CANOE Network SLAM!Sports

 
SLAM! Sports SLAM! Baseball
  Sat, July 17, 2004


NEWS
SCOREBOARD


COMMENT
ARBITRATION / SIGNINGS
COLUMNISTS







Delgado says no to any trade
By BOB ELLIOTT, TORONTO SUN

The discussion was brief. Maybe three minutes.

Carlos Delgado, whom the Blue Jays were trying to deal, and general manager J.P. Ricciardi stood on the platform attached to to the back of the batting cage at Ameriquest Field at 5:20 last night in Arlington, Tex.

Delgado isn't going anywhere, as expected.

Ricciardi asked the Jays' career RBI leader to waive his no-trade clause in a Saturday meeting before the all-star break.

The Los Angles Dodgers, the Boston Rod Sox, the Florida Marlins and the Texas Rangers had all expressed interest in dealing for Delgado and the Jays wanted to trade him to get something back, rather than seeing him walk away when his contract expires after this season. The Rangers deny they had any interest.

"He's staying put, that closes the book," Ricciardi told reporters after the meeting.

Delgado spent the all-star break in his hometown of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, deciding whether he should waive or not waive, with his family, as well as phoning his agent David Sloane of Coral Springs, Fla.

To wave goodbye or not, that was the question.

"I'm not waving my no-trade," Delgado said. "I made up my mind earlier, but out of respect for J.P. I didn't want to say anything until I spoke to him.

"I love the city of Toronto, I appreciate the way I have been treated by the fans and the community for almost 10 years now. I've been treated very kindly. Very fairly."

Delgado was signed at age 16 on Oct. 9, 1988 and has been with the Jays ever since.

The Jays started the second half of their dismal 2004 season 10 games under .500 going into last night's game against the Texas Rangers.

"At this time of the year I guess it could be," Delgado said when asked whether trade talks and the request for him to waive his no-trade clause were a distraction.

"A lot of people were listening to a lot of people who didn't know what was going on and had nothing to do with it. At the end of the day, I had the last word.

"Now it's over. The circus has ended. The only thing we'll be talking about inside the clubhouse is baseball."

The Dodgers had scout Don Welke fly in from Louisville to see Delgado. The Dodgers could have saved the money on the flight. Shawn Green of the Dodgers, Delgado's best friend, has been phoning.

Lobbying?

"He was just phoning to wish me luck in the second half," Delgado said with a large grin.

Perhaps now the Dodgers will go after John Olerud, whom the Seattle Mariners designated for assignment earlier in the week. The M's have 10 days to trade him if he waives his no-trade clause.

"People bring up Carlos' name all the time, just like if I was talking to the Arizona Diamondbacks and asked do you think Randy Johnson would ever waive his no-trade clause?" Ricciardi said. "He had time to think about it."

Sloane, Delgado's agent, received a phone call from Jays president Paul Godfrey yesterday afternoon.

"Paul called and we had a half-hour discussion on the issues involved and there is no change in our position," Sloane said.

Now, some will say if Delgado loves the city and the Jays so much he should move in a deal and allow the Jays to get something in return. If he signs a free-agent contract with another club after Dec. 11 and the Jays don't offer arbitration -- they would be leery of Delgado accepting -- the Jays won't even receive draft picks as compensation for Delgado's departure.

With Richie Sexson injured, Delgado enters the free-agent market as the premier slugger.

The Jays gave him a four-year, $68 million US deal with the no-trade clause in 2000. What's wrong with someone saying he likes the city and wanting to stay with his original team?

The Jays slugger loves Toronto and Bob Elliott asks -- what is wrong with him wanting to stay?