This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
According to a report on Boston.com, the Boston Red Sox have signed 38 year old free agent first baseman Carlos Delgado to a minor league contract.
Though Carlos Delgado had offers from a number of teams, the recent injury to Kevin Youkilis made the move to sign Delgado understandable considering the circumstances. Coming off the same kind of injury as Mike Lowell, Delgado last played in the big leagues in early May of last season with the New York Mets.
The two time All Star has 473 career home runs to go along with a .280 batting average and a career on base percentage of .383. Delgado’s ability to get on base may be a contributing factor to the Red Sox bringing the lefty slugger on board. Kevin Youkilis led the team in OBP by a significant margin, and Delgado might be able to fill that void somewhat.
“Somewhat” is the biggest part of this signing. At 38 years old and more than a year removed from facing MLB pitchers, the signing is a big question mark. The expectation is he will be ready to go by the time the team starts bringing up their reserves for the September 1st roster expansion. What the team will get from Delgado remains an unknown. There is no doubt Youkilis’ injury has a huge impact on whether the team will stop the free fall they’ve been in since the calendar turned to July. A combination of injuries and ineffectiveness makes Delgado’s signing a no brainer, despite the uncertainty.
As the Red Sox continue their weekend battle against the first place New York Yankees, how they stack up might make the Delgado signing, or any signing or trade, a moot point if they fail to rise above their current trend. On the other hand, when the season ends on October 3rd and Carlos Delgado turns 39 years old, this signing and any other might prove to be the deals that save the season.