We spoke to Carlos Delgado this morning, just a few days after Delgado has his one-year, $12-million option picked up by the Mets. Delgado touched on a wide range of topics, including his future. Here’s what he had to say:
â€” Delgado was asked if he has considered how much longer he will play, and whether or not it’s important to him to reach 500 home runs. He already has 469, and could reach the mark as soon as this season.
“Now that I know that I have a contract for next year, I’m focused on that right now. Then at the end of the season I’ll look beyond for what I want to do. I’m pretty close so I will try my best to get there. If that requires two years, I’ll be happy to play for another year.”
Delgado said he had a discussion with his wife, Betzaida, and that two more years was “the common denominator.”
â€” The Met first baseman was also asked whether or not he’ll need to become a stronger leader after the possibile loss of veterans like Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou and El Duque, who are all free agents the Mets may let walk.
“Every time you lose a guy, hypothetically speaking, who is a veteran who has been around a long time, people need to step up. Some of the younger guys have more experience and can show more leadership qualities. We don’t know what’s going to happen. In my case, I’m going to do what I’ve done in the past and try and lead by example.”
â€” Delgado said he “didn’t watch a whole lot” of the playoffs. “I usually don’t,” he added, but he wasn’t surprised the Phillies won.
“It doesn’t matter to me. We knew the Phillies were going to be in when we lost that Sunday. I, personally, don’t have a problem. They made it all the way to the playoffs, they played well and they won.”
â€” Delgado said he and the team didn’t work on extending his contract beyond next season, but he did discuss the matter with the Mets before the season was over.
“At the time they said we will let you know at the end of the season,” Delgado said, but now they have decided to address whether or not he plays in Queens beyond ’09 at a later date.
â€” Delgado will play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
â€” He would call a potential free agent on behalf of the Mets if that’s someone he feels comfortable with.
â€” He was happy to see Jerry Manuel brought back. “I’m looking forward to coming back and working with him. He deserved that promotion.”
â€” He felt Manuel’s work warranted the contract, despite the way the season ended: “I think the results really showed.”