According to a number of reports Friday and Saturday, the Mets’ chances of signing free agent 1B Carlos Delgado have decreased substantially. From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Don Burke.

The Mets didn’t blow Carlos Delgado away with the lukewarm offer they made to him on Thursday, and that may have left the door open for another team to snatch the free-agent first baseman.

Delgado and his agent, David Sloane, spent four hours with Texas Rangers officials yesterday. The Rangers made an offer of four years for over $40 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Texas said that was its best and final offer and also sait it had a commitment from Delgado and his representative that the Rangers would know before the end of the weekend whether Delgado would joing their team.

“Tom Hicks (the Rangers owner) said that he was going to come to Puerto Rico and give it his best shot,” Sloane said in an e-mail to reporters. “He did all that and more. We will be talking to them again (today) in an attempt to sustain the positive momentum we generated (yesterday).”

Meanwhile, Sloane also chatted with Baltimore Orioles officials and plans to speak with the Rangers and Orioles again today. It’s likely Sloane will also speak again with the Mets and with the Florida Marlins, for that matter. The Mets, as is their policy, declined comment again yesterday.

Much as it would suck to see this potential signing slip through Omar Minaya’s fingers, if Carlos Delgado wants to spend his summers in 110 degree heat, being eaten alive by giant mosquitos, he’s welcome to that. In the event Texas have promised to make him their DH, the Mets could promise the same thing. They’d be lying, but they could still promise.

(UPDATE : The New York Post’s Michael Morrisey reports that the Mets have improved their offer to Delgado and quotes one source as saying that Florida and New York are “neck and neck” in the race for the veteran’s services. )

Newsday’s Jon Heyman on a new addition to the Dodgers’ broadcasting team.

As if their offseason wasn’t bad enough — they paid more per year to J.D. Drew than they offered Adrian Beltre, dramatically overpaid Derek Lowe and Odalis Perez, signed Jose Valentin and Jeff Kent, who’ll take years off poor Cesar Izturis’ life, and traded Shawn Green three times — the Dodgers outdid themselves by hiring unprofessional goofball Steve Lyons as an analyst during road telecasts.

Maybe this is why the Dodgers were so hell-bent on ridding themselves of the productive, classy Green. Lyons, you’ll recall, ripped Green for missing a game on Yom Kippur, saying: “He’s not even a practicing Jew. He didn’t marry a Jewish girl. And from what I understand, he never had a bar mitzvah, which is unfortunate because he doesn’t get the money.”

What’s unfortunate is the Dodgers will pay Lyons to make observations like these.