Breaking news this afternoon that Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado will have surgery tomorrow to repair a torn labrum and remove a bone spur in his hip. The surgery will keep Delgado away from the team until mid-July. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing that happens with older players in the last year or two of long term contracts. The Mets were bitten by similar situations with Pedro Martinez.
Delgado will be 37 years old in June and leaves the Mets with somewhat of a hole in the lineup and at first base. I don’t think the Mets will be pursuing a trade before the deadline in July as some of the baseball know-it-all’s have speculated in recent days.
Expect Fernando Tatis, Daniel Murphy, and Jeremy Reed to split time. Murphy can consider this an audition for next season when Delgado certainly will be gone from the Mets. I believe that he’ll have a hard time holding off Tatis for playing time. Tatis has proven that he’s more than capable in the field and has some good power in his bat. The only question is whether his warts will be exposed with increased playing time.
Not to be lost in this story is the foresight of Omar Minaya acquiring Gary Sheffield last month. He’ll have the next two months to prove that he’s still got that old lightning in his bat that the Tigers thought was gone when they released him.
If Delgado doesn’t look like he can make a successful comeback in July the Mets can pull the trigger ona deal before the trading deadline on July 31. Unless the Mets can get something for nothing, there’s no reason to hit the panic button yet.