David J Corcoran on January 25th, 2005 3:41 pm

    I hate them both equally. Delagdo is a far better hitter, but Sexson is more likely to produce for the length of his contract. But they are both awful. Given the choice of the two, I would trade for Nick Johnson.

  5. jeff on January 25th, 2005 3:42 pm

    Lets pretend Delgado signed with the marlins before sexson signed with the mariners.
    So with delgado off the market would you still want to sign Sexson for 4 years for 50 million.
    If your answer is “no” how would you spend that 4 years 50 million we gave sexson.
    Would you start the season with spiezo or bucky at first base?
    and you can’t say signing sexson to less money won’t work, becasue the oriles were offering what 4 years 48 million?
    so the question is would you have signed sexson to 4 years 50 knowing that delgado was not coming to the m’s…and if no how would you have spent the money. Dave would love to hear your thoughts since you don’t like the sexson signing.
    thanks hope to hear your comments

  6. Evan on January 25th, 2005 3:46 pm

    Spiezio is a waste of roster space, at this point. But 1B just isn’t an area where we needed to go after a player.

    Just for fun, I would have given Mo Vaughn an NRI, though. If the man can walk, maybe he can hit.

  7. Brock on January 25th, 2005 4:00 pm

    I would much rather have Delgados left handed power bat at 52/4 than Sexsons Right Handed snab on a check swing bat at 50/4!

  8. David J Corcoran on January 25th, 2005 4:10 pm

    I run Ibanez out there. I either:
    A. Make a run for Hidalgo (because he wasn’t signed yet either, assuming this is all before the Sexson signing)
    B. Make a run at Ordonez (only to a 1 year deal with club option for the 2nd-4th years)
    C. If all else fails, run Winn, Bucky and Reed out at LF, DH and CF.

  9. Brent Overman on January 25th, 2005 4:31 pm

    I’d worry about Delgado’s knees though. He caught in the minors, played left field when he first came up, and first base ever since.

    He’s played on turf his whole career, and with the likes of Buhner and Griffey, we see what that does.

    I wish Sexson was left handed, but I think they actually made out better between the two albatross contracts.

  10. Adam S on January 25th, 2005 4:36 pm

    Yuck. Both of these contracts are really bad and will look even worse in two years, when the $ go up and the production goes down. Regardless of which we think is worse, they’re both among the 5 worst this off-season.

    I’d rather have Delgado because to me there’s a non-trivial risk that Sexson is out of baseball before the end of the contract, and I think Delgado will be the better player in 2006 and 2007.

  11. MarinerDan on January 25th, 2005 4:57 pm

    All things considered, I like the Delgado signing better than the Sexson signing, although I agree that the option for a fifth year is problematic. Notwithstanding Sexson’s age advantage, I think there is less risk attendant to the Delgado deal. He has simply been a VASTLY superior player. Big Sexy cannot match his production.

  12. D'ohboy on January 25th, 2005 4:59 pm

    I’m a little surprised that Delgado didn’t get more money, not because he should’ve, but because I thought somebody would shell out for him. When Sexson and Delgado are producing next year, and their teams are doing well, there will be a pile of pundits clamboring over each other to proclaim what great signings they both were. Two years hence, Peter Gammons will be discussing how both teams are finding it difficult to unload them for prospects prior to the trade deadline.

    While the choice between them appears to be a fool’s game, the “neither, nor” option wasn’t really viable for the M’s front office–they wanted a slugger and a slugger’s what they got. The M’s and Marlins may have ended up with albatrosses around their necks, but at least the M’s can afford an albatross. Anyhow, what’s an Ancient Mariner without an albatross?

  13. Jerry on January 25th, 2005 5:07 pm


    If part of your little exercise is that we can pick whoever we want for the roster, but it has to be at the same value that other teams paid, I would do something like this with the Sexson money (12.5 mil/year):

    -Jeff Clement (8.5 mil)
    -Wade Miller (1.5 + incentives)
    -Travis Lee (for around 1 mil)
    -Josh Phelps (peanuts)

    That leaves around 1 million for a reliever, perhaps Antonio Osuna or Scott Williamson (basically, just taking a flyer for 2006), and maybe Mike Redmond as a backup catcher.

