Yesterday Noel Pineiro of Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia reported that Carlos Delgado was going to retire. It’s now official: Delgado announced his decision at a news conference in Puerto Rico a little while ago.
As we noted yesterday, this comes as something of a relief, as Delgado had been was trying to come back from multiple hip injuries. At no point did he get anywhere particularly close, and it’s good to see that he seems at peace with the end of the playing portion of his career.
Delgado had a career line of .280/.383/.546 with 473 career home runs and 1512 RBI. Later on today, Matthew Pouliot is going to take a more in-depth look at the career of Delgado. A career that I worry may fall into the historical cracks one day, much like that of Fred McGriff and some other excellent but not transcendent ballplayers. Which is sad, because for my money, the Hall of Very Good has a lot more interesting players in it than people realize, and they should be remembered.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.