In his post of the top 50 free agents at MLB Trade Rumors today, Tim Dierkes had only one guy going to the Orioles – Carlos Delgado. (It should be noted that Troy Glaus, among others, wasn’t on the list.) The O’s do have a hole at first-base, and could certainly use a slugger in the middle of their line-up. How much sense does it make for the team to bring him aboard?
Delgado missed most of this season with the Mets due to a hip injury, but batted .298/.393/.521 in his limited time. He hit .271/.353/.518 last year with 38 home runs, after a down season in ’07 that had some questioning if he was done (.258/.333/.448). He guy can still take a walk and has some power, with Bill James projecting a .263/.361/.494 season for him in 2010. Defensively he’s actually been only a little below average at first-base, with a -3.9 UZR/150 overall since 2002. Over a full season that would make him around a 2.75 Wins Above Replacement player, and even in limited time he would be only a little below average. That kind of production should cost $9-12 M on the free agent market. If he would sign at a discount – something like $5-7 M – and only for year (that’s vital), then Delgado (even at 38 years old) would be an attractive option for the O’s.
[Edit: Given that Bill James' projections tend to be on the high side, something like .260/.340/.460 might be more reasonable. That would make Delgado closer to a 1.5 WAR player in a full season; lower if he misses some time (which might be expected given his age/health issues).]
It might put the line-up at something like:
Brian Roberts – S
Nick Markakis – L
Adam Jones – R
Carlos Delgado – L
Nolan Reimold – R
Luke Scott – L
Matt Wieters – S
Ty Wigginton – R
Cesar Izturis – S
Which wouldn’t be half bad. Maybe.