He’s good. He’s coming off an injury so presumably the price will be reasonable. He’s always been able to get on base well, a career .383 OBP. He turned 33 in 2005 and since then, during years when most players start their decline, he hit .275/.363/.523. That includes a sub par 2007 when he hit .258/.333.448, which is still a lot better than the .271/.328/.405 line Giants 1B put up this year, which includes 97 PA of awesomeness from Pablo where he hit .385/.423/.648. The Giants continue to have a gigantic hole in the middle of the order and at 1B. Delgado fills both. The man has been a legit power hitting, high OBP first baseman his entire career, without seeing much of a noticeable decline. It’s easy to write-off Delgado because he’s coming off an injury and he’s 37. But after what Ibanez has done this season we should think twice about writing off veterans especially if there hasn’t been a noticeable decline in performance. No doubt the Giants would have been in the playoffs this year had we signed Ibanez, we can’t let another opportunity like that slip away. Without being able to cite stats, it seems a lot of veterans this season but up big numbers (Ibanez, Posada, Manny). These players, including Delgado, have performed their entire careers and continue to do so. Yes eventually they will decline or fall off the cliff, but it really is a guessing game finding out when that will occur. It is worth the risk for Delgado because even if it doesn’t work out we have fall back options in Sandoval, Ishikawa, Garko, Bowker.
But I’m expecting it to work out and I think Delgado has at least another .380+/.500+ season in him. And there are other benefits to improving the offense through 1B and not the outfield.
-Sandoval can stay at 3B another season where he played average defense and his bat is more valuable. Having legit power at both corners would be a huge plus.
-If we don’t add another outfielder to fix the offense we can finally see what we have in our young outfielders in a legit sample size and consistent playing time. Winn is undoubtedly gone (I’ll gladly organize the riots in the streets if he comes back). Assuming we don’t pull off Rowand for Bradley (which I’d be in favor of) we have Schierholtz, Bowker, Rowand, Torres, Lewis. Platoon Lewis and Torres in left. Despite all the shit Lewis has got recently (and I’ve dished it out myself) the fact remains he has a career .286/.362/.443 line against RHP. Torres has proven to mash lefties, and that’s all that should be asked of him next year (and of course playing his usual stellar defense). Schierholtz and Bowker can duke it out in RF, and they both can move around the outfield if necessary due to injury/ineffectiveness, so there should be enough at bats for all the outfielders.
-Another thing adding Delgado does is it allows Garko to see some time at catcher. I read some discussion about it on this site and apparently Garko was moved to 1B not because of lack of catching skills but because he was blocked by Victor Martinez. Garko would be able to see playing time as a lefty masher off the bench (.313/.392/.495 career line against lefties) and at catcher sharing some time with Posey. Keeping Garko would be a benefit because it affords us the luxury to sit Delgado more to keep him fresh, particularly against LHP. Last point on Delgado: I will forever be grateful to him for the HR he bombed against Benitez a couple years back that finally got that fat lop of shit off our team. Delgado will forever have his place in Giants history because of that shot, and it would be awesome for him to end his brilliant career in SF to help our young, talented team make a playoff push. Our 1-4 would be Lewis/Sanchez/Sandoval/Delgado, I think that’s legit. In summation, Delgado would improve the offense, allow us to utilize Garko effectively to maximize his value, and finally give us a chance to see what our young outfielders can do.