The top baseball stories of the past few days have nothing to do with the current version of the Toronto Blue Jays.
They do, however, have everything to do with former members of the organization.
First came word that at 38 years of age, former Blue Jay All-Star Carlos Delgado wants a shot at a major league comeback. Delgado last played in 2009 for the New York Mets, and is coming off a third hip surgery.
Then yesterday came bigger news that Rangers 3B Michael Young, the face of the Texas ball club, wants out. He has requested a trade because he has been “misled and manipulated” by the Rangers, and “can’t take it anymore.” Young, of course, was a fifth round draft choice of the Blue Jays in 1997 and was later dealt in an awful trade for Esteban Loaiza.
Now, both men are available.
The next question is: who would you rather have on the Jays?
Let’s meet the candidates:
– Former Blue Jay hero and fan favourite
– 27 HR away from 500 giving fans a milestone to root for
– Would be cheap
– Very nice smile
– 38 years old
– Hasn’t appeared in a major league game since May 10, 2009
– After three hip surgeries, no guarantees he can even walk let alone swing a bat
– Likely a DH only, meaning EE has to play the field
– Career .300 hitter
– 34 years old
– Still has 3 years / $48-million left on his contract
– Can only be acquired via trade
– Using both standard (errors) and advanced (zone fielding runs) metrics, he’s a worse defensive 3B than Encarnacion
– Career .322 AVG / .859 OPS in Texas, but only .279 AVG / .733 OPS on the road, including a weak .717 OPS at Rogers Centre
– Blue Jays are NOT among the eight teams he will consider playing for
Unless……the Jays can sign Delgado to one of those cheap “I want to finish my career in the place where I started” contracts, AND only start him occasionally, AND use him predominantly as a pinch-hitter, AND put a clause in his contract that says he must come out of the dugout and wave to the fans at some point during every game, AND force him to retire before the end of the season so the Jays can have an on-field tribute to him.
I’d be OK with that.
In fact, I’d quite like that.