NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox decided to take a cheap look at whether Carlos Delgado might provide a left-handed bat at first base, agreeing to a minor league deal that will pay the 38-year-old Delgado a pro-rated salary of $20,000.
Delgado is scheduled to report to Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and, according to agent David Sloane, the player expects to need 10 days to two weeks to be ready after not playing all season. Delgado underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, a similar procedure that Mike Lowell had, but in Delgado's case he required surgery twice in a span of nine months, the second procedure coming in February.
The terms of Delgado's deal calls for him to be paid a prorated salary of $20,000, meaning that if he needs two weeks before he is activated, he will be paid approximately $5,800 for the balance of the month. He has an opt-out date of Sept. 1.
If Delgado is promoted to the big leagues, he would be paid on a prorated salary of $3 million, which works out to roughly $545,000 a month. There are performance clauses that would pay Delgado for being ALCS MVP ($75,000) or World Series MVP ($100,000).
Delgado had offers from three teams to choose from, according to Sloane, who refused to divulge the other clubs. One was the Chicago White Sox, according to an industry source. The Los Angeles Angels also had interest, a baseball source told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.
Delgado has 473 career home runs, which ranks 30th on the all-time list, two behind Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Willie Stargell. He has played 17 seasons in the big leagues, the first dozen with the Toronto Blue Jays, then one with the Florida Marlins, and the last four with the New York Mets. In 2008, he hit 38 home runs and drove in 115 runs for the Mets, but he appeared in just 26 games last season.
Sloane said he was uncertain whether Delgado would play for the PawSox on Sunday. "At the least, he'll work out," the agent said.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Saturday that he saw Delgado hit during a private workout held at Yankee Stadium. "He did great," Francona said.
But Francona stressed the uncertainty of whether Delgado will even be able to help the Sox, and stressed that Lowell is the team's first baseman.
"You're way, way ahead of me," Francona said. "He hasn't even played in Pawtucket yet. This is us doing our due diligence.
"Mikey Lowell is the guy we're playing at first base, and whatever, whenever, whoever, he's [our first baseman]. Please write that and tell Mikey that so I don't have to go down [to the clubhouse] and get aggravated."
Lowell, asked for his reaction, said: "I don't have any thoughts on it."
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.