    This doesn’t help the M’s nearly as much with the offense, but there just weren’t too many deals to be had among position players. These are just some of the contracts that I thought were reasonable. I thought that Clement was a bit pricey this year, but every other pitcher was too. Jon Lieber was really inexpensive, but I think that Clement has a little more upside. However, Leiber would have been a good pickup for 3 years, 21 million given the market this year.

    The Miller signing is a bit of a joke, because it seems like he gave the Red Sox a deal. He must have wanted to be there, because the deal he signed was for so little and because he was only a free agent for a few days. I don’t think that the M’s could have realistically gotten him for even twice that much. But who knows.

  14. my two cents on January 25th, 2005 6:53 pm

    He’ll turn in to a Paul Sorrento or Dan Meyer overnight?! Those guys were virtual nobody’s to start with. Delgado is probably the most consistent power hitter that was out there. For the LAST TEN years he has hit 30 -45 homeruns, for the LAST EIGHT years he has hit 100 to 145 rbi’s. I don’t see any let down. Why all the speculation that he won’t be productive for a good three/four years? I don’t see it. The numbers speak for themselves. He’ll probably be motivated as a playoff contender besides. He’s a perfect fit for their style of offense. The Marlins desperately needed another rbi guy above all else to make everything work. Miguel and Lowell were not enough last year (just like Boone and Edgar by themselves to supply the power were never enough for the Mariners the past two years). He is a tremendous signing for the Marlins. They didn’t make the same mistake that the Mariners made last year ( and the year before that). I put my money on the Marlins for post season action over the Mets and Beltran.

    Also, evidently the Marlins are a franchise that can afford it, as they just signed him. They just missed the playoffs last year, the Mets improved and were also trying to get Delgado, and it would seem that the Marlins are, evidently a franchise that wants to compete as well.

    By the way, though I like the Sexson/Beltre/Pokey signings -we addressed the power offense vacuum and added great defense by chance- The Sexson signing is a much larger risk than the Delgado signing as far as immediate production/injury recovery/american-national league pitching,etc. Delgado would actually be a consistently more productive addition to the Mariners than Sexson but at the expense of defense. Besides with Sexson there is the possibility that he could overcome the injury sooner than later and really surprise. Maybe he has more potential in the end that we haven’t seen. He is a question mark, but an interesting question mark. Better than Olerud or Spezio or Bucky (Bucky should be the RH DH and occasional back up first baseman for his first year).

    However the Mariners couldn’t wait for ever, get nothing done and sign nobody’s like last year. In the end I think it turned out alright for us ( if we cross our fingers).

  15. David H on January 25th, 2005 7:06 pm

    Jerry – Matt, not Jeff, Clement. And its tough to say there is money leftover, since it should probably be assumed that either Miller will earn most or all of his incentives (based on innings pitched and time on the roster), or they’ll have to add some salary to fill his spot if injured.

    As to some of the other comments above – Hidalgo already signed with Texas for 5 million, and Scott Williamson signed a (minor league, i think) contract with the Cubs.

  16. chris w on January 25th, 2005 7:17 pm

    I’d vote for Delgado. He’s (a) way better offensively; (b) left-handed; and (c) less of an injury risk (i.e. he’s coming off a second half of the season in which he was a monster after recovering from an injury, as opposed to coming off a season completely lost to injury). These slightly outweigh the fact that he’s (i) older; and (ii) worse defensively. Put simply, Delgado’s got a realistic chance to put up a few 1.050 OPS, MVP caliber seasons in the next few years. Sexson does not.

  17. Adam M on January 25th, 2005 8:21 pm

    Was Sorrento *that bad*? I remember him doing a servicable job as Tino’s replacement, so I looked at the numbers:

    Sorrento’s years with the Mariners:
    1996: .289/.370/.507
    1997: .269/.345/.514

    Tino’s previous two years with the M’s, and his next two years in NY:
    1994: .261/.320/.508
    1995: .293/.369/.551
    1996: .292/.364/.466
    1997: .296/.371/.577

    Although Tino did have that monster year in ’97, even in the heyday of the Two Martinez Launch he couldn’t say he blew the doors off Sorrento. And those weren’t Sorrento’s over the hill years, that was pretty much the hill, the peak of his career. Poor guy probably gets flack for being associated with the reason they had to play Sterling Hitchcock and Russell “Duck” (as in “…he’s throwing to first–duck!”) Davis.

