Orioles may give Mets competition for Delgado

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Following yesterday’s report that the Mets are interested in re-signing Carlos Delgado, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com notes that they may have some competition from the Orioles:

Carlos Delgado hasn’t started playing for Gigantes de Carolina of the Puerto Rican Winter League. The Orioles still intend to scout him later this month unless they find another first baseman.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens if there’s a multi-team bidding war for Delgado, because it seems unlikely that any of his suitors will go beyond a one-year contract for a 37-year-old who missed all but 26 games last season and is coming off hip surgery. However, it’s looking more and more like Delgado won’t have to settle for an incentive-driven deal and may be able to secure more than $5 million in guarantees after making $12 million last season.
He hit .271/.353/.518 with 38 homers in 2008 and batted .298/.393/.521 before being shut down in mid-May this season, so if healthy Delgado still looks capable of making a big impact. By comparison, Orioles first basemen (mostly Aubrey Huff, Ty Wigginton, and Michael Aubrey) combined to hit just .262/.318/.411 with 18 homers this season, ranking 12th in the 14-team American League with a .729 OPS.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.