I've spent too many years
In a war with myself
The doctor has told me
It's no good for my health
To search for perfection
Is all very well
But to look for heaven
Is to live here in hell
“Carlos Delgado became an ex-Blue Jay at the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, when the only team he's ever known declined to offer him arbitration, according to The Associated Press. By waiving that right, Toronto slammed the door. The Jays can't negotiate with him until May 1, long after he will have signed with another team.
“In truth, the budget made this decision long ago. Delgado's contract represented nearly 40 percent of the payroll last season, and Toronto would've been forced to make an offer of at least 80 percent of that salary in arbitration. The slugger could have declined and gained a longer window to negotiate, but with the downturn in the open market since his last contract, he likely would've accepted the one-year deal.
“If he had, that would have fiscally hamstrung the team from improving in other areas. It could've meant a $15 million player on a $53 million team. “
“The Jays are believed to have dangled a three-year, $21 million offer to their superstar, who made $18.5 million last season, while insisting publicly that they would like him back. That, of course, places the public onus on Delgado. When he left, the team could say they tried.
“It's all PR spin. Basically, the team offered a loyal employee a 62 per cent pay cut for slamming 32 homers and driving in 99 runs and being the public face of the organization in trying times.” ....
“After the break, he refused to waive his no-trade clause, with Ricciardi revealing that Delgado stayed because he wanted to spend the rest of the season in Toronto. How dare he?
“Usually sports fans perceive such a stay-put sentiment as a good thing, but the Jays turned it into the selfish act of a soft player who didn't want to win a title, preventing his team from getting any kind of compensation. Huh!”
I'm not happy about this and neither is Carlos," David Sloane told Sportsnet's Marty York in a telephone interview. "This is a significant loss for the Blue Jays, believe me. He was the greatest player in the team's history -- not only because of what he could do on the field but also because of his widespread appeal. We'll have to move on now and make the best of it. There are other teams interested in Carlos, for sure, but his preference would have been to stay in Toronto.
"As far as I'm concerned, the Blue Jays butchered this up. They've been butchering it up with Carlos for a long, long time. I don't think (general manager) J.P. Ricciardi has ever wanted Carlos around, from the day he stepped off the plane to take over in Toronto."
Sloane would not elaborate, other than to say he and Delgado were livid in the summer when Sportsnet divulged that the Jays were going to ask Delgado to waive his no-trade clause.
"That wasn't right, and it was disgraceful that someone in the organization, whether it was J.P. or not, leaked that information to you," Sloane said.
“Simply put, the Jays did not have the money to bring Delgado, who earned $18.5 million US last year in the final year of a four-year, $68-million contract extension, back.
“Actually, they have the money, they just don't want to spend it.
“With owner Ted Rogers holding the Jays payroll at $52 million for the 2005 season, general manager J.P. Ricciardi did not have enough funds available to re-sign Delgado and address the club's other needs such as a starting pitcher, a left-handed reliever and a designated hitter. Ricciardi now can add a first baseman to that list.”
Also from Rutsey:
"You get to a situation where it's just not the money," Delgado said at the end of the season, in which the Jays finished last with a 67-94 record. "I've played the game for 10 years and I want to have the opportunity to win. I want to have the opportunity to contend and not finish last."
Remind me of this if Delgado signs with the Mariners.