    Pete O’Brien, on the other hand…that guy was a washout.

  18. njenkin on January 26th, 2005 5:07 am

    Let me see if I understand things correctly. The Marlins HAD Derek Lee, a very fine hitter and wonderful defensive first baseman with whom they won a championship. Believing themselves to be too right-handed centric they trade Lee to Chicago for Hee Seop Choi and some filler. Lee signs a 3-year deal with the Cubbies for approximately $6.7 mil a year. THHEEEENNN, the Marlins have Choi on the team for about 73 minutes, he posts a line of .270/.388/.495, and they ship him off to LA for old “Blood and Guts” LoDuca in a multi-player trade.

    And now they break the bank for Delgado?

    Setting aside the contract, why do this?? It makes the contract even more ridiculous than on its face. (If that’s possible)

    Florida had TWO inexpensive options. They chose door number three for thrice the price. And they receive PRAISE from the press??

    Good grief.

  19. Evan on January 26th, 2005 9:55 am

    If you look at the big picture like that, it looks like the Marlins never really had a plan — like they’re making each decision in a vacuum.

  20. Rusty on January 26th, 2005 10:15 am

    One thing to remember in the Delgado/Sexson argument is that the M’s needed to do something early in the hopes that it would impress Beltre. So from that standpoint Delgado wasn’t a good fit since he obviously tried to hold out for every dollar possible. For months now Del-God-Bless-My-Dough has been claiming that he’s worth 15-17 million per year. He settled for 13.

    I’m not sure Sexson was a key to getting Beltre. Perhaps signing Hidalgo would have been enough to show Beltre the M’s were trying to compete. I don’t know.

  21. Graham on January 26th, 2005 10:33 am

    Beltre was already pretty much signed when Sexson got his deal, so that arguement doesn’t really hold water.

  22. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2005 10:39 am

    What’s scary is that the less the Marlins plan, the more they win World Championships.

  23. Bruce on January 26th, 2005 11:21 am

    #5/13: For 2005, I’d rather they spent the $10.5M on Clement, even with a hypothetical 3/$27M to outbid the Sox. If it fetched Miller as well, so much the better. Delgado for two years would have been OK, I suppose, but considering the contract he signed with the Fish that was never an option.

    Even at a hypothetical 3/$27M, Clement frees $9M through 2007, and leaves the $14M for 2008 that I wish they hadn’t committed at all.

  24. RealRhino on January 26th, 2005 11:51 am

    It’s interesting to me that part of Delgado’s stated rationale was that the Marlins were more likely to contend/win than the Mets. Is that the consensus among smart baseball observers? It seems that with the upgrades the Mets made, it’s at least a wash, with Reyes-Matsui a wash with Pierre-Castillo, and the Mets have a Beltran-Piazza-Cameron-Floyd-Wright offensive core compared to the Marlins’ core of what, Cabrera-Encarnacion-Lo Duca? The Marlins’ rotation and ‘pen might be a tad stronger (although Pedro is the best of the bunch), but not by much IMO. Given that the Mets will seemingly always have and spend more money, is it really a given that the Marlins give Delgado the better chance to win, either in 2005 or beyond?

  25. Rusty on January 26th, 2005 1:53 pm


    I respectfully disagree. There was approximately 24 to 48 hours between the signings of Sexson and Beltre. The Sexson signing could very well have been a tipping factor for Beltre in his decision.

  26. Bruce on January 26th, 2005 2:47 pm

    Rusty, Dave has refuted this more than once. For example, see comment 27 here.

    The Beltre deal was basically done by the time the Sexson deal went down. Beltre was coming to Seattle whether Sexson signed here or not.

    You could disagree, of course, but I don’t believe this was simply speculation on Dave’s part.

  27. bookbook on January 26th, 2005 8:48 pm

    The Delgado contract’s better to my mind, and it’s not close. Delgado’s a better bet to be a better player at 36 than Sexson is at 32, much less 34.

  28. Lou on January 26th, 2005 11:07 pm

    I like Sexson’s contract better especially the way it is structured. The FO would have had a hard time signing Beltre if it was structured another way.
    Comparing contracts of two players is hard in my opinion since I believe there are factors apart from player VORP or whatever that determines a player’s value to a team.