This Day In Marlins History: Delgado traded to Mets in 2005

Doug Benc

On this day in team history, first baseman Carlos Delgado was traded to the Mets just one season after the Marlins signed the slugger as a free agent. Ownership portrayed the deal as part of a "market correction," along with the trade that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox.

Seven years before the infamous blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, the Marlins pulled off a similar, albeit smaller-scale, deal with the Mets. On this date, November 25, 2005, Florida traded first baseman Carlos Delgado to the Mets for three young players, headlined by Mike Jacobs.

The Marlins had signed Delgado just one year earlier when the Puerto Rican had become a free agent after spending the previous 12 seasons with Toronto. It was something of a surprise Florida struck a deal with Delgado in the first place, considering how rarely the franchise has gone after big-name free agents, but the Marlins were willing to spend and agreed on a four-year, $52 million dollar deal with the free agent. Delgado had just come off a season in which he recorded his lowest OPS and home run total since 1997, but he didn't appear to be slowing down too much at the age of 32. Indeed, he rebounded with a stellar season in 2005, putting up a slash line of .301/.399/.582 and slugging 33 home runs.

But Florida didn't do as well as a team as expected, finishing 83-79 for the second straight season after winning the World Series in 2003. Marlins ownership and management determined that it was time for a "market correction"--Marlins president David Samson was careful not to use the more negative term "fire sale"--and elected to trade Delgado just one year after signing him. (Florida also traded Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota to Boston for a package led by Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.) Just as he did with Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle in 2011, owner Jeffrey Loria had assured Delgado that he would not be traded anytime soon, despite the franchise's ban on allowing no-trade clauses in contracts. But Loria's words rang hollow after this deal, just as they did after the major trade in 2012. The Delgado trade was more defensible in that Loria blamed the "market correction" on revenue losses due to a lack of a new stadium (a defense which obviously didn't work for the Blue Jays trade).

Delgado went on to have three more solid years in New York, putting up a combined OPS of .854 and hitting 100 home runs from 2006-08 before struggling with injuries thereafter and retiring at the beginning of the 2011 season. Jacobs, the Mets' No. 4 prospect entering 2005, showed potential as a power-hitting first baseman in the minors and during a brief stay in the majors in '05, and stepped right in as the Marlins' first baseman in 2006. He showed well from the beginning and peaked with career highs of 32 home runs and an .812 OPS in 2007; Florida traded him to Kansas City after the season and it appears the team was right to sell high, as Jacobs hasn't played nearly as well since and didn't even play in the majors this past season.

Pitcher Yusmeiro Petit was even more highly regarded than Jacobs, coming in at No. 2 on the Mets' top prospects list going into 2005. The starter put up excellent numbers in the minor leagues by displaying dazzling command, but his stuff simply never translated to the big leagues. The Marlins traded him to Arizona after one season in the rotation, and overall from 2006 to 2009 Petit recorded a 5.57 ERA in 229.1 innings. Petit may be on his way to a resurgence, though--he put up improved numbers with the Giants this past season and was one strike away from a throwing a perfect game in a start in September. As for Psomas, despite the promise he showed as a hitter, he never advanced farther than Triple-A. He last played professionally in the independent Frontier League in 2009.

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