Two top executives, in a really bad career move, expressed public displeasure with their boss about making promises to Delgado.
Even so, there is nothing to keep Florida from dealing Delgado, who's owed $13.5 million in 2006 in the second year of a four-year, $52 million deal. But that would hurt Loria's credibility. ''If you can't take Jeffrey's word, who's word can you take?'' said Delgado's agent, David Sloane, who added he would be surprised if his client is dealt.
With all due respect to Mr. Sloane, from every indicator presented the club is looking to move Delgado.
The first is the pursuit of Jeff Conine.
Yesterday Watkins went on to say this.
The organization would have probably tried to sign Mr. Marlin even if Delgado was guaranteed to return, but he more than likely wouldn't have been the first free agent with whom they entered into serious negotiations. If the Marlins think Conine should be starting, his best position is first base, and the team will need someone to man that role should Delgado be traded.
The second indicator is that teams are interested in him--take the Mariners for example.
(Bill) Bavasi may be able to acquire Delgado or Thome without surrendering choice prospects, if he assumes most of the salary.
If the Marlins are really serious about cutting the payroll, then Delgado's days in Florida are numbered.
The other player who keeps getting mentioned in the great payroll purge is Mike Lowell.
If the team is going to trade Lowell I have one request - trade him out of the division. I know a lot of people who read this site are down on Lowell and some would like to see him go. But I do want to warn about extrapolating off one data point - and a statistical outlier at that. It has the potential to come back and haunt you.
Next up on the free agent tales is Alex Gonzalez.
This really isn't that big of a deal. The Marlins know that Gonzalez is going to test the open market to see what multiyear deals are available, and there is no need to try to secure him before Friday.
Oh wow, look at the time. More on the free agents tomorrow. Later today we will have the AL Cy Young Winner for you; it should be a close race. Rivera is the "experts'" guess to take home the award.