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Will He Stay or Will He Go

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Let's jump into the Way-Back Machine to September 14, 2005, Peter Gammons of ESPN was speculating that if the Marlins didn't make the playoffs Carlos Delgado would be traded.  At that time Delgado was reassured about his future with the team.

Delgado said he heard the report reiterated on ESPN Tuesday night.

Asked about that scenario before Wednesday's game, team President David Samson rolled his eyes and snickered.

"[Owner] Jeffrey [Loria] has shown time and time again his desire to win year after year," Samson said. "He has shown his desire to have a competitive team. The reason why we never talk is the proof is always in the results, and it's far more powerful when actions speak without words."

Added David Sloane, Delgado's Coral Springs-based agent: "We're at the mercy of what the Marlins choose to do or are able to do."

Sloane added that Loria told him and Delgado last offseason he would anticipate nothing short of a "lynch-mob outside his office" if he traded Delgado after a productive season.

Now to the present day.  Beinfest held a press conference.

General Manager Larry Beinfest could not have been more cryptic when asked if fans could expect a nucleus of talented players to anchor the team next season.

I definitely think so,'' he said last Sunday. "The nucleus is here when you talk about the Cabreras and Willises and Hermidas.''

"And Delgado," a reporter interjected, assuming Beinfest had forgotten another player certain to return, slugger Carlos Delgado.

Instead, Beinfest only repeated the name and smiled. "Fish, fish, fish,'' he said, teasing the reporter for trying to elicit a comment on Delgado.

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No one in the front office will even confirm what Delgado said owner Jeffrey Loria told him four weeks ago in Houston -- to ignore rumors that the team's stalled plans for a new stadium will force the Marlins to trade him.

The team's silence could be rooted in the possibility that the Marlins will shop Delgado -- and the $48 million left on the four-year, $52 million contract he signed in January.

I really didn't mean to start the off-season stuff so early and I am going to try to refrain from it at least until the playoffs are over but this is interesting though not surprising.

I find the argument that his salary will balloon next year to be somewhat disingenuous since his contract was set up by the club to increase the same year that Hampton is taken off the books.  Last year the club paid Mike Hampton $9 million and Delgado $4 million for a total of $13 million.  This next year Hampton will make, from the Marlins, $0 and Delgado will make $13.5 million.  That's not a big increase to the total payroll due to Delgado.

I know there are going to be increases to some of the players salaries due to free agency or through arbitration and maybe the club needs to cut the payroll. But please come up with something better than just Delgado's earnings will go up from $4 million to $13.5 million next year as the justification if he is traded. We deserve a better reason.