His lips are moving!
OK, that was terribly unfair, and I’m sure there are all kinds of people in Montreal, not to mention Cliff Floyd, who will vouch for the Marlins owner’s credibility. That said, the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi might not be one of those persons.
Less than two months after the season ended ” and just one year into the four-year deal Carlos Delgado signed ” the Marlins are telling teams that he is on the trading block.
Delgado’s $52 million contract escalates each year because it was structured to anticipate revenue from a new ballpark. Delgado signed it even though the Marlins, citing team policy, refused to give him a no-trade clause.
Because of that, it would seem David Sloane and Delgado have no reason to complain that the Marlins are shopping him.
But the issue with Delgado is one of trust and integrity from the Marlins front office. Delgado and Sloane say they were told by Jeffrey Loria (above, center) at the time that the Marlins wanted to win with Delgado for four years, not just one.
Then in September, after the Marlins’ latest stadium-funding effort failed, ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons floated the possibility of Florida trying to trade Delgado to cut costs.
A few days later, Loria ” according to Delgado ” pulled the slugger aside in the visitors’ locker room at Minute Maid Park in Houston and told him to ignore the rumors because he wasn’t going anywhere.
There’s always a possibility that Delgado misheard Loria or even misinterpreted what the owner said. The problem, however, is that Loria has refused to confirm, deny or comment on in any way his one-on-one conversation with Delgado.
Word circulated last week among baseball officials at the general managers’ meetings in California that the Marlins are trying to unload Delgado.
Sloane, in response to the rumors, asked Florida GM Larry Beinfest for clarification on Delgado’s future. Sloane even offered to help Beinfest write a statement similar to the one the Marlins released in July 2003 when they publicly rebuked rumors that Mike Lowell was on the trading block.
Instead, Sloane received the equivalent of a no-comment, so he turned to the media to remind the public of Loria’s promise to Delgado.
Beinfest has refused to comment on the issue in part because he doesn’t want to reveal the team’s off-season strategies. But word of those strategies had no problem getting around at the GM meetings last week: The Marlins are trying to unload Delgado, Lowell and Juan Pierre.
Surely the South Florida public wouldn’t fault the Marlins for trying to trade Delgado after Hurricane Wilma has made the team’s financial predicament worse. If that’s even the case. We don’t know because no one in MarlinsLand is talking.
Instead, the team’s silence speaks volumes. What message does that send to the next big-name free agent the Marlins might try to woo?
And what message does it send to Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera and the rest of Florida’s young players? Perhaps it’s this: Unless we win a World Series in the first three years of your career, we’re going to trade you.
And what does that say to the fans of South Florida who are being asked to fork out money for season tickets?
I suppose it says, “fuck you, we’re moving to Vegas.”